Highland Support Project's reforestation efforts empower Indigenous women in the highlands of Guatemala by planting 1,000 trees. By employing a nursery run by Indigenous Mayan women, the project will mitigate adverse effects of deforestation such as erosion, soil infertility, and climate instability, bringing long term environmental benefits. This reforestation project will engage the local community in sustainable agriculture while also increasing their incomes and economic resiliency.
Since colonization in the 18th century, Indigenous peoples of Guatemala have been forced into the country's Highlands due to state violence. Furthermore, in the mid 20th century, urban expansion and farming resulted in increased forest clearing. With a highly concentrated population on little land, deforestation and erosion have led to a loss of biodiversity and devastating mudslides that continue to threaten the communities' quality of life.
Our goal is to address the effects of deforestation while also providing long term growth and community empowerment. By allocating a space for communal and agricultural growth, women of the community are able to reconnect with nature and regain control through colonization and patriarchy over their own land. Overall, the project is a women-led effort to combat climate change while encouraging female empowerment both economically and socially and employment in a unique and sustainable way.
Long term, this project will conserve ecosystems and contribute social and economic benefits to Highland communities. Villagers will engage in the tree nursery and learn about sustainable agricultural methods to incorporate into their own practices. Ongoing involvement in this project will create an opportunity for local participants to be direct contributors to the overall well-being of their own communities -- ultimately increasing agency among participating Indigenous women.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).