A global movement as a memorial for lives lost to the COVID 19 pandemic

By the year 2021, more than 5 million lives were lost around the globe because of the COVID-19 pandemic; this also reflected a considerable increase in the diagnosis of anxiety disorders and depression, associated with the confinement and stress caused by the contention of the disease.

Those difficult times we have lived through as a society were the driving force for the Costa Rican San Ramon Carbon Neutral Foundation, and other friend organizations around the world, to develop a movement that seeks to provide healing and hope to people through the simple action of planting a tree. After losing more than 5 million people, we want to plant the equivalent amount of trees to honor their lives.

The objective of the initiative is that each person who has lost a family member, friend, or an acquaintance due to the pandemic, plant a tree, and take care of it, in memory of the person they loved. The global movement intends that as a society we mourn such significant losses; the planting will take place on May 4, 2022, all over the world.

“We know that COVID 19 has struck the hearts of all people, and that it has been a very difficult process to cope with. What we seek with Healing Trees is to unite at least for one day, forget our differences and transform ourselves into a society of peace, solidarity and love, under the same objective: to find healing and comfort guided by the hope of a better future. We dream of changing the world through the symbolism of planting a tree together, no matter where we are on earth,” explained José Zaglul, director of Healing Trees.

The project also promotes the importance of mental health care, vaccination processes and the application of hygiene and prevention protocols as measures to contain the pandemic that still strikes the world. This movement accompanies all those people who have lost a loved one and gives them the opportunity to create a memorial through the simple but very meaningful action of planting a tree.

Why trees?

Healing Trees found a way to connect the environmental change that our planet needs, with the opportunity to generate a space of healing and regeneration for our communities.

“A tree is a representation of life, regeneration and growth. By honoring loss with life, the initiative will provide a memorial for people,” said Jose Zaglul.

Another reason why the trees were chosen is to preserve the environment and improve the conditions of the planet, which is an increasing concern to world leaders due to global warming and lack of resources.

The project promotes responsible planting, with a commitment of at least 3 years in taking care of the tree. Healing Trees promotes endemic species, mainly fruit varieties that contribute to global food security. “In Healing Trees, we are looking for a real and responsible impact, where we can give the planted tree the necessary maintenance during its first years of development,” added Zaglul.

How to participate?

On January 11, the initiative’s social networks and website were launched. There you will find general information about the project and the steps to be part of it. At www.healingtrees.org you can complete the form to commit to plant one or several trees or donate for organizations to handle the planting process.

The initiative is built on the premise that unity is key to social change and encourages individuals, communities, NGOs, governments, and businesses to join the movement. This event will take place on May 4, 2022, with a duration of 48 hours. You can watch the progress of the global planting through Healing Trees’ Facebook and Instagram.

“Let us unite on this day to sow hope and love and may the absence of those who left us become an opportunity to be more supportive as a global society and understand that we are a family that depends on each other,” said Zaglul.

Healing Trees is led by the Costa Rican San Ramon Carbon Neutral Foundation, and is supported by Battle Creek Community Foundation, Mastercard Foundation, Cummins Inc, the Government of Costa Rica, Catalyst2030 and many other organizations. Under the goal of planting more than 5 million trees, this movement unites organizations, families, media, public figures, and individuals.