The only nail polish I use is dirt

Fefela stands out in her community for her hard work and dedication to restoration.

In fact, Fefela might never sit down. During our team’s visit to her community of Los Piños, she was up and moving the entire time, making sure that everything was running smoothly.

The community of Los Piños in the Dominican Republic is home to a fruitful tree nursery, a robust church, and a successful savings group thanks to hardworking community members like Fefela. Her passion for creating a thriving community for her children has motivated her and other community members to invest in the physical and spiritual health of their home.

Fefela’s community notices her hard work and selfless demeanor. “Fefela is the most hard-working woman in our community. Actually, she is harder working than all of the men,” her neighbors told us.

We asked Fefela if she ever stopped working. Her response? “Yes. Once I stopped working during a rough pregnancy. But then I healed up quick and was back out working two months after my child was born.”

What motivates her? Fefela impresses us with her ability to move forward without ever burning out. She doesn’t work for personal gain or success, but for the inheritance she wants to leave behind for her children. This inheritance is not made up of physical wealth, but a foundation of faith in God and dedication a greater purpose.

Fefela with her children and grandchild.
Fefela with her children and grandchild.

She has big dreams for her children.

“My children. What do I want for them? Firstly, I want them to be full of faith. I want them to be examples for the rest of the community when I pass. I am going to send them all to the city for school, but I want them to return and to build up our home.”

She continued, “I know God wants me here in my community to be an example to the rest of them.”

Her track record suggest she’ll be a great example: “I have been here 31 years and I am not going anywhere. I have raised my three children here and already have one grandchild. I was one of the founding members of our community savings group, and I go every week as an example to my children.”

A community tree nursery in the Dominican Republic
A community tree nursery in the Dominican Republic

The community trusts Fefela with their dreams because she has been a good steward of her own.

The community tree nursery sits right outside of Fefela’s house—“so that I can check on it everyday,” she explained. Community members don’t mind at all. They have watched her steward her work alongside her faith in God, and they trust her to further invest in the health and vitality of Los Piños.

“I have been a part of our evangelical church here in Los Piños since it began 20 years ago,” she said.

Given this legacy, the community looks to Fefela for leadership. They follow her dedication both to her faith and to her vision for restoring local land. “Our community has changed a lot. Not only physically as our farms have changed, but we are becoming spiritually healthier as well. People have stopped buying lottery tickets and stopped drinking.”

“The only nail polish I use is dirt,” she added. This playful claim embodies who Fefela is and the impact she has had on her community. She does not define herself by material resources or appearance, but instead radiates beauty through serving others. Her hard work is also worship, and this example is transforming her children and the entire village.  

Plant With Purpose believes that a better world is possible when we invest in communities like Los Piños and in women like Fefela. To support partners like her for $22 a month, sign up to become a Purpose Partner!

Philippe Lazaro

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