Plenty Canada was formally organized in 1976 after a Guatemalan earthquake. Volunteers assisted Mayan communities, utilizing sustainable and cultural knowledge to help construct over 1,400 homes, a dozen schools and clinics, and communicating cultural practices and protocols to agencies with little experience of Mayan Indigenous ways. Later our projects dealt with the provision of clean drinking water through community-based water systems, support for their traditional agriculture systems, and other initiatives.
After years of war between Nicaraguan contra rebels and the Sandinista army, president elect Violeta Chamorro signed three accords leading to a ceasefire in 1990. Plenty Canada assisted Miskito, Sumo, and Rama peoples with the formation of a non-government organization called Pana Pana, devoted to rebuilding community infrastructure destroyed during the war and restoring their Indigenous food systems. Pana Pana is an ancestral practice of mutual support which in Miskito means, “I give to you, you give to me.” Reciprocity.