Nonprofit agrotourism organization Visit Rico and the La Concha Hotel will host City Winery for the first corporate “voluntourism” event to be held in Puerto Rico Jan. 30-31 to help rebuild agro-ecological farms affected by Hurricane María.
More than 120 City Winery employees will collaborate in the voluntary effort to clean farms, road repairs, weeding, trimming, sowing, assisting in cistern construction and wooden roofs, and disposing of waste. The tasks will be carried out in La Ceiba Farm, in Ceiba; Hacienda Don Armando, in Comerío; El Granadillo Farm and Brisas del Lago, in Cayey; and Casas de la Selva, in Patillas.
The event was conceived last November in New York City by Chef Juan José of restaurant 1919 during a fundraising dinner for “Regrow Puerto Rico,” brought about by Visit Rico.
“The vist of volunteers from City Winery will make an impact on various important pillars of our agricultural economy: farmers, community, agricultural markets and chefs that support consumption of local crops,” said Camille Collazo, executive director of Visit Rico.
“All of them have lost their source of sustainable income. Special initiatives like this one are the ones that create an impact with promising ripples,” she said.
The City Winery initiative will inject more than $78,000 into Puerto Rico’s economy, through the purchase of tools for restoring farms, as well as the construction and installation of a permanent stage with sound equipment in Casas de la Selva to be used for activities related to the agro-ecological movement. The wood for construction of the stage will be from fallen trees, casualties of Hurricane María.
The “Regrow Puerto Rico” fund, created in September 2017 by Visit Rico, injected $481,500 into the agricultural economy by allowing 107 agro-ecological farmers to receive a donation of $4,500 each, to restart of their operations.