Travel brochures depicting sparkling blue waters and swaying palm trees belie the severe environmental degradation, corrupt governments, and deadly tropical storms that are endemic to the Caribbean. In Haiti and the Dominican Republic, widespread deforestation has led to compromised soil fertility. The land has stopped producing, and as a result, thousands of subsistence farmers have become dependent on revenues from cutting forest trees, locking them into a cycle of poverty and deforestation. Plant With Purpose reverses the cycle by making environmental restoration a profitable endeavor, simultaneously improving farmers’ livelihoods and restoring the land on which they depend. With the help of Plant With Purpose, farmers in the Caribbean have planted more than three million trees—restoring watersheds, reviving water sources, and improving health and nutrition by creating income opportunities.
In the Dominican Republic, Plant With Purpose works to help local farmers set up savings led microcredit groups, initiate community tree nurseries, participate in reforestation efforts, and maximize local markets with the construction of a sawmill, oregano dryers, and marketing initiatives. Through revolving loan funds, Plant With Purpose has granted over 2,000 microcredit loans for farmers to improve their farms, invest in their land, or start other sustainable enterprises. Thousands of farmers in 47 Dominican communities are being empowered to provide for their families and overcome poverty, transforming their lives, their land, and their communities.
Click here to read an article about our work on the border of the DR and Haiti.
Plant With Purpose began providing agricultural and economic assistance to several communities south of Port-au-Prince in 1997. Since then, Plant With Purpose has expanded into 70 communities in three different regions, and has established a program that includes training in innovative agriculture techniques, reforestation, micro-credit, and marketing assistance for a growing number of rural Haitian communities. Hundreds of miles of soil conservation barriers have been constructed to hold much-needed soil in place and help protect families from the devastating effects of frequent tropical storms. Plant With Purpose also provided temporary relief following the January 12th earthquake, setting up a "Cash for Work" program, distributing seeds and rice, and setting up reforestation, soil erosion barrier construction, and road repair projects.