Total loan: $9,000


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Yabucoa, PR, Puerto Rico / Agriculture

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A loan helped to develop small regenerative farm in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico.

Salva's story

Born and raised on the shores of Puerto Rico, my interest in agriculture came through my early life connection to the ocean and my later understanding that our island's ecosystems are profoundly connected from ridge to reef. The realization that the way we treat the soils repercutes over every aspect of our society took me from law school graduation (where I focused on environmental and agricultural issues) straight to a master's degree in Agroecology and Rural Sustainability. For the last decade, I’ve dedicated both my professional and personal life to improving Puerto Rico’s smallholder economy and food system. In the public sphere, I worked in the Department of Agriculture of PR where I headed the Fisheries Program and represented this vital socio-economic sector, and later in Puerto Rico’s Model Forest Office as a consultant for agroecology and rural development. After hurricane María, I worked as a Sustainable and Fisheries Specialist for Mercy Corps Puerto Rico where I spearheaded recovery efforts to support farmers, fishermen, and beekeepers in the southeastern area of PR. Currently, I am part of the Para la Naturaleza (local NGO focused on conservation and education) team where I’ve had the opportunity to develop the agroecology program of the Organization supporting many efforts to improve Puerto Rico’s agriculture and food systems. This has allowed me to work in long-term strategies to improve the small agroecological farmer economy and food system in Puerto Rico. Convinced that the best way to produce change is to lead by example, I started a small perennial-fruit family farm on the island of Culebra which is now starting to bear fruit. This practical experience led me to associate with my good friend Nick Isett (right) to start a commercial regenerative farm in the southeastern town of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico.