Posted by: gullette | April 3, 2022


The countries that are least responsible for climate-changing emissions are often those that suffer the most when climate catastrophes strike. Nicaragua is a case in point. As part of an effort to make all our activities in the San Juan del Sur as “Green” and Climate Friendly as possible (ZERO cement in EcoStoves, COMPRESSED EARTH BLOCKS instead of kilned bricks, BAMBOO instead of iron rods as a structural building material, etc.) we are pleased to support a REFORESTATION project conceived by Board member Eric Olson: THE NEWTON SISTER CITY FOREST which pays local men and women to plant appropriate species of trees in otherwise neglected locations. As you know, trees sequester atmospheric carbon and produce oxygen (useful for critters with lungs).

Eric Olson has been on the Board of the Sister City since 2019.  He completed his PhD in tropical ecology in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province, just over the border from the San Juan del Sur area.  Eric and his family lived in Newton for over 20 years, while he taught courses in environmental science at Brandeis.  On two different years he and fellow Board member Ms Aandy Dannenberg took Newton high school students on trips to the San Juan del Sur area, focusing on tropical biology and agriculture.  Eric retired from teaching in 2020 and that same year launched the Newton Sister City Forest Project, using native tree species to reforest abandoned pastures in the township of Ostional, about 25 km south of San Juan del Sur.  A team of Ostional-area women do the planting in lanes machete-cut through pasture brush by a team of Ostional caballeros. See the Tree Planting Team below. 10% of the funds raised to support reforestation is funneled to the FREE HIGH SCHOOL FOR ADULTS. You can give to this valuable effort on our CONTRIBUTE page; just be sure to earmark it for REFORESTATION.


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