Earth Day 2021

On this Earth Day, we celebrate our planet and the life it gives us all. Rain, air, clouds, trees, food and so much more!

Yet the planet is at the edge of a catastrophic change. 

In Venezuela, greed and political corruption are decimating the precious ecosystem necessary for life sustainability. The Amazon region is being abused at unprecedented rates as irresponsible gold mining destroys vast sections of the jungle. The majority of illicitly mined gold is exported overseas from Venezuela as contraband and is later formalized into the global market, with the Maduro regime extracting many of the benefits. At nearly every step in the mining process, state security forces take a cut, fueling what is now one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The UN has asked Venezuela to dismantle crime gangs running gold mines in the Amazon. “Authorities should take immediate steps to end labor and sexual exploitation, child labor and human trafficking, and should dismantle criminal groups controlling mining activities,” Michelle Bachelet, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement.

In this precarious situation, the Next Step Venezuela team is doing its part to make a difference. Committed to the restoration of the soil as part of the wholistic healing of the nation, they are following farming practices that nurture the soil and the results have been outstanding!

They are rotating crops and right now they are harvesting strawberries. The results are encouraging as the soil, when properly cared for, returns bountiful harvests. As an example, instead of using plastic to cover the surrounding areas they are using local straw. 

Venezuela’s needs are huge and can look insurmountable yet Abihail and his colleagues are partnering with other communities passing on seeds and skills to make a difference in another community. 

Honoring Earth, we honor the Creator and love ourselves.