The Ninos Con Bendicion Vegetable Garden Project
In 2019, For The Love of Mateo officially started supporting Ninos Con Bendicion by committing to cover the salaries for three full-time gardeners as well as donating funds every four months to cover the cost of seeds and fertilizers. The salary for a gardener is $272 a month which is currently not covered through monthly sponsors, so FTLOM has been paying for this out of pocket. The goal is to add sponsors to help cover the cost of the three salaries each month.
The idea for the garden started in 2012 when Tino and Lesbi went to a public institution named Charities from Brother Peter to pick up some medicines. While visiting, they saw some people donating vegetables that weren’t fresh, as they came from vendors who donated the leftover veggies which they didn’t sell that day.
Tino & Lesbi, the founders of Ninos Com Bendicion, thought that if they could get some land where they could plant fruits and veggies, then they could donate them to this hospital. They hoped to get to the point where they could help many public hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, families of the children in their after school program, as well as disabled or elderly community members.
In 2014 someone offered to sell them a piece of land and, with God’s help and generous donors, they were able to buy it! God's plan for this project turned out to be much bigger than they dreamed, initially they started planting beans. Prior to For the Love of Mateo’s involvement, they paid for the seeds and fertilizers out of their pocket. Around 2017 they started asking mission teams that would visit for their help and this enabled them to afford seeds and fertilizer to plant a variety of vegetables and to be able to use all the land they had.