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Mayagüez volunteers Gianna A Fernández (center) and Wesley Velázquez (right) help farmer Javier Hernández lay out contours on his Yauco coffee plantation - 11 April 2018.

2018 Earth Team Volunteers

NRCS Earth Team volunteers provide invaluable assistance helping NRCS put conservation on the ground in the Caribbean Area. In 2018 we had 12 volunteers assisting the Arecibo, Mayagüez and San Sebastián field offices who contributed over 1,800 hours of service valued at over $44,440*.

Volunteer Week 2017

To honor our FY 2017 Earth Team volunteers, NRCS Caribbean Area held an awards ceremony on May 31st at the Mayagüez Field Office recognizing 5 Earth Team volunteers who contributed at least 460 hours of their time to NRCS. Retiree Hilton Miro, former Earth Team Volunteer program manager for the Caribbean Area was also recognized for his work with the volunteers.

Volunteers Ian Matías and Jesus Rivera, DC Zulma Garcia, Former ETVPM Hilton Miro, volunteers Jose Zamora and Rosario Zamora (Esperanza's husband and daughter), and RC Esperanza Avilés.Jesus Rivera, a student from the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez, contributed the most volunteer time (305.5 hours) in FY 2017 and was presented with a recognition certificate signed by the Director along with a NRCS gift bag. And of course, they had pizza for lunch to celebrate!

Overall in 2017, 8 Earth Team Volunteers in 5 NRCS offices in Puerto Rico provided valuable assistance, donating over 1,625 hours of service valued at over $38,285 to help NRCS conserve soil, water, air, plants, animals and energy.

Volunteers like Elmer Acevedo, who donated over 800 hours of volunteer time, making an extraordinary contribution towards achieve Caribbean Area goals, especially in the San Sebastián Field Office. Elmer has visited over 50 farmers, assisting with hillside ditch layout and contour farming on more than 800 acres. His assistance resulted in increased effectiveness and efficiency in the field office. We want to thank each of our volunteers – Ana Rodríguez, Elmer Acevedo, Robert Arnold, Juan C. Negrón, Francisco Lopez, Jesus Rivera, Ian Matias, and José Zamora – for their amazing contributions as earth team volunteers helping our staff and clients protect and conserve natural resources throughout the Caribbean Area.

2017 Volunteer Week vertical bannerVolunteers work closely with our staff, and they play an important role in our conservation work in the Caribbean Area,” said NRCS Caribbean Area Director, Edwin Almodóvar.

What is Earth Team?

Earth Team is the agency’s volunteer workforce. Earth Team is a program that partners volunteers with NRCS employees. It was created in 1985 and offers many opportunities to individuals 14 and older who are interested in volunteering to improve the nation’s natural resources. Earth Team volunteers help NRCS conservationists provide private landowners and others a range of services from conservation technical assistance to teaching and generating awareness about conservation through community projects.

Earth Team Volunteers allow NRCS to stretch available resources and help put additional conservation practices on the ground. Volunteer efforts help improve land and wildlife habitat and contribute to cleaner water and air for everyone.

Earth Team Needs You - Join Our Team!

We need your help to reduce soil erosion, conserve our water and improve its quality, and foster pride in our islands' natural resource heritage. Your commitment to the Earth Team will help ensure that generations to come will enjoy the Caribbean's bounty and beauty.

VIRC&D Council members plant rain garden at VIWMA Greenhouse in St. Croix.More Information


Earth Team Coordinator, 787-766-5206

*Volunteer time valued at $24.69/hour in 2018, according to the nonprofit Independent Sector.