When we met Toribio, he was living in an unsafe home. He applied for a 1MISSION house and while earning his home became a Community Health Educator (CHE). He used his new skills to teach others in his neighborhood about diabetes prevention.
It wasn't long before he realized that he could help his neighbors with another skill he had: gardening.
He had a small tomato patch and shared his harvest with his neighbors. The tomato patch grew into lettuce and cabbage and eventually into the San Rafael community garden.
With Toribio’s guidance, many others in the community have learned how to create and maintain home gardens as well as compost. They're now able to use gardening as a way to earn hours toward their own new homes and have a sustainable source of food.
Toribio, or “Don Toribio” as he is affectionately known, is beloved by his community, not only for his gardening skills, but for his joking nature and contagious smile.
His 1MISSION home is known as a gathering place for classes, Bible studies and CHE training. He continues to spend his free time gardening and walking with his dog, Capullo.