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

Dear GlobalGiving supporter,

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 Urízar and I am the Field Technician for EcoLogic’s project with Mancomunidad Frontera del Norte 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 so that they can have dignified lives and livelihoods in the places where they live. I have worked in this community for over 5 years, providing technical assistance to implement a series of complementary strategies that seek to empower rural communities to conserve their forests and natural resources--one of them being beekeeping and honey production.

In 2019, the beekeepers we work with produced 28,000 lbs. of honey. With continued technical assistance, the honey's quality was greatly improved perhaps reaching its best year so far. In case you didn’t know, moisture is one of the most important parameters of honey quality--higher moisture makes the honey more susceptible to fermentation. Thus, we have been working closely with our producers to monitor and reduce the water content of the honey. Feeling more confident in their product, the producers dared to knock on doors of local cooperatives and associations to offer their product.

ASIPOI (Integral Association of Organic Producers of Ixcán) is an association that works with organic production and also buys products to sell nationally and internationally. A group of producers from San Antonio Tzejá spoke with ASIPOI about the sale of their product, demonstrating the quality of honey by showing documentation of its moisture levels. I was very happy that they were able to sell all the honey they had available at about US$ 1.05/lb and ASIPOI was very pleased with its quality--opening the doors for continued sale of their future harvests.

I look forward to keeping you updated on the experiences of these communities as we move forward with the process. Thanks again for your support, it gives me the strength to keep fighting for my people and my country each and every day!

In solidarity,


Elmer Urízar
Field Technician, Ixcán, Guatemala

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Follow up technical assistance on beekeeping
Follow up technical assistance on beekeeping

Dear GlobalGiving supporter,

I’m writing to you today because I know you care about the families and communities we work with in Guatemala. My name is Mario Ardany de León, EcoLogic’s Program Officer. 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 so that they can pursue dignified lives and livelihoods in the places where they live. 

In our previous update, we shared our work with two new communities in Ixcán, El Quiché, Guatemala--to provide the materials and technical assistance to implement sustainable livelihoods in the form of beekeeping and agroforestry. After the initial delivery of the materials, following up to make sure that the equipment is being used correctly and that the community members have the know-how and confidence to continue implementing the initiative in the long-term is essential!

I wanted to share with you this recent video of our field technicians working with Jorge, to continue building his capacity on the process of hive management: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3u9k0EzwqY

In addition, so far in 2019, we have worked to establish 25 new hectares of agroforestry parcels on land that is currently degraded, producing 47,114 plants for the parcels, incorporating best practices and new techniques from learning exchanges.

I look forward to keeping you updated on the experiences of these communities as we move forward with the process. Thanks again for your support, it gives me the strength to keep fighting for my people and my country each and every day!

In solidarity,

Mario Ardany de Leon, Guatemala Program Officer

Growing trees for agroforestry
Growing trees for agroforestry
Building new beehives
Building new beehives
Tree nursery for agroforestry
Tree nursery for agroforestry

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Me (L) and colleague Antonio (R) with equipment
Me (L) and colleague Antonio (R) with equipment

Dear GlobalGiving supporter,

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 Urízar and I am the Field Technician for EcoLogic’s project with Mancomunidad Frontera del Norte 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 so that they can have dignified lives and livelihoods in the places where they live. I have worked in this community for over 5 years, providing technical assistance to implement a series of complementary strategies that seek to empower rural communities to conserve their forests and natural resources.

One of these strategies is beekeeping. Beekeeping can help build sustainable, resilient livelihoods from the harvest and sale of honey. EcoLogic’s beekeeping project has grown to include seven communities Ixcán, who have received beehives, training and assistance to enable them to adopt a livelihood alternative to slash-and-burn subsistence agriculture. This year we are expanding to two new communities that were identified and selected to benefit from beekeeping expansion, given their strong interest and commitment.

