History and Motivation
Motivated by a desire to feed the hungry and to creatively protect this world, Rev. Sun Myung Moon personally devoted time, energy and resources to the creation of the Leda Settlement. While investing in large areas of the Pantanal and the Chaco region, he sought to educate others on the importance of these areas to the future of Paraguay and the world.
In 1999, while meeting In Brazil with a large group of Japanese missionaries in his church, Rev. Moon asked members of his congregation if they would help turn abandoned land on the Paraguay River into a “heavenly settlement.” Since then, scores of missionaries have lived on and cultivated the land, which is greater than the size of New York City, and is today known as Leda Settlement.
The Leda Settlement has worked to provide an eco-friendly environment, where pesticides and other potentially harmful substances are avoided. Through years of travail and experimentation in the fields of agriculture and aquaculture, there have been several milestone achievements, including raising and releasing more than 70,000 fish into the Paraguay River. Innovative approaches to growing taro, developing eco-friendly tree plantations, raising free range pigs and creating 20 fish ponds are among the developments.
Today, the facilities at the Leda Settlement are modern and welcoming to all who make the journey. This was not the situation on the arrival of the early settlers. Initially it was a struggle to fulfill even the basic needs of life. The critical challenge of developing clean drinking water immediately faced the community. Developing a source for pure drinking water became one of the first accomplishments of the settlement and clean water has become a resource that is now shared with the local community.
While the Leda Settlement continues to confront many ongoing challenges, there has been a step-by-step development of the community, which has now built housing to accommodate hundreds of guests and scores of residents and workers. Through each step of this development the basic philosophy of those involved has remained constant – “Let’s give back to our community and to the environment just as the God of Creation has given to us.“