Its land is one of the most productive in the world and its employees earn the best wages. But these lands, four years ago, did not look at all like they do today.
What is now the farm was a hill of compact earth, full of stones, thick with marabou and without water. You had to be very ignorant or extremely crazy to think that an ecological and self-sustainable agriculture project could work there.
To give life to this project, Fernando left theoretical agriculture, which he had been practicing since his doctorate in the Netherlands, and his wife resigned from her job at the Meliá hotel chain. They both felt themselves leaping into the void, but fell to their feet.
The beginning was difficult: it took 7 months to open their water well, breaking the rock by hand, armed only with a bar. However, with the effort the results came. The first thing they commercialized were mangoes, which they were able to harvest by making their way through the marabou with their own hands.
Agriculture in Cuba was always complicated. Many slaves died at the cost of the colonizers' futile attempts to make the lands produce more than they could.
Nature was also devastated for not being treated correctly.
“The theory leads you to understand the world in pieces. Instead, the practice is multidimensional, multidirectional, complex. One of the motivations for developing this project is to be able to understand agriculture from within, from its own contradictions, from its own challenges, ”Funes says in an interview.
Now, he seeks to spread his work so that many can dare, around the world, to undertake agroecological projects as miraculous as his.