One tree planted in Bolivia, in celebration of baby Gael!

In February this year, Dom Briggs dedicated the first tree from Bolivia, taking our global community to 63 countries!

Dom, originally from the UK, now lives in Bolivia with his partner, Noelia, and he shares his heartwarming and inspiring story with us.

β€œWe recently welcomed a new nephew into the family, baby Gael. We decided to plant a tree in his name and dedicate this tree with the Global Tree Initiate, something I’ve wanted to do for some time. So, this was a great opportunity!” Dom shares.

Photo of baby Gael grabbing his tree with Noelia, his aunt.

β€œA few things happened on the day we planted the tree.

Firstly, I went to buy the tree from a garden center, which is more like a dusty cleared plot of land with plants and trees sitting around for sale. The price for the tree was 30 Bolivianos, which comes to around $5 USD. The guy who worked at the center assured me the tree can get very large. (I was unsure what the species is, as my Spanish isn’t the best.)

We bought the tree, and on the same day, we were also hosting a dinner in the evening.

I stopped at a store to buy a pack of paper napkins. It turns out that the paper napkins cost 30 Bolivianos, the same price as the tree!

So, it struck me that wow, an actual tree is the same price as 20 or so napkins from a supermarket, also made with paper from a tree! That felt out of balance to me. A tree should have more value than napkins, shouldn’t it?

At the same time, this made me reflect on the following: If I wanted to, I could replant and pay back all the paper I use during my lifetime!

We went back and planted the tree in the vibrant South American garden of my partner’s family home, and dedicated the tree to the new life of baby Gael. He was curious, he reached out to touch the newly planted tree and seemed to enjoy it!

From left to right, Noelia with baby Gael, Dom and Danilo, father of baby Gael

The second major thing that struck me after planting the tree, was how small it was now, but knowing it will become so big. It also strongly reminded me of a quote I read:

“The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.” from Rabindranath Tagore

I realized I will never see this tree get as big as the huge trees around it. But one day, someone else will sit in this garden, see the tree, and perhaps never know who planted it or the story behind it, but enjoy it nevertheless.

The sense of my own impermanence was strong. But, a sense of achievement and belonging also sat with me, as I looked at the future large tree without me.”

Thank you, Dom, for sharing your story and for offering us the opportunity to reflect on the value of trees, and our own relationship to nature. We appreciate learning from you, and congratulations on welcoming baby Gael to your family!

Dom was the first person to plant and dedicate a tree in Bolivia. Is your country represented on the global tree-planting map? If not, plant your tree, tell us about it, and join our global tree-planting community!



Who:Dom Briggs & Family
Why:We dedicated the tree to a new member of the family, Gael who is just 6 months old. He can be seen in the photos holding the new tree.
Where:Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
When:February 5, 2023
What kind of Trees:Tajibo
How many:


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