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As one of fourteen children raised in a farming family, Vicente saw firsthand the adverse effects of clearing forests for farmland. He saw his father chop down trees at the order of wealthy landowners for the production of coal and cattle. Eventually, the natural water sources were depleted and the land dried up.
Far ahead of his time, Vicente saw this as a giant warning sign and made it his mission to re-plant the trees lost to deforestation. Beginning at a time where Brazil’s government encouraged the expansion of farmland, most people laughed at Vicente for his proposed initiative. However, no one’s opinion stopped Vicente from acting out his mission.
It is estimated that in the past four decades, Vicente has planted over 50,000 trees on 77 acres. His Serra de Mantequeira property on the mountainside in Brazil is a beautiful sight. Seeing images of this towering lush green forest, it can be hard to believe that Vicente grew each and every tree from seed.
When asked by the Guardian what has motivated him over the decades, Vicente replied, “I didn’t do it for money, I did it because when I die, what’s here will remain for everyone…People don’t call me crazy any more.”
Check out this video to see Vincente in action:
If you are inspired by Vicente and his applaudable mission, please share this story with friends and family. If he has inspired you to act even further, consider taking his example and plant trees in your own home and neighborhood. Planting trees not only connects us with the earth, it also helps ensure a brighter future for the planet.
Image Source: 60 Second Docs/YouTube