Vimenti and Notre Dame University alums create vegetable gardens for Vimenti School

San Juan, PR (April 27, 2024) - As part of the celebration of Planet Earth Week, students and alums of Notre Dame University, along with volunteers from Foodscapes Caribe, joined Vimenti staff, families, volunteers, and partners to create an edible garden and an aromatic garden at the center's facilities. The activity is also part of Notre Dame's global day of community service activities.

'Having the opportunity to support and assist Vimenti at our Notre Dame Global Day of Community Service has been a wonderful experience for all participants. Serving and giving our best to others in need is special. Thank you all for the support given,' shared Alex Armas, community service coordinator of the Puerto Rico Notre Dame Club.

The Vimenti I facilities, located in the Ernesto Ramos Antonini public housing project, has an edible garden with eggplant, carrot, tomato, scallion, radish, green lettuce, purple and green cabbage, arugula, basil, cilantro, onion, sweet pepper, and recao seedlings. The Vimenti II facilities, located on Calle Felipe Gutiérrez in Villa Prades, has an aromatic garden with miramelindas, begonias, recao, cilantrillo, onion, scallions, sweet pepper, arugula, green cabbage, and purple cabbage seedlings. These spaces will serve as outdoor classrooms where students and their families can explore concepts in science, math, language arts, social studies, health, and nutrition while cultivating a deeper connection to nature and community.

This effort was the brainchild of Sherleen Camilo, a parent and participant in the Vimenti Family Council. 'I proposed this project because I wanted to improve the quality of life for the children during their time at school, especially after dealing with last year's heat waves. I am thrilled and grateful to see the school and families come together to realize this dream, creating a garden that benefits our children and strengthens our school community in Vimenti,' explained Camilo.

The third-grade students of Vimenti School will be the pilot classroom for this effort and will be responsible for maintaining both spaces. In addition to planting seedlings, participants donated their time to clean and paint classrooms and exteriors, and family games and activities were included for Vimenti participants.

'This project is a living example of our families being at the center of Vimenti. We are so grateful for the Notre Dame alumni group's great effort, hard work, and invaluable help in making it a reality,' concluded Tania Baez, Vimenti's partnerships director.

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"My experience at Vimenti has been very gratifying. For me, it was an experience I truly needed in my life. Vimenti helped me recover my confidence and define goals for myself."

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