Transforming a community garbage dump into something extraordinary!

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If a snake or a frog happens to be nearby while you are taking a walk with Maria Silvia, you better be sure that she’ll pick it up to analyze up close!

Maria Silvia is an independent, inquiring, somewhat quiet girl who plays the guitar and loves listening to Celtic music. She has a passion for the outdoors and animals of all sorts.

Along with her sister, Marisol, Maria Silvia has been involved in her family’s urban permaculture project for close to 14 years now.

The two sisters and their parents have transformed a community garbage dump in Havana known as ‘Los Piños’, into a charming finca – a piece of extremely fertile land where a variety of native trees and shrubs now grow freely and provide compost for future generations of plants.

It has been a long, toiling process for the family but their objective is to reach a point where the finca will enable self-sustainable food production for their family unit.

Plantains, bananas, mangos and nuts are plentiful. The family farm has also become a cultural space for the community and has hosted countless neighbourhood gatherings and cultural celebrations.

Leading by example, Maria Silvia’s family has really encouraged more pro-environmental norms in the community and alternative mutual understandings of our relationship to the environment.

We asked Maria Silvia to answer with a word the equation ‘Team Work + Environment = Her answer is ‘progress’.

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