Join O.N.E. and Earth Activist, Ardelle Ferrer as she shares about the regeneration of the Ceiba Tree on Vieques, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. She will also speak about the creation of a park around the ancient Ceiba Tree and the meaning it holds for the community and the land.
A protest movement, known among locals as “the struggle,” finally ousted the Navy in 2003. Four years later, Ferrer and others started La Ceiba Community Project to remove trash and debris from the grassy area around the ancient tree.
“She brought us all together to restore that space, which is now used by the locals all the time,” Ferrer said. “It’s a symbol of hope that we can continue, that things may get hard but if we stand strong we can make it.”
Today, the ceiba is the centerpiece of a 51-acre coastal park where endangered manatees, green turtles, and brown pelicans live. On rainy days, water pools in the bowl-shaped crannies between the tree’s twisted limbs, attracting tiny crabs and wild horse, who drink the rainwater.