Land + Heart Project Founder
Teresa Lugo is a Boricua from the Chicago diaspora. Her parents were born and raised in Yauco, Puerto Rico. Teresa worked in public relations for more than a decade before deciding that the best situation for a trail blazer like herself was to start and own her own business. Teresa spent more than fifteen years running two clothing stores, dressing and transforming women's images. During that time she stood by the old adage that as you are given, you must give. Her “Can't Wear It, Share It” Campaign in her hometown raised money for students going off to college. Even her 40th birthday was dedicated to supplying computers for a school on the west side of Chicago. Teresa retired from the fashion industry and came to Puerto Rico to write a book on her life, when Hurricane Maria devastated the island and her life forever changed. Teresa formed a team from her hometown that consisted of teachers, firemen, and pastors, connected to a local grocery store and fed over a thousand families. When supplies ran low she hopped on the plane with two empty suitcases and brought back three 40-foot containers full of toiletries, clothes, shoes, water, and water filters for over a thousand families. After that year, she knew that giving was not enough to create a self-sustaining future in PR. As life would have it, she met a young woman passionate about permaculture named April Lea. Together they founded Land + Heart Project, a nonprofit organization committed to assisting the farmers in rebuilding farms through volunteerism program, creating eco friendly tours and create wide network of like minded women organizations “LHP” develops programs that teach techniques new and old, one family at a time. Teresa is most excited to support the Tainos in Guayanilla to help restore the school that Maria literally flattened out. The long term goal is to connect the diaspora now living on the island, aka the baby boomers, with the people on the island to experience the eco rebirth through travel experiences and volunteerism. Farm brigades sealed Teresa’s ties to the sustainable agriculture movement in Puerto Rico, showing her the importance of permaculture and eating organically as well as learn how important these families who are home-schooling their children, in order to keep the true history of our ancestral roots alive. Simply connecting to Mother Nature as the farms were cupped in the roots of the actual trees, was a transformative experience and sharing this connection, which is the “pulse” of the island with the diaspora and more has become the driving force of Teresa’s tireless work on behalf of Puerto Rican women and farmers. She has made it her mission to create powerful comradery and alliances with Boricua “guerreras” who have made it a point to spearhead programs in creating an eco friendly, self sustaining and healthy Puerto Rico!