Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oaxaca Wednesday: Godofredo Gives Back

by Aly Lewis

Oaxaca Wednesday is back! Our hearts, prayers, and support go out to our Haitian partners who continue to work under difficult circumstances to contribute to the recovery and rebuilding of their country. We will continue to provide the latest updates on our relief efforts and ways that you can be involved in the long-term recovery and development of Haiti. We also want to continue to recognize the progress, successes, and highlights of our programs around the world. Hence, Oaxaca Wednesday. Enjoy!

Meet Godofredo: a good-natured father, farmer, and entrepreneur from the village of Llano de la Canoa high up in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. Llano de la Canoa is not known for its booming economy and employment opportunities, but Godofredo has done pretty well for himself. He and his wife, Luisa, have implemented a variety of Plant With Purpose projects that have helped them make the most of their small plot of land perched in a stunning valley. Their sloping property now hosts a small tomato greenhouse where they grow fresh, organic tomatoes to eat themselves or sell to their neighbors for the best price around. A worm compost bin breaks down their organic waste and transforms it into a nutrient-rich fertilizer. Chickens run as free as their two rascally boys, providing nutritious eggs, eating pesky bugs, and fertilizing the family’s abundant vegetable garden.

Godofredo’s favorite venture is his energy-saving bakery oven. The big brick oven uses very little wood and is designed to hold in heat. Godofredo bakes bread, cakes, and pizzas and can even cook chicken in the oven. It heats so quickly and efficiently a visiting relative repeatedly burned his bread because he just could not believe it would bake that quickly. Godofredo sells his delicious breads—pan dulce, or sweet bread, is his specialty—to his appreciative neighbors. But, he says, his children are still by far his biggest customers.

In addition to tasty baked treats and ripe, juicy tomatoes, Godofredo’s neighbors have reaped many benefits from his partnership with Plant With Purpose. Godofredo first introduced Plant With Purpose to the local elementary school, where students now learn to plant seedlings, start family gardens, and conserve resources through a thriving environmental education program that is sure to have a positive impact for generations to come. He has helped build another greenhouse in the community and holds Bible studies in his home for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Word.

“I’m very grateful to the people of Plant With Purpose because the support has been without conditions,” he says. And, just as he has been blessed, Godofredo seeks to bless his neighbors without conditions.

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