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More than 5 million trees in the world will honor those who died from COVID 19

- Healing Trees exceeded the goal, trees will be planted in 32 countries - This May 4th and 5th families around the world commemorate their loved ones

As COVID-19 spread across the world it united us in a shared grief; a grief we didn’t choose. But today we choose to come together to live by a shared hope.”
— Reeta Roy, presidenta y CEO de Mastercard Foundation

COSTA RICA, May 5, 2022 / -- The global movement that was born in Costa Rica, Healing Trees, exceeded the goal that had been proposed, more than 5 million trees in the world will honor loved ones who died of COVID 19 and will grow as a symbol of hope for all people going through grieving processes.

The message of this movement, which was born as an initiative of the San Ramón Carbon Neutral Foundation, has reached more than 30 countries around the world that have decided to join to send a message of hope to a society that is going through a grieving process. Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, United States, Lebanon, Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Kenya, India, New Zealand, and Israel, among others.

This May 4th and 5th, official Healing Trees planting days, the movement manages to send a powerful message: together we can heal the wounds of this difficult time, while making a small contribution to the planet.

Protocol event
This morning Healing Trees held an act of commemoration, followed by a symbolic planting where families from San Ramón, a town in Costa Rica, honored loved ones who passed away by the pandemic in this town, in the same way that thousands of people will be doing in their respective countries.
The event was attended by Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, who assured that "Once again Costa Rica is an example to the world. Healing Trees calls on us to unite and send a positive message, during so much pain that families have experienced losing loved ones to COVID 19, and also pushes us to forge the foundation for a more sustainable and resilient future for the world's citizens and the planet."

Also participating in the event was Mr. Juan Gonzalo Botero Botero, Deputy Minister of Agricultural Affairs of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Colombia; "I lost a very close relative to the COVID 19 pandemic, today in memory of him and all those who died, I send a message of solidarity and unity to the world so that, with the planting of trees, we can honor the lives of all those who like "Nando", as I affectionately called him, departed leaving an indelible mark in our hearts. Thanks to the Healing Trees movement and the trees planted, we will leave a lasting footprint for the generations that today rise in search of a better and hopeful future, which is why on behalf of the government of Colombia we ratify our contribution with the planting of 2 million trees," he said.

In addition, participated the members of the San Ramón Carbon Neutral Foundation; Flora Montealegre, Executive delegate of CRUSA; Jeroo Billimoria, co-founder of Catalyst; Eric Naivasha, Associate Director of the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Pillar at Equity Bank; Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation; organizations without which it would not have been possible to achieve the goal.

“As COVID-19 spread across the world it united us in a shared grief; a grief we didn’t choose. But today we choose to come together to live by a shared hope. That’s the meaning of this global act of solidarity. It is a demonstration that strength can come from fragility. That hope can come from hardship and turn our profound losses into something that is life-giving,” said Reeta Roy, President, and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation.

“During Covid-19 crisis, Equity was at the forefront of supporting our communities through initiatives such as donation of PPEs to hospitals, loan accommodation, waiver of fees and financing of MSMEs in order to keep the lights of the economy on and support livelihoods to bounce back. As lives get back to normal, there are those within our communities that were adversely affected by the pandemic especially losing their loved ones. We want to remember them even as they continue to heal. We believe planting & growing trees is the best way to heal and remember our loved ones. That is the reason why we have joined the rest of the World in marking “ Healing Trees Initiative” on this day”, commented Eric Naivasha, of Equity Bank, an organization that committed 1 million trees to the project to be planted in Kenya, his country of origin.

Healing Trees goes beyond two days of planting. This initiative promotes, in addition to native species, the planting of fruit trees so that they can offer their fruits to the communities. After planting, we ask each ally to take care of the trees for at least 3 years so that they grow strong in honor of the lives lost to this pandemic and can develop properly to give their wonderful contribution to the environment.

What would happen if we paused for a day, recognize what the pandemic has caused us to lose, reflect and come together to heal, all together? That question motivated the birth of Healing Trees, a movement to heal and comfort society through the planting of trees.

“The COVID 19 pandemic arrived without warning and affected us all in different ways, challenging our health systems, generating unemployment, and challenging the business model, but more importantly, it hit our hearts, the way we live together and our mental health, leaving deep traces in society and highlighting that we need each other to advance in solidarity. The pandemic has shown us how fragile we are, how much we can miss a hug and the importance of staying United”, José Zaglul, president of the San Ramón Carbon Neutral Foundation, said in his speech.

The movement was joined by families planting in their gardens, Municipalities mobilizing their citizens and planting in public areas, private companies, reforestation projects, local organizations planting with their communities, universities, and educational centers uniting teachers and students, youngsters and children planting together.

About Healing Trees
Healing Trees was launched on January 11, 2022, two years after the first death from COVID 19 in the world. It is a movement led by the Costa Rican San Ramón Carbon Neutral Foundation and has the support of the Battle Creek Community Foundation, the Mastercard Foundation, Cummins Inc., the Government of Costa Rica, Catalyst2030 and many organizations that have added commitments to planting in the world.

About San Ramón Carbon Neutral Foundation
The San Ramón Carbon Neutral Foundation is a non-profit civil organization that works to improve the quality of life in the canton. Knowing the detriment of the environment and trying to follow up on the promise that Costa Rica had made to be carbon neutral in 2021, the Foundation was born to take concrete actions to achieve this goal. Since its creation, it has highlighted the need for different sectors to become actively involved in achieving carbon neutrality in the country.

The pandemic negatively influenced actions to achieve that goal. However, a new one was born in the Foundation: joining forces in the world to alleviate the pain of deaths from COVID 19, through this new initiative called "Healing Trees", which seeks to send a message of solidarity and hope to all humanity.

Maria Fernanda Cisneros
Fundación San Ramón Carbono Neutral
+506 4003 2713
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