Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families

by EcoLogic Development Fund
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
Sustainable Livelihoods for 100 families
At the Beekeeping Technology Transfer Center
At the Beekeeping Technology Transfer Center

Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,

I’m writing to you today because I know you care about the families and communities we work with in Guatemala. My name is Elmer Urizar, EcoLogic’s Field Technician in Ixcán. I want to take this moment to THANK YOU for your generous support. It allows us to respond to the immediate needs of rural and indigenous families with nature-based solutions.

I wanted to share with you this recent conversation I had with Moisés, where he reflects on the benefits that beekeeping and agroforestry have had on his life and his family. He shares, that, he started with two beehives and now has eight. “[Beekeeping] has helped me bring in more financial resources for my family. Through the sale of honey this April I was able to generate some additional income from the resource the bees gave me.” He notes that the bees also help pollinate the cardamom plants he grows in agroforestry plots and help increase yields.

You can view the full interview here: https://youtu.be/DaJROS15Rls

In addition, we recently sponsored 10 beekeepers to attend the Beekeeping Technology Transfer Center in Guatemala, one of the most technical in Central America, to contribute to their ongoing training in good beekeeping practices. They will be putting this new knowledge to use back in their apiaries and sharing it with their fellow beekeepers.

Thank you all for your support and collaboration with us who have limited economic resources, but who are willing to work hard to support our families every single day.


We look forward to keeping you updated on our next steps.

In solidarity,

Elmer Urizar, Field Technician

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Juan in his agroforestry system
Juan in his agroforestry system

Dear GlobalGiving Supporter,

Happy New Year!

With your help, over the last year, we worked hand-in-hand with our local community partners to plant over 120,000 native trees, cultivate another 293,400 seedlings, install 538 fuel-efficient stoves, and establish 44 hectares of sustainable farming. This year we are on track to do even more.

I wanted to share this brief story from one farmer in Guatemala, whose life is better because of you.

My name is Juan, I am from the community of Nuevo San Lorenzo and I have been working with the EcoLogic project for three years.

In 2019, with the support of EcoLogic’s field technicians, I decided to establish my agroforestry system. At the same time, they supported me in preparing my PROBOSQUE file with the National Forest Institute to manage my economic incentive for my agroforestry system.

Now in 2021, my agroforestry system is beautiful, my guama plants have already grown and provided fertilizer and shade for my cardamom, it has already begun to flower so next year I will be able to fulfill my dream of being able to harvest cardamom on the land that no longer produced anything for me. I also expect I will be able to receive my economic incentive since the technicians supported me in submitting my management plan again this year.

Thank you all for your support and collaboration with us who have limited economic resources, but who are willing to work hard to support our families every single day.

We look forward to keeping you updated on our next steps. Muchas gracias!

In solidarity,

Mario Ardany de Leon, EcoLogic Program Officer, Guatemala

Juan on his parcel in 2019
Juan on his parcel in 2019
Signage as part of PROBOSQUE management plan
Signage as part of PROBOSQUE management plan

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Dear GlobalGiving Supporter,

Today I wanted to share Tereso's experience, one of the farmers we work with in northern Guatemala, in his own words:

My name is Tereso. I am from the community of Santa Maria Tzeja in northern Guatemala. I want to continue telling you about my experience in the implementation of my agroforestry system. In 2019, I planted more than 1,300 guama plants and 250 mahogany seedlings in 2.31 hectares of degraded land. In the beginning, it took a lot of work since the land was previously used as a pasture, but with the will to transform the use of the soil I decided to carry out the work--and I am succeeding.

I am very happy to see how the plants are growing and how they complement each other. The soil is changing color and texture.

This year, together with the EcoLogic field technician, we have carried out the measurement of subplots to monitor the corn harvest and verify yields, whether there is an increase in production or if it is maintained.

I also want to share my happiness, that thanks to the management carried out by the technical staff of EcoLogic, I received my first incentive payment from the Guatemala National Forest Institute (INAB, by its acronym in Spanish). With this incentive, I have managed to reinvest in the agroforestry system and at the same time, it has served to support my family.

Keeping my agroforestry system in good working order entails great responsibility. The established management plan has to be followed and implemented, and this requires a lot of work and commitment. In 2020, I managed to build more than 500 meters of fire breaks around it.  I had to eliminate any vegetative material that could be a source of fuel and generate a fire in my system and damage it.

