Grant #291

Mile-High Greenhouses

April 23, 2018

Not only are they a mile high, they’re 1.5 meters deep to hide the crops underground!

In Guatemala, people are trying to grow crops in land at altitude of over 8000 feet. It’s such tough terrain, with high UV rays, hail, frost, and unpredictable rainfall that it’s no wonder most of the crops fail.

Rachael Shenyo is an ecologist, a former Peace Corps volunteer, and the founder of Alticultura, a nonprofit to support adaptation to climate.

If most of the crops die from exposure to the climate, some kind of adaptation is needed. That’s why Rachael wants to bring a new kind of greenhouse to the mile-high farmers: it’s underground. That’s right, it’s sunken, so that soil acts as natural insulation and crops are protected. The Indigenous people of Bolivia thought it up, and Rachael is going to try their design in Guatemala.

Our grant will contribute to the construction costs, digging, pouring concrete, buying seeds.

Stay in touch with the project on Facebook:



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders