El jardin de Guadalupe


“Just give the bus driver 20 pesos, it shouldn’t be much more than that,” I told Katy as she boarded the highway bus to Bucerias.

On my stroll back from the crucero, along Avenida Tercer Mundo, I thought back to the last time I had walked down this road. A few weeks had already past since Tom and I broke up. On that last fateful day I caught two different buses back to San Pancho with my surfboard, and then walked the rest of the way home.  The walk to/from the crucero is much more pleasant when you are not laden with heavy parcels or a surfboard under the noonday sun.

As Entre Amigos, the big yellow and blue community center, came up on the left, I felt a strong pull towards it.  Today was the day that I would finally stop by. I had been meaning to go for months, but something always came up. Upon entering, the strange metal tree sculpture dwarfed me the same way it did last year. The colors, books and children created a sense of lightness in the air.

Nicole, the founder and president of Entre Amigos, offered to take me on a refresher tour – a lot had changed since last year. We visited the recycling area, including the new space for glass art. Then we headed out the back to see the latest: El Gardin de Guadalupe. I was impressed. The garden was lush with flowers and herbs all in tidy rows.  For the first time, I laid eyes on “compostlan” – the legendary compost pile that was nearly eight feet tall. Nichole introduced me to the man working in the garden – Poki.

“I’d like to come by tomorrow and help out,” I announced.

Poki seemed pleased.



On our way back from the garden, Nichole pointed out some tire planters that the last volunteer group had completed.

“Come by tomorrow around 8 and stay until noon if you can.”

“I will.”

As I walked the rest of the way home, I felt content. Content to have extra time, now that Tom was gone, to do something I had been wanted to do and had been meaning to do.

The next day I returned to the garden early, as planned. As I familiarized myself with the garden, the pineapples caught me eye.  Even though I had had my own a pineapple plant until recently, it did not have fruit attached to it. Over the past year my plant had grown too big even for the largest pot I had, so I replanted it at the El Estar Yoga garden. It must take a couple of years before the pineapple plant starts to produce fruit.  As I contemplated the life of a pineapple, I heard a big hello.

“I’m so glad you came.”

“Me too,” I replied.

One section of the garden needed some major weeding and this became my first task. I laughed as it seemed my duty was always weeding.  I didn’t mind though, I was good at it and it reminded me of working in my Aunt’s garden in Canada.

“There is something rewarding about weeding,” I commented to Poki, as I dug up and yanked out weeds.

He just smiled.

Photo by: Poki

In addition to weeding, I also collected magoes for composting and planted morning glories. Each day I went home covered in dirt, but with a reward from the garden: mixed greens, basil, flowers or plants. There was more to it than just the physical reward.

For more information, click on the links below:

El gardin de Guadalupe

Entre Amigos 

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