Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods in Guatemala

Jan 18, 2013

Trekking and Tracking

Just outside of our first plot to track
Just outside of our first plot to track

In December, EcoLogic Program Officer Chris Patterson took a trip down to the communities of Ixcán and Sarstún Guatemala to meet some of the farmers currently working with and incorporating agroforesty into their farm land. While there, he collected data on how their plants are growing. From 5:00 in the morning until to 8:00 at night, Chris and a team of dedicated staff, field experts, and interns met with farmers, toured the land, and compiled data on how the trees were growing.

The team randomly selected 15 inga trees per plot for recording tree height and growth. Inga is the type of tree used on these agroforestry plots. By integrating inga into their agriculture, farmers can reduce erosion, provide a source of organic fertilizer, maintain a healthy climate for crops, and increase yield thus reducing the need to clear more forests for agricultural lands. If trees were chest height, the team took the diameter and a small soil sample to have a baseline of the soil quality before the trees reach maturity.

By taking advantage of the natural benefits of trees, small-scale farmers can use agroforestry to produce more using less land, easing their burden while improving their crops. We’ll continue to keep you up to date on our activities around the growing agroforestry plots in Guatemala.

Landscape view of the area
Landscape view of the area
Team member talking to a local farmer
Team member talking to a local farmer
My partner Janie working from the back of a truck
My partner Janie working from the back of a truck

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Project Leader

Alexa Piacenza

Program Associate
Cambridge, MA United States

Where is this project located?