Our Favorite Eco-Living Tips

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For many organic lovers, one of the greatest appeals is the decreased impact on the environment. If you’ve been curious on how to lead an even more eco-friendly life, check out this video for a few of our favorite green living tips.

Organic Bananas Giving Back

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I’m sure you’re familiar with the age-old adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but apples have nothing on bananas.  So, what can a banana do?  When you buy a case from Organics Unlimited, quite a lot!

One load a week of bananas goes a long way, and we’re not just talking about nutrition.  Part of the proceeds from GROW bananas are used to fund Project Amigo in Mexico. Founded more than 30 years ago, Project Amigo is a program designed to aid the people of the Mexican state of Colima where many Organics Unlimited’s GROW bananas are grown.  There are many ways in which the funds are administered, but let’s follow the paths the proceeds from a single container of GROW bananas can follow in the donations to Project Amigo. 

Our first stop is to the University, where 7 scholarships are awarded to deserving students without the resources for a higher education.  For those struggling to make ends meet, simply having a scholarship is often not enough.  That’s why these GROW students are also provided room and board, allowing them to focus on their studies without having to worry about the additional stress of paying for campus housing.

But these aren’t the only students to potentially benefit from Project Amigo.  Another avenue our resources might take is to the high school and middle school.  Here, 50 scholarships are awarded to students in need.  As part of this scholarship, students are given school supplies, tutoring, life skills, transportation and even a hot meal each day.

Next, we’ll head to the Study Center.  Proceeds from GROW bananas are vital for the support and maintenance of this institution.  Money is used not only for the facility itself but also to fund its staff.  With violence on the rise, a place where students can go to feel safe, learn and better themselves becomes all the more important.  Here at the study center, learning and education is the number one priority, but the center also helps with neighborhood programs in order to foster a greater sense of community. The Study Center has two full time employees to help students of all ages, monitor the computer center, and facilitate health and nutrition programs for the community as well. 

As we continue our journey, we come to Casa Amiga, a housing facility for university students who may live too far from campus to commute daily.  Housing is obviously critical to anyone’s well-being, but the facility isn’t limited merely to that.  Students at Casa Amigo receive three meals a day, they have a “house mother” who looks after their well-being, computer and study facilities, and counseling help for those who need it.  Here you’ll also see students receiving tutoring assistance to help them advance from academia to be prosperous leaders in their chosen fields in the community.

Our last stop brings us to a local hospital.  As vital as education and housing are, health concerns are equally important.  This is why Project Amigo helps support medical, dental and psychiatric programs.  This support can take many forms.  Transportation to and from doctors’ appointments is provided.  Milk is distributed.  Dental education and treatment are made accessible. There is even medical equipment that is purchased and donated to those in need, and this can often be life changing.  Whether it’s wheelchairs, hearing aids or glasses, these items can substantially improve the quality of life for the people who need them.   

Consumers now are more knowledgeable than ever.  They want food that is natural and healthy.  But why can’t our produce be organic, ethical, AND altruistic?  We believe that it can and should be.  Do your part to support Project Amigo by purchasing GROW bananas and rest comfortably knowing that by purchasing one load of GROW bananas a week, you’ve done a great deal to help a community in Mexico. 

Dulce Viridiana Marquez Sosa

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Dulce was a GROW scholar who graduated from the University of Colima with a degree in graphic design in 2015.  As the fourth of six children, she grew up in poverty.  Her father owned a butcher shop and her mother took care of the children. In 2000 Dulce’s father left, forcing her mother to work in a small store to provide for the family. Her mother remarried a field worker in 2010.

Unlike the rest of her family, Dulce went to college and developed a career. Her younger sister is a hair stylist and her other siblings are field workers.  Dulce went to work after she graduated in her chosen field, where she learned about advertising, packaging, design companies, suppliers, customers and how to run a company in general.  She first ventured into entrepreneurship by opening a design firm with a friend, but the partnership dissolved in eight months.

For a time, Dulce spent her mornings working with a company and her free time working with many of her own clients from home. When she lost the morning job and had a child, she decided to rethink her goals in accordance with motherhood.  She returned to her family’s home in the small town of Cerro de Ortega and found an opportunity to start a business.  With many contacts, no graphic design or printing competition nearby, and a space to locate her business temporarily, she decided to open a studio and print shop in the center of town. 

Dulce is now prospering with a house of her own, a community that supports her, and a store front for her business.  Today she has a portfolio of clients from many areas around the state of Colima as well as in Michoacan.  She receives more work through referrals from satisfied clients and has strengthened and expanded her business with a loan from GROW.

Dulce is a proud working mother, steadily moving ahead with her goals.  She is now confident that with hard work and perseverance, anything can be achieved. Life has surprised her in many ways, but all have made her a stronger person.

You can check out her business here: