El Rio de Sueños
About two years ago, Joe Brewer secretly dug a one meter wide swale at the Bioparque Móncora above Barichara. The Bioparque is a reforestation project started 12 years ago by several community members avid to give the many local tree species a reliable home. It is held by a group of people in common and is open to the public to enjoy the views, take refuge in the shade and learn more about the many different species on display. But Joe thought he could do more, so after he waited for the first rain to be caught in his small ditch, he contacted the owners and asked: look how well this is working, should we dig some more? He has been taking out grass ever since, aided by more and more volunteers. We are building the Rio de Sueños, the River of Dreams, a meandering canal with occasional half-moon swales with lots of tree species planted in their berms. Our motto: make it dense.
Below the Rio de Sueños is a Syntropic Agroforestry Field Site which was created during a workshop in April 2022. Following the strategy "dense, denser, the densest" once more we created several rows with local water capturing succulent species, seed-bombs including nitrogen-fixing legumes, local fruit trees and shrubs, and various plants planted directly through branches. Over the last months we were busy keeping the invasive grass growth under control to permit the local plants to create a live plant-cover over the unsettled soil and watches the Canavalia beans, Nopal cacti and Yuca sticks grow a few centimeters a week.