I work as a gardener. I have worked work on an organic farm and in community gardens in the city. I strongly believe in organic agricultural methods and so I tend not to loan to projects where the money is used to buy chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Agricultural chemicals do a lot of damage to the soil and can be quite dangerous for the people using them. There are many organic methods to improve the quality of the soil. I think that development and sustainability must include health, ecological and environmental concerns. I want to support traditional methods that may have been lost in the process of colonization and I don't want to support the chemical and financial traps that many small farmers can fall into; needing money to buy more chemical fertilizer because it actually depletes the soil's natural nutrients. These aren't always easy decisions to make.
I have decided to support sustainable practices, agriculturally and in other endeavours. My first loan was to an electronics store in Nicaragua but I realized that isn't how I want to participate, I don't need to create more electronic refuse for the vast landfills in Central America (or anywhere else for that matter). I lived in Central America, I have seen the landfills.
So here's to sustainable best practices and local traditional knowledge. I am also interested in supporting artistic endeavors. One loan I made was to support a Mayan women in Mexico who does traditional embroidery. In general the indigenous peoples are not well treated. Having travelled in Mexico and Central America, I admire the peoples, their hard work and their desire to be respected for who they are, their history and their future.