I came to Fruit Haven in December 2018 to volunteer. I have been on a fruit based diet since 2016 and a traveler since late 2015. I loved traveling on this diet because there’s fruit sold almost everywhere and it is the easiest way to stay healthy while on the road, I visited many countries that are known to have low hygiene and travelers getting sick from the food, such as India and Nepal but it wasn’t a concern for me because fruit has a natural protection around it and the peel can be taken off before eating.
But as much as I loved the many countries I traveled through, the amazing places and experiences, the people and unique fruits each country had to offer, I was still feeling that I wanted to be closer to like-minded people like myself that want to eat a fruit based diet. As much as I loved explaining my lifestyle, diet and its benefits to the people I was meeting, I was getting bored of it and wanted to be with people that already knew why fruit is amazing and growing it is the best thing we can do.
That’s what led me to search the internet for a fruit loving raw vegan community. And while there were a number of them, Fruit Haven stuck out the most and resonated with me the best. I think it was a combination of Peter’s videos explaining why he chose this part of Ecuador and the group land buy idea was interesting to me.
Volunteering was fun, I learned a lot about permaculture food forest and growing fruit – orchard style managed farming and many things from Peter and Kevin. We had many community bananas and papayas, seasonal fruit like peanut butter fruit, citrus, iniaku and more. There weren’t so many volunteers at first but they started to come in after my arrival and the next several months and we grew quickly to around 17 people at the peak back then.
We shared work and fruit meals, trips to the markets and foraging local fruit was a lot of fun. From waterfalls to planting and weeding and learning and growing both fruit and ourselves.
We were very excited with the first annual Amazon Fruit Festival that January of 2019 at sister community Terra Frutis which is about an hour away.
Working together was fun with others and we learned from each other. Meeting the people that came from many corners of the world so I didn’t feel the need to travel anymore because they come to us and we enjoy learning about each other’s cultures.
After some months, around February 2019 I had decided to buy land and the opportunity came up to buy a 5% share of FH1, so I started the process. First filling out the trustee questionnaire, then once accepted going to the notary, then the paperwork and money transfer. A few weeks (or a month) later my name was on the title and I started planting my first trees on my private lot, using the same techniques that I learned from my time volunteering. I was borrowing community tools at first, which made it much easier to get started before I can buy my own tools.
This year I have built a cabin and planted many more fruit trees, enjoying my own home grown fruit and community lifestyle is a great balance!
Come check us out! https://youtu.be/