Mediavilla Home for the Aging in Humacao. This housing complex is the focal point of an urban garden project, proposed by Our Taino Land League (Liga Guakia Taina ke). The project will serve as a model or pilot for other similar urban gardens that will dot the Humacao urban and rural landscapes. The urban garden model known as Naguake uses indigenous agroforestry methods in an attempt to restore the ancestral or cultural landscape of Humacao and other parts of the eastern region.
University of Puerto Rico at Humacao students carried out a socio-environmental field study in Mediavilla Community to determine the viability of developing an urban garden in the five acre parcel of land adjacent the housing complex. The investigation was led by Professor Carlalynne Melendez, Director of Our Taino Land League.
Study results reveal that the majority (73.2%) of the residents participating in the survey support the project. Another 58.9% said that they were willing to participate in the project.
Practicing democracy. As part of the Naguake project, Our Taino Land Land League organized several meetings to empower residents to form a Community Board of Directors and work committees. Community empowerment is an important aspect of the work the organization carries out in the eastern region of Puerto Rico.
Residents show their support for the Naguake Urban Garden ad Our Land League in a meeting held in april 2010.
THE NAGUAKE URBAN FARM-GARDEN
MEDIAVILLA COMMUNITY - HUMACAO
Naguake Urban Farm-Garden Concept Plan
Indigenous Theme Park. As part of the Naguake project, a Taino Theme Park will be be developed in order to recreate the cultural landscape of the region. The Theme Park also serves as a Ceremonial Center for special cultural activities based on our indigenous traditions.
Elders take to the airwaves to let their voices be heard. Here Elders participate in the radio program "Guakia Inkayeke Ahiyaka" (Our Community Speaks), which airs Sundays at 9:30am (local time) . The program is the first indigenous program dedicated to the revival of Taino language and culture
Our Taino Land League is encouraging senior citizens of the Humacao region to participate in Urban Farm-Garden Program, as a means to occupy their leisure time. It has been well documented that gardening and other outdoors activities has beneficial effects on people of all ages. Our organization is involving several senior citizens housing complexes to participate in the program including: Ryder House and Colinas de Ryder.
A plot of land cultivated with native food crops adjacent Colinas de Ryder. Many of the residents in these housing complexes are retired agricultural farmers or lived in rural communities. Many welcome the Naguake program as a means to improve the quality of life in their communities.