This was the year a lot of stuff changed.
School routines. Daily commutes. Vacations. Family gatherings. Specifics may vary, but this much is true: whatever plans any of us had for 2020, we had to make new ones.
The families we serve in Mexico, El Salvador, and Nicaragua had to pivot too. Our construction crews slowed down to implement new safety protocols. Participants in our sewing program switched from aprons and blouses and school uniforms to making facemasks. And overnight, COVID-19 prevention was added to our community development curriculum. It’s been a lot of change.
But one constant may surprise you. At a time when authorities in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, were strictly limiting indoor gatherings, people were understandably beginning to feel isolated and restless.
For those families connected to 1MISSION, however, they already knew about a safe outdoor gathering place: the local community garden.
While so many other parts of life were thrown into upheaval this year, community gardens provided stability and literally strengthened the families we serve.
Men and women continued to plant, cultivate, and harvest a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables. They continued to add these crops to their daily diets, while also selling them to supplement their meager incomes. And even those not actively earning hours by serving their neighbors recognized that these gardens were places they wanted to be.
They’re called community gardens for a reason.
And with the increasing local demand for fresh, organic produce from local restaurants and residents alike, the gardens will only continue to expand in the months and years to come.
At 1MISSION, while we’re known for building houses, we’ve always said we’re about more than a house. The role of a community garden during a really hard year is yet another example of what those words truly mean.
#MoreThanAHouse is more than a tagline. It represents how communities develop and flourish. And for that to happen, it takes each of us doing our part. Will you join us?