Because of donors like you, EcoLogic is making strides in Guatemala. During the past few months 33 fuel-efficient stoves were built for families in the towns of Barillas, El Ixcán, and San Antonio Tzeja. The stoves are just one part of the holistic approach EcoLogic takes in an overall conservation strategy. In exchange for a stove, communities involved in our projects commit to engaging in another form of environmental stewardship. In this case, the families came together and planted over 500 trees.
The fuel-efficient stoves program has a significant impact on rural families and the environment. By making cooking significantly more efficient, pressure on the forests that surround communities is reduced, less time is needed to gather wood (a task typically undertaken by women and children), and indoor air pollution is vastly decreased—mitigating a significant respiratory health threat in the home. 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.
Although building 33 stoves is a step in the right direction, we need to progress at a faster pace to meet demand and reduce fuel-wood extraction from standing forests. This is where you come in. Please continue to support this project with another modest donation, tell your friends about your contribution and challenge them to match your gift, or simply like us on Facebook. Your support is essential to this important work and we need you to help us spread the word.
EcoLogic released the “Manual de Capaciation Guardabosques” the Forest Guard Training Manual for Huehuetenango, Guatemala. The manual outlines the functions of a Forest Guard; from how to properly reforest saplings, to how to handle compost. It also explains how to trim back trees and how to mitigate the spread of forest fires.
EcoLogic selects and trains forest guards to protect the community forests and promote environmental education within the communities to encourage sustainable use of forest resources.
The forest guards patrol forests to protect them from illegal logging and human-caused forest fires. They also promote natural regeneration of degraded areas and in some case reforest areas with seedlings grown in community nurseries.
Forest guards are trained by EcoLogic to understand the science behind forest management, ensuring best practices are used effectively. Forest guards are also trained to educate their communities about forest management and its benefits, as well as their own role in protecting the forests.
We are pleased to announce the release of "Sabiduría de los Rocosos," an artbook of stories and pictures created by the Quiché children of Totonicapán, Guatemala. Guided by ArtCorps Fellow Isabel Carrio, the children interviewed their grandparents for traditional stories about Mayan cosmology, history and culture and then created illustrations using a variety of media including drawing and painting, printmaking and collage incorporating natural objects like leaves, flowers, sticks and sheep’s wool into many of the pictures.
EcoLogic has collaborated with local partner, the 48 Cantons of Totonicapán, a traditional Maya-Quiché governing body, since 2003 helping to restore and protect the old-growth forest and other natural resources. One way to do this is help the Quiché record and preserve the history of their traditional practices and teach those to the next generation. "Sabiduría de los Rocosos," which loosely translates as "Wisdom of the Rocky Hillsides," provided a way to connect families to that history in a personal way. The stories highlight the importance of traditional forest resource management and the interconnection between the Maya-Quiché's livelihood and the environment.
This book is the result of our partnership with ArtCorps. Since 2009, ArtCorps fellows have served at select EcoLogic project sites, using art and personal expression activities to engage people of all ages in environmental and social justice initiatives. Moving forward, EcoLogic and ArtCorps hope to raise funds to publish hard copies of Los Rocosos and also create an English version. In the new year we will post a full version of the book on our website—stay tuned!
Take a sneak peek at a few pages from the book.