St. Elias Project: Carmelite Plantation
The Project as a whole is actually called “Proyecto San Elias.” Included in this are a finca/plantation of various crops but primarily coffee which will be marketed in various locations of the province as a source of funding for the province and our work in El Salvador.
Purchased in order to provide a stable, long-term income for the Carmelite ministries in El Salvador, the finca has undergone considerable upgrading in the past year. Some of the clearing and cleaning has been done by the Carmelite students themselves.
Strengthening the Finca’s Future
To further strengthen the St. Elias Project finca we are hoping to do the following:
The purchase and planting of 400 avocado trees over the next two years; along with trees already present on the finca, 40,000 avocados will be produced within 2 years and 70,000 in subsequent years;
The purchase and planting of 3000 coffee plants. Along with current healthy plants on the property, these plants will produce 5,000 pounds of coffee next year with 154,000 pounds in subsequent years as the new, young plants mature.
The purchase and planting of 100 plants of squash.
The purchase and planting of 40 papaya plants.
Other Aspects of the Project
In addition to the farm-related goals, our St. Elias project also hopes to
Construct the “Centro de Capatación” which is an adult education or training center. This open-air building will allow various groups to come together to learn improved techniques in crops, animal husbandry, as well as topics of religious and spirituality.
Construct a small chapel providing a fantastic view of the surrounding wooded hills during quiet visits as well as during liturgical celebrations near the Centro de Capatación.
Bathrooms, as well as a small office and an “apartment”, will also be constructed on the property. The apartment will have a bedroom and small sitting room, providing space for a visiting Carmelite.
Provide housing for the finca guardian and family. When we purchased the property, a family had been living on the property, providing some security. However, their living quarters had fallen into disrepair. The Carmelites are funding some upgrades to their home, including the acquisition of some furniture like beds.
Positively impact the local economy. The work in the finca is providing full-time work for four families and part-time work for ten families. In the area, with its tremendous poverty, this economic impact is significant on the local economy.