March 20, 2017

A leaf from:

This Broken Land of Promise:

A Chronicle of Conservation in the Hispaniolan Border Country

Franklin Manuel Pérez, our Tree Bank Nursery Assistant, lost his father in February. Beato Pérez — or “Caco,” as everyone called him — was a short, soft-spoken man who never seemed to have a bad word to say about anyone.

Caco was a heavy smoker. He liked to roll his own cigarettes from a tin of coarse, harsh tobacco. He died of lung cancer at the age of 65.

Frankie’s mother, Ana Lucia Luciano, is dying of cancer now. She is also in her sixties. She plans to spend her final weeks in her sister’s house in Restauración, a handsome little town just a few miles up the road from Los Cerezos, the community where the Tree Bank is based. Her cancer seems to have origin...

March 13, 2017

A leaf from:

This Broken Land of Promise:

A Chronicle of Conservation in the Hispaniolan Border Country

It has been more than a decade since Matt, Lisa, and I took our first trip to the Dominican Republic, to visit the rumpled northern flank of Hispaniola’s Cordillera Central mountain range, just a few miles from the border with Haiti. Lisa is my wife; she and I founded the Sangha in 1997. Matt is our son and colleague. He was still in high school at the time of that trip; today he is the Sangha’s Conservation Manager. Our destination was the little municipality of Los Cerezos, up amidst the mountain ridges, deep in the countryside. There we met with our Peace Corps colleague Tommy Ventre, our Dominican colleague Gaspar Pérez Aquino, and a group of local farme...

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