Since around 1996 i have been going to help a certain group of people in the mountains of South Central Jamaica. We help them in many ways such as houses, medical clinics and many practical ways. The houses we are now building are approx. 12′ x 16′. No kitchen, bath, electric, or running water. Often a family moves in — grateful to have a fine new shelter. The last three years i have been very involved directing the building of greenhouses where we raise sweet peppers and tomatoes. This provides employment for some Jamaicans in an area where there can be more than 70% unemployment. This last year i designed and directed the building of our new initiative. We are going to raise Tilapia fish. There are many obstacles to overcome…. especially since there are no streams, lakes, or wells where we serve.
I have been asked if i might post information and pictures on my site to help describe our mission. There seem to be many who would like to help “teach people to fish”.. rather than just give them a fish.
Double click each picture for large view!
The picture to the left shows some of our crop of tasty peppers. In one of our 170 ft greenhouses.
The center picture shows us assembling a ‘rotating biofilter’. Where water is precious we need to use this to keep the water from becoming toxic. Four of these large filters were handmade by common ‘lumber yard’ materials — fashioned in the States and lugged down in boxes aboard airplanes by team members.
The picture at right shows some of the tanks we built to hold breeder fish, fingerlings, and even a shrimp tank. Several thousand fish will soon be grown here – providing work for Jamaicans as well as nutritious food.
I just returned (June) from another great trip. All the tanks are filled with the pumps and filter systems running smoothly. I had the fun of helping stock some of the over 2000 “Red Snapper” tilapia fingerlings. Now (Aug 16) we harvested some of our fish to feed a mission group that has given a large donation to this project. You can see one of the fish all cleaned and ready for the fry pan. Jamaicans often eat the heads too–as did a few brave souls on this team from Olean, NY!! In two pictures you can see an example of the filtration racks i built. We hope to grow lettuce in them as well as provide a system to help clean the precious water. Remember this is in the mountains…. there are no streams, lakes or ponds there. This is a true example of ‘recirculating aquaculture.’ We hope to harvest and market our first full crop of tilapia this September. The Jamaicans cannot wait. Next come the ‘Swims.’ That’s patwa for jumbo shrimp Bubba!!
You can see many more pictures in the gallery of the Won by One link i have here to the left and on my home page.