San José De Ocoa, a small town surrounded by mountains in the South of Domincan Republic, home of ADESJO (Asociation Para El Desarollo De San José De Ocoa), an organization dedicated to the development of the town and the province of San José de Ocoa. ADESJO was founded by Padre Luis (Louis Joseph Quinn) a Canadian pastor who made this town his home in 1953 and spent his life working and living here until his death in 2007. Dominican Republic, July 10, 2014.
Carlos Bonilla of ADESJO Natural Resources department examines the wood used for the construction of this shed, which will serve as an office at the local sustainable lumber yard in the village of Derrumbado. Bonilla has worked with ADESJO for over 25 years, and is responsible for all the projects involving the natural resources in the province of San José de Ocoa: reforestation, irrigation, soil conservation, to name a few. Under his supervision, he estimates to have planted more than 50,000,000 trees in the area. Dominican Republic, June 30, 2014.
Carlos Bonilla of ADESJO Natural Resources department and Juan Bautista Peña, reforestation and agriculture specialist, examine the racks of planters used to grow tiny pine trees—future forests to cover the hills of province of San José de Ocoa. In Ricon Del Pino, Dominican Republic on July 7, 2014.
Juan Bautista Peña, reforestation and agriculture specialist, demonstrates splicing of an avocado tree. Fruit trees are planted in and around the villages serving dual purpose: providing locals with food in addition to reforesting the area. Trees grown here will be planted all over the province of San José de Ocoa once they have grown big enough. In Ricon Del Pino, Dominican Republic on July 7, 2014.
Heads of lettuce hide little avocado trees planted by ADESJO in many villages in the province of San José de Ocoa like this one, El Rifle. Short-cycle plants slowly get phased out as the fruit trees grow and take over the land area. Project funded by HOPE International Development Agency, a Canadian non-profit helping ADESJO since its inception. Dominican Republic, July 9, 2014.
Racks of planters are being filled with soil mixture by hand. These racks will be used to grow tiny pine trees which will eventually cover the hills of province of San José de Ocoa, planted by ADESJO for reforestation projects. Soil mix contains only organic ingredients, including straw, coffee cask and recycled soil from ADESJO greenhouse projects. In Ricon Del Pino, Dominican Republic on July 7, 2014.
Hundreds of tiny pine trees peek their heads out of racks of planters filled with fertile organic soil mixture. In less than a few weeks these pine trees will reach 5–7 inches in height and will be removed out of their casing to be planted around the province of San José de Ocoa by ADESJO for reforestation. This project is developed in cooperation with the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry of Dominican Republic in Ricon Del Pino. Dominican Republic, July 7, 2014.
A Haitian field worker helps the community volunteers to clear out the weeds around the young pine trees planted by ADESJO near the village of Derrumbado, San José de Ocoa, to reforest the area. Haitians are estimated to make up more than 90% of agricultural workforce in Dominican Republic, majority of whom are living in the country without legal paperwork, trying to earn enough money to support their families back in troubled Haiti. July 10, 2014.
A foggy mountain top near the village of Los Guanos, showing off one of many restored forests in the province of San José de Ocoa by ADESJO. Three decades ago most hills in the area were treeless and dry, now the province is one of the greenest in Dominican Republic. Planting of just 1 hectare of trees yields 30 hectares of natural reforestation, accelerated as dried out water springs come back to life turning the area into a lush forest. July 1, 2014.
Miguel Bertrez, member of community of Derrumbado in San José de Ocoa, uses a shovel to clear the bark of a pine log at a sustainable lumber yard project by ADESJO. The wood cutting machinery for this project was granted to ADESJO and the community by Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO) worth more than 2,500,000 pesos in equipment and training. 20% of proceeds from this lumber yard will benefit the members of the local community, who will also be able to purchase wood at half price. The yard is expected to produce more than 270,000 ft of wood per year, for which there is a large market in the area. Dominican Republic on July 10, 2014.
Wood cutting machinery granted to ADESJO and the community of Derrumbado in San José de Ocoa by Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO) for a sustainable lumber production facility which will benefit many in the community and all around the province. ADESJO plans to use part of the wood produced by this yard for its housing projects much needed in more than 80 communities, saving an immense amount of money currently being spent on importing the wood from other areas. Dominican Republic on July 10, 2014.
A member of the community of La China in the province of San José de Ocoa poses proudly beside the truck filled with wood to be used to for housing construction for those in need. Since it started its work more than 5 decades ago, ADESJO has built houses for thousands of families, helping communities who are too poor, too distant and too inaccessible to do it by themselves. Many tropical storms, including the devastating hurricane David in 1979 and hurricane Noel in 2007, batter the island each season, and ADESJO is always there for the families affected by disaster, ready to rebuild and restore. Dominican Republic on July 10, 2014.