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Garden of Hope


Malnutrition is a real problem in El Hato (where the Garden of Hope is based) and in many of the communities around Antigua.  For example, in surveys of the participants in our Garden-to-Kitchen cooking classes, we found that 77% of the participants don't have a stable income and 82% can't buy meat or fish regularly.


We seek to address this food insecurity by providing hands-on learning experiences that teach how to:

  • grow organic food

  • care for the soil

  • respect the environment

  • harvest

  • cook creatively and nutritiously

  • fertilize the soil naturally by composting

  • value native plant species.


The programs are for learners of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.​  Our El Hato programs include:


  • Garden-to-Kitchen Cooking Classes:  These free, weekly classes provide hands-on experience in incorporating homegrown vegetables into every-day cooking.  With a grant from Thrive Philanthropy, we are currently focusing on vegan dishes.  As a nutritional and healthy alterative to meat-based foods, vegan dishes are not only more environmentally sustainable but also less expensive.


  • Community Garden: The Garden of Hope provides a garden space where families can participate in a sustainable life cycle of planting, growing and harvesting food.  The garden features an outdoor picnic area, a kitchen, and a composting system.


  • Community Days: Once a month we run a day of fun and education in the Garden. An average of 30 people of all ages show up, help maintain and build in the garden, play garden related games, listen to music, paint, cook, and eat a healthy snack. When possible, each family leaves with a bundle of produce from the garden.  This long-running Garden of Hope program is currently being supported with a grant from ProVeg International.

When we can, we organize activities with individuals and groups from outside of El Hato. Possibilities include:

  • Tours: We love to show folks around our space! To get a tour of the Garden of Hope, please contact us.

  • Field Trips and Group Visits: We love hosting field trips and group visits!  Activities include: a tour, gardening workshops, cooking classes, art classes, and more!

  • Garden Consultations: The Garden of Hope wants to help you start your own school garden or community garden!  We are happy to consult for both the design and the programmatic elements of your project.

Please note: In order to make sure our activities are accessible to everyone, regardless of ability to pay, we ask that organizations make a donation commensurate with their resources and the value of the program they receive.

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Humane Education Approach


Our two projects, the Garden of Hope and the El Hato Literacy Center, share a common approach to teaching: the use of humane education.  Humane education is an "approach to teaching that draws connections between human rights, animal protection, and environmental sustainability with the goal of preparing people to be compassionate ...".  When students struggle with relationships, we encourage them to strive to understand others and engage in peaceful discourse. We incorporate readings, videos, and games that reinforce the benefit of this compassionate approach to interacting with the environment, animals and other people.

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