Family kitchen gardens from JPIC in pandemic times

I am Mariana de Jesus Oñate Bayas, an Ecuadorian woman who has been part of the Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas Community for the last 9 months.

Briefly, I will share what has influenced me to start the family urban kitchen gardens:

  • I was raised in the countryside. Mi mother cultivated and loved her land.
  • In this year, the Centenary of our Founding Father, we have focused on his experience: “He worked with his own hands in the vegetable garden; he raised animals for surviving in the community…he begged for the solidarity of some people to attend poor people’s necessities…
  • The words of Pope Francis in Laudato Si in June 2015: “we should not think that these efforts are not going to change the world. These actions spilled benefits on a society that always produces fruits beyond what could be confirmed, because they provoke in the heart of this land a benefit that tends to spread, sometimes in an invisible way…”


  1. Inviting people who wish to participate.
  2. Managing seeds, fertilizers, and counselling in the city hall.
  3. Accepting initiatives that are proposed.
  4. Establishing strategic relationships with people and entities that have experience on this field.
  5. Making an intercongregational process as Dominicans.
  6. Searching for economic resources to obtain tools and supplies to promote an ecological production.
  7. Systematizing the experience and elaborating simple and didactic training material.


  1. To contribute to improve families’ diet.
  2. To help domestic economy, which is deteriorated due to COVID19 crisis.
  3. To promote solidary organization.
  4. To get an ecological production.
  5. To build together in a free and voluntary way: “Beautiful and tasty family kitchen gardens”

It is also a ludic space for sharing. It helps us to grow in our spiritual dimension: “With nature we grow in faith by trusting that the smallest seed that we cultivate will sprout, grow and flourish.” (Ted O’Neal). To cultivate the kitchen gardens makes us to feel participants of the Creation.

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