Improving lives by teaching sustainable living– fostering independence, not dependence.
With our hands-on, learn and earn model, we empower individuals with the skills needed to take care of their own families—giving them the confidence to create a healthier life. As they share their newfound knowledge and skills with those around them, they begin breaking the cycle of poverty for future generations.
In 2013, co-founders Greg and Lucy Jensen moved their family to Guatemala to pursue a simpler lifestyle. Seeing a country in need, they couldn't help wanting to give back to a people they had fallen in love with.
However, many of the nonprofits in the area provided temporary relief without creating sustainable change—something Greg and Lucy felt strongly about. So they started their own organization.
With their friends the Dennings, they moved to the “Homestead,” where they began teaching self-sustainable skills to the area’s neediest families.
The response from the community was incredible. Seeing firsthand the change in people that teaching self-sustaining skills brought fueled an even stronger desire to empower as many people as possible. In three short years, we’ve worked hard to develop and refine a sustainable model that works.
Cultiva has evolved over the years and will continue to evolve, but our core philosophy will remain the same—help without hurting.
How We Do It
Improvement is powered by education, so we start there. It’s through hands-on participation— not handouts— and educational experiences that a sustainable impact is made.
Learn and Earn
Families complete classes to earn their own garden box.
Volunteers work side by side with Mayan families and learn to help in a sustainable way.
Monthly visits are made to follow up with each family, give support, answer questions, and ensure success.
Help us empower families
Donate $3, $5, or $10 to help a family learn to help themselves.
Greg Jensen (co-founder, board member)
An Oregon native with a degree in international relations and construction management, Greg spent his career in pharmaceutical sales, investment advising, and construction management. Upon moving to Guatemala, he turned his passion for running into a guided trail running business. But beyond his professional experience, Greg is an inspiring leader—the kind of leader others naturally want to follow. It’s his ability to connect with individuals, approach situations with an open mind, and find humor in life that truly contributes to the success of Cultiva.
Lucy Jensen (co-founder)
A beautiful, rare gem who epitomizes love and selflessness, Lucy shares a passion for raising their family abroad and giving back to the community she calls home. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Lucy sought a life beyond average at an early age. She worked her way through college and even took time off to experience Guatemala as a service missionary in her early 20s. Now, a mother of four boys and a new daughter, she spends her days homeschooling and running an essential oil business that helps supports the family. On top of all that, she’s a friend and mentor to women who pass through Cultiva—teaching them not only how to prepare new foods but how to be strong and courageous in life.
Volunteer Advisory Team
A career in sales and previous owner of an internet marketing company, Colin now works in health and wellness and lives part time in Guatemala with his family of six.
Owns a successful mortgage business in Calgary, Canada and sits on the board for a Canadian nonprofit. Josh, his wife and three kids currently live in Guatemala.
A degree in international studies and business, Liz has spent her career in brand development, marketing strategy, and communications, and her free time traveling.
An experienced web developer, project manager and business owner, but his proudest moments are being a dad of four kids (and performing in local theater).
An English degree led Jill down a successful career in marketing communications and strategy, but writing comes second to her first loves, Zoey and Buzz.
A degree in economics and a career in sales management aren’t what make Cliff interesting, it’s his talent as a tenor in the Utah Opera and Symphony that makes him stand out.
A smart, hardworking leader who’s well respected in the community, Juan manages the day to day and oversees all training and follow up visits. By age 19, he taught himself to read and write 4 languages. He lives with his wife and three children on a small homestead in Patanatic.
A high school graduate who taught himself English, Roberto helps teach classes (in Spanish and Kaqchikel) and works with volunteer groups. His previous work experience in customer service and with a nonprofit has added to his success with Cultiva.
With experience in construction and business management, Juan Pablo oversees special projects and helps make improvements to the Homestead. He lives with his wife and two kids in San Jose Chacayá.
A fulltime resident on the Homestead with his wife Eva, Pablo takes care of the daily chores and maintenance. He’s also the team driver who transports supplies to people’s homes on workdays.
A single mom of two, Rosa (a native Kaqchikel speaker) learned Spanish to help find better employment. Working for families and expats for over 12 years has helped her provide an education for her boys.
A smart, happy young woman, Ana decided to take her first job outside of the home. This experience is helping her learn and improve her Spanish that can help with future employment opportunities.