I have also put up signage showing the type of project that was carried out, the area, the year it began, the species that interact in the area. I want to thank EcoLogic for providing support, technical assistance, and above all facilitating the processes for the implementation of this type of project since they are of great benefit to us farmers and are friendly to the environment.

 Thank you so very much for being a part of making this work possible!

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Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,

Did you know May 20 was World Bee Day? During this day, the UN highlighted the importance of bees for us all, particularly in their role as pollinators. Nearly 75% of the world’s food crops depend, entirely, or at least in part, on animal pollination. 

A few tips on what we can do individually for bees: 

  • planting a diverse set of native plants, which flower at different times of the year;
  • buying raw honey from local farmers;
  • buying products from sustainable agricultural practices; and
  • avoiding pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides in our gardens.

Related to our beekeeping efforts in Guatemala, I wanted to share an update from our field technicians, who recently visited our friends at Apiarios Flores Occidentales in the Department of San Marcos.

Their objective was to learn how the family-run enterprise at Apiarios is leveraging products and sub-products of the hive. This workshop was directed to the Ixcán technicians who are in charge of the beekeeping project in the communities, with the aim of learning more about how to transform the raw material (beehive products) into by-products.

Elmer and Antonio shared: “During the two days of theoretical training we learned about 9 products that the hives can generate: honey, pollen, propolis, Royal Jelly, wax, apitoxin, bees, queen bees, and bee larvae. The beekeeping practice consisted of entering the Apiary to obtain each of these products of the hive.

Having the bee products it was necessary to transform them into by-products, this activity focused directly on the subject of confectionery. We learned to make medicinal candies using honey and propolis as the main ingredients.

From beekeeping products, a series of by-products can be transformed, which can be made with the combination of the same raw materials provided by bees, for example: shampoo, honey sweets, propolis sweets, royal jelly, honey sweets with cardamom, multivitamin sweets with honey and propolis, propolis-based decongestant, and honey-based soap.

The possibilities of making sub-products of the schools are infinite, given the number of consumers of these products that vary from children to adults, pharmaceutical products, to beauty products. This responds to a constantly growing industry.”

As a next step, our field technicians will be sharing some of this information with the beekeepers in Ixcán and propose some ways to start incorporating these approaches in order to diversify the ways in which they can generate income from their beekeeping activities.

Thank you so much for all of your support! We look forward to keeping you updated on our next steps.

In solidarity,

Mario Ardany de Leon, EcoLogic Program Officer, Guatemala

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Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,

I hope your year is off to a great start and that you and your loved ones are staying healthy as we continue to navigate the global pandemic.

My last update focused on our work with four farmers in the community of Nuevo Nacimiento Cáliz, in the Sarstun region of Guatemala. When we left off, Martín, Javier, Andrés, and Emilio, were getting started establishing diversified agroforestry systems on their farming plots. 

With our local partner, APROSARSTUN, we provided 515 rambutan plants, 400 cacao plants, 6,000 pineapple shoots, 60 banana sprouts, and 3,000 cassava cuttings, which were distributed to the four farmers. Each parcel will cover approximately 0.7 hectares in size.

On a recent visit to the parcels, our field technician was able to provide follow up and hear from the farmers how things have progressed and grateful they are. Not only have the parcels provided essential nutrition during the food security crisis exacerbated by COVID-19, but they were also able to withstand the impacts of Hurricanes Eta and Iota both of which hit this area hard. 

We’re grateful that, despite the devastation caused by these back-to-back hurricanes in many regions, there was no loss of life in these communities. Some of the primary challenges caused by the hurricanes were flooding and saturation of soils. Some farmers lost their crops, especially beans, or frijoles, in Sarstun. But the farmers applying agroforestry and diversification strategies with our help were not impacted and they have been able to maintain their livelihoods and feed their families.

Thank you so very much for your support, which makes this work possible! We are working to extend this approach to more farmers and communities. I look forward to sharing our progress with you during the next update.

In solidarity,

Mario Ardany de León Benítez

Program Officer, Guatemala

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Organization Information

EcoLogic Development Fund

Location: Cambridge, MA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ecologicdevfund
Project Leader:
Barbara Vallarino
Cambridge, MA United States
$1,787 raised of $10,866 goal
 
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