Young Tree Community Update

April 11, 2009

Dearest Young Tree Community Supporters,

Many of you have sent Young Tree Community good thoughts if not money as well. Keeping with our founders’ standards of blatant transparency we would like to update you all on the status of Young Tree Community.

After several wonderful meetings and discussions about development between Andrew Harris, Claire Thomas, Gray Reilly and Byron Holcomb we charted a course towards sustainable development in Los Frios, Dominican Republic. On August 15th 2008, Claire and I left the US to evaluate the possibilities of work in Los Frios. Two weeks later Gray Reilly joined us for four more weeks. Claire and Gray made friends instantly in Los Frios. It was especially impressive how quickly Claire learned the names of many kids and taught them child’s games i.e. Duck-Duck-Goose, with very limited Spanish. Gray was teaching guitar within a week and became my right-hand-man on the farm. Everyone spent many an hour working on Finca La Paz learning the rhythm of life in Los Frios. Great strides were made in establishing a non-profit in the Dominican Republic. The rainy weather during our trip provided some serious setbacks. However, we were able cut a road to the site of the earth bag house and poured the foundation of the earth bag house. The community is very excited about learning how to make their own sand bag house. It was one of the first questions people asked Byron on his last trip in late January, 2009.

We all had many solid ideas for Los Frios. We all came back motivated to do more in our communities. After the dust settled in October 2008, we all looked at each other checked our pulses and we have decided to stay in our current communities. Claire has applied to the Peace Corps and will make an amazing volunteer. Gray is working in Washington DC and will continue to support Young Tree Community. Byron still travels Los Frios often (4x per year), and will continue to work in quality coffee both in the DR (Young Tree Coffee) and in the US (Counter Culture Coffee).

As we look to the future, we see our progress in Young Tree Community as positive progress for Los Frios. If the right person showed sincere interest and commitment, we would be happy to pass the reins over to them so they could pick up from here.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Byron at


Andrew Harris
Claire Thomas
Gray Reilly
Byron Holcomb

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