Updated: Jul 21
Introducing our next project and direction started this summer: Generation Garden! We will be volunteering our time to help out those in need with their gardens at home, mainly focusing on those in the older population as well as anyone with any mental or physical health limitations.
Beautification & Healing
This expands our beautification and healing efforts into our own backyards! In order for new growth to occur, old brush needs to be cleared out. We clear out dead brush & growth, trim hedges, remove weeds, trash, gardening, and some slight organization.
This allows us to connect with the older generation as it is obvious that life after Covid-19 has swept in a new era. In addition, in the past 30 years, technology has made the gaps between each generation larger, and so many traditional and old time ways are naturally dying out. As they should, as the only constant is change. It is true that businesses, trends, historical events change.. However, being a human is timeless. We will always need human connection, we will always fight and forgive with family, get heart broken over our first love, fall on our face when we try something over and over again. When we're young, we get advice from other generations all the time, but we only truly understand when we go through similar things... but do we really need to suffer through similar lessons generation and generation over and over? Each chapter (family) we help, we hope to gain real-life, experience and lessons to pass down to generations.
Lastly, our last objective is to create a layer of resistance for gentrification. As the years go on, we've seen blocks of our city get purchased by large corporations and big landlords, resulting in the displacement of families and businesses in exchange for newer buildings, and higher paying tenants. In order for us "regular people" to keep our stake at the American dream, property ownership is essential, because when we are tenants, we have a lot less control and stability.
When a buyer is looking for land and it isn't kept at its best shape, this results in a lowball offer for the owner. Generation Garden will help add a layer of resistance to gentrification, restore the value of the property, or help the family get higher offers if they do decide that letting go of the house is best.
Chapter One: The Manrique Family, Echo Park
The first family we helped is the Manrique family of Echo Park who first moved to Los Angeles from the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico in 1968. We feel so blessed to be able to help them as the residence has been the home base for 4 generations and it's extra special to us that we're able to not only help a family in need as they are all older in age and some suffering from health ailments, but a family that has their roots so deeply rooted in our city of Los Angeles. As we cleaned, we were able to meet and learn about a number of family members, as it seemed having our company there was a bit of a catalyst for the family to complete fixing up, and organizing boxes of photos, trinkets, and family relics that they've previously started a few years back.
While we were cleaning, we learned that the Manrique family provided for themselves by making horchata in their own very backyard that we were currently cleaning. They told us stories how they would have to wake up as young boys as early as 5 in the morning to go to a nearby restaurant to use the rice grinder. Hours later, they'd return home to mix the all natural, hand-made horchata, and spend the rest of the day making local deliveries to families and restaurants. The Manrique family was able to expand into a restaurant, where they learned many of their life lessons and values from their father. As the sons and daughters grew older, they attended and graduated from schools in. Los Angeles, and professionally continued their roots into Los Angeles by holding positions with the city. It's important to note, that the Manrique brothers have been a part of LA Parks and Recreational since the late 80's!
At this point, one of the brothers still reside in the house, and the different family members takes turns taking care of their late parent's property when they can. During our first Generation Garden project here, we were able to fix up both the front, back, and side yards with tasks like trimming bushes, clearing brush, pulling weeds, discarding litter and bulk trash, gathering and raking leaves, and some light organization. Thank you to our volunteers for helping make this happen: Joanna, Amaraini, Perla, Jenabah, Pau, Chris, and Christian. It's also important to note that we received plant donations for the Garden at the Manrique house from The Sill, an amazing plant store located in West Hollywood. And lastly, have to thank the City of Los Angeles for providing the tools and trash bags for us that day. We couldn't be happier with how the day turned out, did you see our Instagram Post showing the Before and After?
Community, we're taking our time finding the right candidates for this service. This project is really about quality and intent, over quantity and we plan to keep continuing it as long as we keep finding appropriate candidates. A reminder, we're focusing on families who preferably but are not limited to, owning property in LA, suffer from mental or physical health ailments and could use our help clearing out their yard or making it more accessible. Can you let us know if anyone crosses your mind by filling out this form? Thank you!