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Our Creators

Land + Heart Project Founders

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April Lea

Guanica, PR

Teresa Lugo

Yauco, PR

Patricia Rodriguez Romaguera

Rio Grande, PR

 

April Lea

Guanica, PR

April Lea learned natural foods and medicinal plants in the independent and cooperative retail business, studying constantly and growing over a decade into a manager, marketer, administrator, educator, naturopathy specialist, and program developer in Kennett Square and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When her family relocated to southwest Puerto Rico in 2016, April had begun a community education and consulting business with her love for naturals education, interconnected health, biochemistry, economics, sociology, and revolutionary business models. She knew that permaculture and cooperatives meant fair, permanent restoration for the island. Hurricane Maria turned a five-year plan into a five-month plan, and Land + Heart Project was born. April loves Puerto Rico more than words for its gentility, humanity, and the deep relationship between people and land.

Teresa Lugo

Yauco, PR

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!

Patricia Rodriguez Romaguera

Rio Grande, PR

"Born and raised in San Juan Puerto Rico, I studied Mass Communication in Boston where I met my German ex. After graduation we moved to Durban, South Africa, made a Certificate in Travel and Tourism of Southern Africa and consequently worked in safaris and hostel reception. Some years later I moved to Germany where I stayed for 12 years. In Bavaria I learned all about growing food, but it was in Aachen where I finally grew up. I got involved with Fair Trade as a volunteer at the World-shop Aachen planning film and and One World Forum events, while making a living teaching English to college students from various nationalities. Life changes and so in 2014 I was officially back in my hometown. I volunteered at La Chiwinha promoting fair trade, at El Departamento de la Comida shop, at Visit Rico promoting Agrotourism, post-María educating at public schools about Basura Cero PR and at El Almacén, our off-grid DIY-makerspace in Santurce. Currently, I enjoy teaching English as a second language and serve on the board of directors of several projects. This summer I’m helping to develop Puerto Rico’s first international Congreso de Economía Solidaria y Social. All of this with plenty of music in the background to keep me sane through the stresses.


As I represent many organisations here in Puerto Rico and around the world, I’d like to educate the public on an urgent theme that can be a fair conclusion to all our post-María efforts: Fair Trade Tourism."

 

Land + Heart Project has been made possible by the support, love, encouragement, and donations of countless people in our lives. THANK YOU. We carry your love to the island in all we do.