Bio – Francisco (Fco.) Nava
Bio – Francisco (Fco.) Nava
Francisco Javier Gonzalez Nava was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico. His family moved to Los Angeles, CA when he was 2 years old. Raised both in Mexico and the United States, Francisco grew up speaking Spanish at home until he was 5 and learned English in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Francisco earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California (USC) and Cal State University, Los Angeles in Early Childhood Development (teaching credential option). His graduate work took place at USC in the Instructional Technology Department.
Fco. also held the position of President, Board of Directors from 1979 - 1984 for the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic, one of the last free medical service clinics in the Los Angeles, CA. area. Prior to working as President of the Board of Directors, Fco. ran the Children’s Pediatric Clinic at the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic for 12 years.
After graduation, Fco. worked at KCET- Public Broadcast Station (Channel 28 Los Angeles), KABC (Channel 7 Los Angeles), Pathe Films and MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Century City). During his 11 year tenure at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Pathe Films in Santa Monica and Los Angeles he pursued infusing the company’s instructional, multimedia and digital departments with youth consciousness and social direction.
Francisco decided to pursue his love for the environment and architecture by completing a further degree in Architectural Design at Santa Monica College’s Academy of Entertainment Technology (AET) and UCLA’s School of Architecture.
His apprenticeship in sustainability was mentored by Lois Arkin, founder of Los Angeles Eco Village, a member of the world-wide intentional community network. At Los Angeles Eco Village Francisco found inspiration and information, that would establish and nurture his future career as a Sustainable Architectural Designer.
Francisco then signed on to work with Living Homes in Santa Monica, CA, a forerunner of the reestablished pre-fabrication home construction movement. Francisco monitored and researched new “green” materials, bringing them to the attention of the Living Homes’ architects & designers.
Consequently the Dean of the School of Architectural Design at the AET at Santa Monica College asked Francisco to author and teach a course in the Department of Architectural Interior Design. Francisco authored and taught the first sustainable design course at Santa Monica College: “GREEN” DESIGN FOR ARCHITECTURAL INTERIORS: A Comprehensive Look At Sustainable Design”.
After completing his teaching career in the United States, and feeling a need to return to his homeland, Francisco returned to live in the Lake Chapala area in 2012. He spent a few months settling into his new home and then ventured forth to create a new “green” sustainable business, La Recicladora de la Ribera de Chapala (RRC), a plastics recycling center in Riberas del Pilar.
RRC collected, reprocessed (ground) and sold post-consumer plastic collected in our area. The sustainable process used no toxic substances and produced no toxic waste.
In 2015 Francisco and his associates started the Chapala Public School District’s - Ramon Corona Elementary School, Children's Organic Garden Project in the Tepehua area of Chapala. Francisco taught 40 – 4th graders weekly how to grow organic food for their school and their families.
“We started the Ramon Corona Children's Organic Garden (RCCOG) with a vision of one day gathering in a lush, verdant setting to sit with the children and dine on food they grew...and we accomplished just that!”
Instructor of “Introduction To Gardening at Lakeside” and “Advanced Gardening at Lakeside” Fco. has been teaching in Riberas Del Pilar and Ajijic for a few years now.
He is also a garden and gardener consultant working to make gardening here a little easier for his clients and their gardeners.
5 years ago Fco. Started working with “Poco A Poco San Pedro Itzican”, a direct connect, volunteer group helping the humble towns east of Mezcala. Working primarily in the 9 pueblos that comprise the San Pedro Itzican area Fco. has been primarily working to teach the people of San Pedro Itzican and surrounding areas how to grow organic food...something that seems to have been forgotten in these towns. This mission is imperative as the youth of these towns are suffering from high incidents of renal failure and are dying. Fco. believes one reason for this is poverty induced malnutrition.
One of these food growth programs is the “Vivero La Esperanza” project in San Juan Tecomatlan, just east of Vista Del Lago. The nursery/vivero was started to help grow organic food starters/plantulas for the home gardens that the people of San Pedro Itzican are requesting so that they can boost their family’s nutrition
Fco. is also working as the lead instructor for Huerto Coxalan in San Juan Cosala in an educational project promoted by the ChangeMakers organization, which aims to train young women and different members of the San Juan Cosalá community in different techniques of organic gardening, both for vegetables and medicinal plants, in order to promote the self-management of health and nutrition, expecting that these practices contribute to the social development and empowerment of the community.
ChangeMakers, or Creando Cambios. The program’s purpose is to help girls to become successful in their chosen fields by assisting with education, information, and personal support. The girls in turn strengthen their communities by sharing their skills and knowledge with others.
Francisco is presently part of the Growers Group, an organization of worldwide gardeners that continues to provide Francisco with newfound gardening knowledge.