Propagation and Education Specialist/Community Gardens Assistant
Helen grew up in Immokalee and being active outdoors was always important to her. Her family kept a garden and informal food forest where they grew cassava, corn, bananas, squash and many tree fruits. Her mother’s Paraguayan background and culture has influenced how she interacts with the natural world in that she views all life as interacting and interdependent. As her grandpa Federico said, all plants have a purpose and may be medicine, there are no weeds, just plants that we don’t know the use of yet. Helen attended Bowdoin College in Maine and taught 9th grade math in Massachusetts before returning home to Florida. Serving the community has always been important to her, whether it be through improving equity in college access and after school education, being an advocate for underserved groups or through improving access and use of the outdoors. Helen holds a Master of Environmental Studies degree from Florida Gulf Coast University and enjoys kayaking, hiking and camping.