Writer, biologist and artist, Evie King came to volunteer and worked on many diverse projects around the homestead, painted some cheerful frogs and lizards onto the bare walls of el teatro, and also helped out with managing a teen Earthwatch team. Evie first came here in 2005 to partake in some of our earlier Earthwatch research expeditions. Thank you Evie, we really appreciated having you here! And thanks for all the chocolate! (more about Evie below)
E.E. King is a performer, writer, biologist and painter. Ray Bradbury calls her stories “marvelously inventive, wildly funny and deeply thought provoking. I cannot recommend them highly enough.” Her books are;” Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife,” “Real Conversations with Imaginary Friends,” “The Adventures of Emily Finfeather – The Feathernail and Other Gifts” and “Another Happy Ending.” She has won numerous awards and been published widely. She is the recipient of two International Tides painting fellowships, and two international biology Earthwatch grants. She was an adviser for the J. Paul Getty’s and the Science Center’s, Arts &; Science program. She was the Science and Arts coordinator in Bosnia with Global Children’s Organization (a summer camp for war orphans and refugees) in 2000. She was the founding Arts & Sciences Director for Esperanza Community Housing Corporation . She has worked with children in Bosnia, crocodiles in Mexico, frogs in Puerto Rico, egrets in Bali, mushrooms in Montana, archaeologists in Spain and planted butterfly gardens in South Central Los Angeles. https://www.elizabetheveking.com/
Puerto Rico Hardwoods Inc (PRH) is delighted to have won the prestigious 2016 EnterPRize business award for Sustainability, sponsored by Grupo Guayacán and the Aireko Foundation.
Hardwood trees that are felled by government and other agencies for public safety in Puerto Rico are currently dumped as ‘waste’ in the islands landfills. PRH rescues these trees and processes them into valuable timber for export and domestic use. PRH also harvests and sells timber from 30 year old plantations at Las Casas de la Selva, Patillas, and promotes sustainable harvesting of timber from other plantations in Puerto Rico.
PRH maintains that sustainability must start with minimizing waste and the intelligent use of local resources rather than importing timber which contributes to the devastation of forests in other countries. In the context of global increases in deforestation, PRH demonstrates long-term methods for economic utilization of previously disturbed secondary forests in Puerto Rico. This is essential in helping to reduce pressure on the exploitation of pristine rainforests elsewhere. PRH is built on a renewable and recyclable resource model and as one of the first of Puerto Rico’s hardwood distributors, believes that sustainability is much more than just a marketing device; it is a practice that ensures a healthy future for our lives and businesses.
PRH is located on the land known as Las Casas de la Selva, home to the Tropic Ventures Sustainable Forestry Project established 30 years ago by The Institute of Ecotechnics in the southern mountains adjacent to the Carite State Forest, in Patillas, Puerto Rico.
PRH was created and developed by Andrés Rúa and Thrity Vakil, also both Directors of Tropic Ventures Sustainable Forestry and Rainforest Enrichment Project. As founders of the Agroforestry Development Advisory Council (CADA), their broader vision is to promote sustainable forestry in Puerto Rico and convert unwanted trees into a valuable resource.
Here are some images from the award ceremony, 24th May 2016
Below: All the semi-finalists on the night.
EnterPRize’s objective is to strengthen startups through a rigorous educational curriculum, mentoring and access to capital. In this 10th edition, EnterPRize broadens its offering through two phases focused on promising startups that are capable of growing locally and internationally. This new generation of entrepreneurs has the capacity of launching innovative projects with a global economic mindset and we’re proud to be part of the start of their entrepreneurial journey,” said Laura Cantero, Executive Director of Grupo Guayacán. EnterPRize seeks to identify startups and entrepreneurs with significant potential and to spur their development by providing access to the tools and resources they need to scale.
The PRH team: Alex Figueroa, Magha Garcia, Andrés Rúa, 3t Vakil, & Ricardo Valles. 2016
Grupo Guayacán, Inc. is a private sector driven non-profit organization founded in 1996 with a unique model that has coupled private equity investment with a series of programs aimed at developing, strengthening, and advancing Puerto Rico’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Aireko Foundation’s vision is that Puerto Ricans develop and sustain leading organizations and enterprising initiatives recognized in and outside Puerto Rico for their sustainability. Our mission is to promote the development of individuals, businesses and non-governmental organizations in a measurable and sustainable manner in Puerto Rico, in order to achieve positive social, economic and environmental change. We value and support education, charity, entrepreneurship and solidarity, integrated with a dynamic search for sustainability.
We will always share news of a Walk-Talk Tour. Join our email list to stay informed of this and other events at Las Casas de la Selva.
WALK-TALK-TOUR -This tour will be in English. 9.30am-2.00pm, Sunday 31st January, 2016. Cost: $20.00 per head includes lunch. (Children under 10 years free.)
Where: In the homestead, forest, and woodshop facilities of Sustainable Forestry Project, Las Casas de la Selva, Patillas, Puerto Rico. Disabled facilities very limited.
Clothing: Please wear suitable shoes or boots for a forest walk. Open-toed sandals, or flip flops are not suitable at all on uneven paths and potentially muddy trails. Wear long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt. We reserve the right to refuse entry to the forest to anyone unsuitably dressed.
Schedule: 9.30am: Coffee and Cake, orientation Digital presentation of the history of Las Casas de la Selva and ongoing work, and introduction to Puerto Rico Hardwoods. 11.00am: Guided Forest walk to see plantations, identify trees, understand the history of land-use, & current projects, including planting of endangered tree species. 12.30pm: Gourmet lunch with organic salad, fruit juices, tea and coffee. 1.00pm: Tour of the wood workshop, drying sheds, & projects in progress. An opportunity to buy or order wood, or beautiful hardwood products seen at our homestead. 2.00pm: Group Photo and Finish.
BOOK NOW: Please send an email with the following info to 3t at: firstname.lastname@example.org • How many people? • Dietary restrictions (meat/veg) or allergies if any. Please ask for directions if needed.
See you here! 3t and Andres Some of the products that will be available.
Magaly Figueroa has been a key ally of ours for the last decade in the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources and the USDA. We are very honored for her to mention us in an interview on ‘Faces of The Forest Service’, on the US Forest website. This is the first time Tropic Ventures and our portal to the wood world Nuestra Madera has had a public mention. Thanks Magaly!
When great friends come to visit! 3t’s friend Sally J. Richardson, and her 17 year old nephew, Sean Hitchcock, visited for three weeks, and in their time at Las Casas, helped with all aspects of homestead life and assisted magnificently with the organization and work with Globalworks teenagers and the Upward Bound Appalachian team. Sean, you were a star and we really appreciated your hard work in the field with the teams, and your quiet getting on with everything, and we especially loved your smile! Sally, tremendous gratitude for your upbeat humor in all situations and your generosity. We loved having you both here!
We did let them off the ranch a few times, and we did visit El Morro Fort in Old San Juan on a beautiful day. Sally and Sean went snorkeling on a Catamaran trip around Icacos and Lobos islands of the NE coast. They also managed to squeeze in a kayak trip in the Bioluminescent bay. A bio bay is a body of water that contains millions of micro-organisms, called “dinoflagellates”, that glow in the dark for a second when agitated. It is a rare, natural wonder that Sally and Sean were lucky enough to experience.
We celebrate our love for Santtos Picapiedra (Flinstone), and his wife Chila, who have been true supporters and friends to this project for three decades. Santtos is a master stone mason, and gardener, and Chila is an incredible chef, amongst many other things!