In the communities of Totonicapán, Guatemala, we have recently built 75 stoves. Each stove represents a family that can breathe easier in their home due to the benefits of having a new, fuel-efficient stove with a chimney that channels smoke outside the home and away from the lungs of family members, including women and children. EcoLogic’s program includes hands-on workshops in which women learn how to build and properly maintain their stoves. As part of the program families must also commit to some form of environmental stewardship. This can range from tending to a community tree nursery, engaging in sustainable agriculture, or reforesting areas around water sources.
To date, 50 of the goal of 75 families, across 7 communities, have supported the production of native trees to be planted in one of 8 nurseries in Totonicapán!
The holistic element of family participation through environmental stewardship has proven to be an essential element of the program and one of the key reasons for its success.
With your continued support we will expand out project and meet our goals.
Last year, EcoLogic broke ground on the construction of three state of the art greenhouses in Totonicapán. The greenhouses have now been completed and are full of healthy native species saplings waiting to be reforested this spring.
Community members, led by two local, full-time caretakers manage the nurseries. They collect the seeds from the forest, plant them, water them with water flowing from the forest above the greenhouses, apply organic compost and fertilizers, and then take them into the forest once they're big enough (about 10 months old). The greenhouses allow for a greater likelihood of success because the trees remain protected from animals and insects and the greenhouses offers a steady and reliable stream of water and careful attention by caretakers.
When the trees have become large and healthy enough they will be transplanted to the forest by trained community members to be planted around water sources in May and June. These are the best months to reforest since they fall in the middle of the “rainy season.”
We can’t wait to give you another update soon as the community will soon rally together and help move the trees from the nursery back to their home in Totonicapán.
Our work with communities along the Sarstún River in Guatemala and Belize is to ensure the health of both the human communities and marine ecosystems. Recent strides have been made with the establishment of aquacultures. Aquacultures allow the fisherfolk to have a steady and reliable stock of bluefish to sell in the market. The project recently received a large cooler unit for storage. Since the aquaculture and cooler unit have been used, fisherfolk are reporting greater earnings when selling the fish wholesale on either side of the Sarstún River, a natural border between Belize and Guatemala.