Please Contribute to Panoramic Fruit's GoFundMe & Help Me Save the Farm
For the past 25 years, I have owned and operated an exotic fruit farm in western Puerto Rico, employing six island residents and supplying fruit to the island as well as the mainland. Hurricane Maria hit my farm and so many others in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, wiping out half of my producing trees—and also my income from them. In December of 2017, I applied for help from the USDA and the PR Department of Agriculture and finished the last forms in September, 2018. Many months later, I am not sure if anything will happen. I cannot afford to wait much longer for help that may never arrive. I am looking for funds to save my farm and the year-round jobs of six people, enabling me to continue supporting agriculture and tree fruit production in an area that is physically and financially devastated, has few jobs and very little opportunity for relief. Building on what is left of the farm I would use these funds to get it back to its previous state or even expand if it is possible. This would enable me to provide additional tons of locally grown and nutritious fruit to hundreds of thousands of people each year in an area where most of the food is shipped in from off the island. If you can help:
I do not want to lose the people working for me who help me grow food for Puerto Ricans and people in the states. The farm is in an area so remote that there are probably no other jobs, as there are very few businesses—and fewer still after Hurricane Maria. Without this job, my employees would have to move away. Hundreds of thousands of people have left Puerto Rico already. Many will return, but to what? I am hoping to make a minimum five-year commitment to the restoration of the farm, the replanting of thousands of lost trees, and the ongoing maintenance of an on-island grown food source—but I cannot afford to do this using only my savings. The funds acquired would go towards new trees, wages, and the tasks and supplies required maintaining this fruit farm in the middle of the jungle. I would make up the rest out of pocket.
I have never done this before. I've never asked for money since creating the farm 25 years ago. I've never asked people to support me, but it's now or never, and this is a farm I can only restore with your help. Over the last decade, I have given small tours of what this paradise came to be, and many were grateful to come back over and over. I would expand this in the years ahead and share it with contributors, allowing them to see what their gift of money grew into. Before Hurricane Maria, it was a splendid expanse of colors, sounds, and perfume smells of flowering trees and fruit. With your help, it can be heaven on earth again. Please take a look at this video, it was taken after the Hurricane Maria damage but still shows a beautiful are of rolling hills in the tropical jungle of Western Puerto Rico.
I am still in a holding pattern with the USDA and hope that they can help. The surviving trees look great—there has been heavy rain and what is left of the farm looks very healthy. Thanks to all of you for what you have given. I am not giving up, and with help, I can rebuild this place. My thanks to all.