Building ‘Sustainable Roots’ in Ecuador; presentation set for June 14 |

Building ‘Sustainable Roots’ in Ecuador; presentation set for June 14

Sharon Sullivan
Free Press / File Photo
Staff Photo |


WHAT: “Growing a Dream: A presentation about Sustainable Roots”

WHEN: 6 p.m. Fri., June 14

WHERE: Grand Junction Climbing Center, 1548 Independent Ave.

COST: Free; donations accepted


On a college trip to Ecuador in 2007, Grand Junction native and biology student Toni Walters studied caterpillars and their host plants. She fell in love with the culture and created a way to stay involved with the people and environment there.

On Friday, June 14, Walters will give a slideshow presentation about the organization she started, Sustainable Roots, a group dedicated to environmental preservation and sustainable development in Latin American communities.

“We strive to enable communities to develop a healthy, sustainable, local economy and environment, all while maintaining their cultural pride and heritage,” a news release stated. “We work hand in hand with communities and see our role as facilitators of projects born from the communities’ ideas and needs.”

To that end, Sustainable Roots raised money to build a greenhouse in the small town of Cosanga, on the eastern slope of the Andes Mountains.

When Walters asked Cosanga residents what they most wanted and needed, people responded they most wanted to learn English because it opens up more opportunities for them, Walters said in an earlier interview with the Free Press.

In 2010, she and other volunteers began teaching English in the primary school. Walters also started an after-school program for high school students who wanted to learn English.

Sustainable Roots is currently teaching English classes in Cosanga for all age levels.

For more information, visit

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