With her 8-year-old daughter, Heidy Perez, watering a small crop of vegetables Chiang, of Calexico, said her family’s presence helped encourage Heidy and her two other children take pride in gardening.
Heidy’s siblings, Carlos, 6, and Dora Gonzalez, 16, along with her dad, Anastacio Uribe, also took part in the activity but it was especially important for Chiang’s oldest daughter, she said.
“We’re here so we can accompany Dora,” Chiang said. “And to support her like a family.”
Join the discussion and add your comments to this story! Scroll down or click here and tell us what you think.
Chiang’s family was among a small number of people who participated in the modest volunteer effort to water, sow and care for 11 beds of vegetables at the corner of Sixth Street and Yucca Drive.
The small garden sits near the Center for Religious Science where Ivan Soto was helping as part of a nationwide effort by 7 Day, a non-profit organization that tries to inspire people in volunteering their time to do something beneficial for their community on a monthly basis. Soto is the 7 Day chapter coordinator for El Centro.
Soto urged residents to stop complaining about whatever they see as ongoing problems in their neighborhoods and to step up in doing something about it, because “that’s the only way we’ll see changes around here.”
“I always liked volunteering. And it’s something positive to do,” said Soto. “That’s important to me.”
It’s also important to Vince Zazueta, an active, self-styled “garden-based community educator” who was on hand tending to the carrots, cherry tomatoes, kale, lettuce, cilantro and other vegetables that is available for people in the community.
“They can pick all they want,” said Soto, who believes that some residents in the vicinity don’t have a clue “about what we’re up to.”
Soto and Zazueta said the small garden hasn’t been vandalized despite its exposure to anyone who walks by.
“Knock on wood,” Zazueta said. “We’ve never had that problem.”
Anyone interested in volunteering with the 7 Day group or helping out in a community garden cleanup effort can call Soto at 760-604-7652 or at email@example.com.
Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 760-337 or at firstname.lastname@example.org