As part of its objective of contributing to a more sustainable future through supporting community efforts focused on natural resources conservation and management, the Ford Environmental Grants program distributed $40,000 among the six winning projects of the 2019 edition.
The award-winning community projects of this edition are: Bucaré Urban Garden, by the Coalition for the Restoration of Eco-Systems in Santurce (CRES); Finca Escuela de La Perla by the Junta Comunitaria de La Perla Impacto Comunitario; Jardines de polinizadores educative e inspiradores, by Kale Mamá; VivApis, by the Humacao Community College Enactus team; Desarrollo de la industria apícola by Núcleo de Apicultores de Puerto Rico; and Nuestra Escuelita Cosecha by Nuestra Escuela, Inc.
All these initiatives were submitted under the Food Security, Water and Wildlife Preservation category, which received most of the proposals this year.
In addition to the grants, this year’s winning projects will receive technical support and mentoring from Colmena66 as part of a special alliance between Ford Puerto Rico and this local network, which aims to connect entrepreneurs and businesses with more than 100 nonprofit organizations, academic institutions and government agencies that offer services and support to help them grow.
“The commitment of so many people and organizations dedicated to empowering their communities, that not only contribute to protecting the environment, but also provide progress and social mobility, is admirable,” said Vivian T. Dávila, public affairs and communications manager for Ford in Puerto Rico, Central America and the Caribbean.
“We are deeply honored to accompany them on this journey and to boost their projects, now more broadly through our alliance with Colmena66, to whom we are thankful for its willingness to support the initiatives that were selected as winners this year,” she said.
“For Colmena66 it is very important to promote social entrepreneurship projects that positively impact the community. We are committed to connecting them with the resources of the business ecosystem they need to grow and be sustainable,” said Denisse Rodríguez, executive director of Colmena66.
The experts in environmental issues and self-management who participated as juries in the selection of this year’s winners are: Dr. Jorge Bauzá, scientific director of the San Juan Bay Estuary Program; Perla Sofía Curbelo, founder of Agrochic; Dr. Yogani Govender, dean of Science and Technology at InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico, Metropolitan Campus; Dr. Carlos Guilbe, professor at the University of Puerto Rico; Glorimar Toledo, coordinator of conservation and biodiversity projects at Para la Naturaleza; and Gian Toyos, science teacher at Saint John’s School.
Ford Environmental Grants has contributed more than $ 1.6 million to hundreds of environmental projects in Central America and the Caribbean during the 18 years in which it has been carried out.
The next call for the Ford Environmental Grants program will begin in April 2020. Those interested in participating in the 2020 edition will receive guidance for the preparation of their proposals from Colmena66, as part of the alliance established between Ford and this network.