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info@earthsangha.org | 703.333.3022

April 3, 2017

A leaf from:

This Broken Land of Promise:

A Chronicle of Conservation in the Hispaniolan Border Country

The Tree Bank is about to acquire more land. Cosme and Manolo, the program’s Co-Directors, have given me preliminary information on new program sites. If their estimates hold up, the following three initiatives will benefit.

1. Our Bosques Rentables (“Profitable Forests”) project, begun in pilot form last year, will add about six acres on four farms, bringing total land area enrolled in this initiative to about 10 acres on nine farms.

Bosques Rentables is intended to restore native forest canopy on low-value, deforested farmland. Enrolled areas are planted with native tree seedlings grown at the Tree Bank nurseries. Once those trees begin to cast some shade —...

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...

October 19, 2015


Photo: Commerce in the campo! The interior of a country store in Los Cerezos.


The Tree Bank’s first “Information Harvest” has finally come in! Last March, for the first time, we surveyed all of the farmers in the Tree Bank Hispaniola program, to gather uniform data on their households and farms. We have now organized their responses, and I attempt an interpretive summary below.


The Tree Bank Hispaniola works along part of the Dominican Republic / Haiti border, on the Dominican side, to conserve native forest and improve the incomes of the region’s small-holder farmers. For a description of the program, visit the Tree Bank page.


Why We Did This Survey


The Tree Bank was founded in 2006. As the program has grown, so has our interest in measuring its results....

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