Hello dear soul!
I am writing as I sit with our dear friend Fabian, a 14 year old native to this area who has been working alongside us, working incredibly hard, motivating and teaching our community. He wishes you well and tells you “bienvenidos a Maya Point” or “Welcome to Maya Point” in English.
I want to express how our lives, work, passion, and learning are progressing and transforming here in Panama at the Maya Point Project.
The past month has been flowing wonderfully, with passionate interns, connected projects, abundance from the Earth granting us the ability to continue to grow and flourish in this endeavor. We are working incredibly hard and learning, resting, singing, teaching, and growing all along the way. We are seeing the fruits and already feeling and teaching the benefits of these incredible projects, which connects us all to the meaning and inspiration behind each step forward, each bag of cow manure hauled, each deeper connection.
Here are some of the projects which are blossoming forth as I sit here with Fabian and write this, feeling deep gratitude for all that is:
Mango season has begun!! We are incredibly blessed with a mass surplus of mangos here at Maya Point (we use them in abundance in every meal). We have more mangos than we could ever eat, as they ripen from the trees and fall in huge numbers.
This is a problem in our local community, as surpluses of tree crops often times rot and are not fully utilized due to their prolific numbers. But we have a solution! Thus, we started design and construction of our first solar dehydrator. This is a device which utilizes the sun’s heat and the natural flow of cold air coming in, heating up inside, and leaving at the top of the system. These systems are incredibly needed as they allow people to dehydrate food in a low impact and replicable way, ensuring food security further by preserving the harvest.
This is our first prototype and it is working effectively. We built this first system using 95% recycled materials we had access to on the island, and are actively creating an accessible and easy to understanding step by step construction booklet and workshop. We are already enjoying the fruits (or dried fruits) of this wonderful project.
We are growing in our volunteer capacity and are connecting and hosting more and more dedicated, talented, passionate people week by week. We are growing. Fast. Due to these blessings, we are needing to expand our composting toilet capabilities, so we can have both ensure ecologically safe sanitation, and create rich, renewable compost for our food production projects. We are in the process of creating a new compost toilet facility (or palace) which will be beautiful, functional, and serve as an easily replicable model for implementation in our local area. Sanitation is a major problem in many communities and families throughout the world, and we are blessed to be able to build and implement a compost system.
It is designed and being built by our wonderful team of international volunteers, program directors, and the local native population of this area. Here are some of the photos of it going up!
Our mushroom cultivation project is up and growing!! We are incredibly excited to bring this experiment and project into being. Our mycologist Raskal Turbeville has arrived and we instantly got to work. Following through on our intention to produce edible and medicinal mushrooms while utilizing an agricultural byproduct, we have created a cacao husk oyster mushroom cultivation bed. This is a location where our inoculated cacao husks will serve as food for the mycelium, which will fruit, producing nutrient rich edible mushrooms for our community. This project is an amazing addition to our scope of work and application, as we will be able to implement this program in many other family cacao farms in our area, giving them a regenerative nutritional and economic advantage. We will update our findings, data, and production.
Our community is growing and our health, quality of life, connectedness, and resilience are being practiced and strengthened. It is very important in a community of hard working and dedicated people to take time to rest, gather, teach, center and share. We have been doing and continue to create weekly yoga classes, story-telling days, spanish lessons and cross cultural workshops with our local community. We are inspiring and cultivating honesty, knowledge, and inspiration in our community, and doing what we can to spread these blessings outward.
This last week was a cohesive, productive, and balanced work week. We achieved quite a bit. One of the most exciting (and yummy) parts of the week was our cacao harvest where we broke a Maya Point record!!! We collected one and a half five gallon buckets full of the delicious superfood we are blessed to cultivate here on the island. It is fermenting as we speak and will be set out to dry in 2 days. Along with harvesting, we completed a large amount of tree care which entails pruning, mulching, and observation. We will be blessed with LOTS of chocolate soon enough.
These are just some highlights from last week, and we have many more exciting and beautiful projects, occurrences, connections, and breathtaking realizations and re-awakenings happening here at Maya Point.
Please connect with us to further learn how you can get more involved and deepen our mutual understanding and experiences.
We are here. We are working and learning, living and implementing solutions we feel will create positive cycles of regeneration and rebirth here in our part of the world, sending ripples into the wider ocean of hope we all know is ever there.
Thank you for your energy, intention, collaboration, connection, and love.
We are honored to work with you .
Salud y mucho gratitud familia!
Author, Daniel Cherniske
Maya Point Permaculture Program Director and Vice President