Community Action
How growing vegetables can be empowering

In the Amazon rainforest, local people improve the nutrition of their families and generate extra income through productive entrepreneurship.


Senor Doroteo lives in Salvacion, a small town in the remote south-east of Peru, and by selling the organic vegetables from his biogarden he has become a productive entrepreneur.


At 65, he shows no signs of slowing down and makes regular trips into town with his wheelbarrow piled high with fresh produce to sell.


Here at the Crees Foundation we help support local people through our biogarden and agroforestry initiatives, so that they can generate a sustainable income and move away from environmentally damaging agricultural techniques.


Senor Doroteo spoke to multimedia journalist Katie Lin, who filmed and produced this beautiful short film:



Senor Doroteo explains why the biogarden is important to him and his family:


“Before, in the mountains, we had gardens but I didn’t know all the different types of plants. But here I’m learning everything there is to know about plants. It encourages me, it gives me strength and the plants make me happy.


“Earlier I lived alone as a single man and in another part of the province. After I met my partner, my wife, and we had children – I have seven children. There wasn’t enough land, there wasn’t enough produce to work and we had needs. We thought to come here where we could live more comfortably and peacefully with all my children.

“Every morning I get up early in the morning. I’m up at four – we’re used to getting up at four in the morning. Since we’re religious, we thank God for what He has given us and for making the plants grow.


“I come to see how the plants are doing or if there’s a bug doing damage. I’m always keeping my eye on the plants.


“In the morning it’s cool out. You have to water early in the day because with the heat, the land warms up quickly and dries up. So I have to water the plants at five. I have to water then so that the earth soaks up all the water. And in the afternoon at around five I have to water the garden again because at night it cools down and the plants grow – they continue to grow all night long.


“I like seeing it – I’ve gotten used to the plants. I want to continue maintaining the garden, planting and fixing it up. I belong in this garden.


“I’m motivated. I’m going to work daily in my garden and take my produce to the market.”