We started by approaching community authorities to make ourselves known. We then conducted community consultations, carried out in a participatory manner under the concept of family participation--to further encourage the active participation and leadership of women. The 50 beneficiaries were selected through community assemblies, where each family nucleus will become a participating family. An important part of the process was a learning exchange we facilitated between these new communities that were considering these activities and a community already engaged in agroforestry and beekeeping. The communities have also selected volunteer promoters (community leaders) to be further trained and provide ongoing support to all project participants.

We then held several workshops to train the participating families in the process, care, and maintenance of beehives, use of the equipment, safety tips, etc. so that they would be ready when the bees arrived.

Finally, last week, we were very excited to deliver the first 50 beehives, safety equipment, smokers, and other tools. It was quite the process, as these communities are very remote and the bees were delivered at night so that they would be calmer. We were all up until the wee hours of the morning making sure everything was delivered correctly and distributed as planned. The new beekeepers are incredibly grateful, committed, and ready to go.

I look forward to keeping you updated on the experiences of these communities as we move forward with the process. Thanks again for your kindness and moral support, it gives me the strength to keep fighting for my people and my country each and every day!

In solidarity,

Elmer Urízar
Field Technician, Ixcán, Guatemala

Late-night beehive delivery
Late-night beehive delivery
Getting set up the next day
Getting set up the next day
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Dear GlobalGiving supporter,

I wanted to share with you this recent video about the benefits farmers have experienced as they incorporate agroforestry into their farming practices in Ixcan, Guatemala. You will hear from several community members who have been part of the project share how they are experiencing the benefits that planting trees with crops brings about. I hope it gives you a better sense of how your support is making a difference on the ground.

I work with these communities day in and day out. I know how much they appreciate the positive impact you are making in their lives and on their forest through your support of EcoLogic. If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with me at mdeleon@ecologic.org. Or, better yet, come visit us and see for yourself!

In solidarity,

Mario Ardany de León, Program Officer, Guatemala

EcoLogic Development Fund

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Luis on land with year-and-a-half old Inga trees
Luis on land with year-and-a-half old Inga trees

Dear GlobalGiving supporter,

Happy New Year! We are grateful to you for your support of this project and for making this work possible.

For this update, I want to share with you the story of Luis, a farmer in San Antonio Tzejá in Guatemala. He is mostly dedicated to the production of basic grains such as corn, beans, but has recently increased the production of species such as cardamom. Before that Luis had tried his luck with cattle but because of the low prices, he was forced to get rid of them--leaving behind the degraded pasture on which he kept his animals.

After being used for raising livestock the land was overgrazed and not a good option for agriculture. Luis was a part of one of the communities EcoLogic works in, where he learned about the recovery of degraded lands through agroforestry. Integrating trees within agricultural lands has remarkable ecological and economic advantages. Agroforestry systems can: replenish soil nutrients and help retain moisture; reduce erosion; increase crop yields; create habitat buffers; and limit pressure on standing forests.

EcoLogic trains subsistence farmers in these techniques to reduce slash-and-burn agriculture and improve their food security. Agroforestry practices are considered one of the key strategies for the development of climate-smart agriculture.

After learning all of this, Luis wanted to try to make his land productive again by planting Inga on his pasture land. After two years of growth of the Inga edulis trees, total canopy coverage was achieved, thus preventing the growth of the forage grasses for cattle. The roots of the Inga trees succeeded in softening the land and fixing nitrogen in the soil. The mulch from the leaf litter also helped make the land fertile again so that he was able to plant cardamom in the third year.

Because Luis is getting older his daughter, Angelica, is helping him in the agricultural work. Angelica likes cardamom production, which is why she has been involved in her father’s activities. They have now managed to recover 3 hectares and during the Inga edulis seed production season, they are filling bags to produce more plants. This year they plan to extend the recovery of land to one more hectare, their shared goal is to expand agroforests on everything that was once a pasture.

I have included a few pictures for you. I work with these communities day in and day out. I know how much they appreciate the positive impact you are making in their lives and on their forest through your support of EcoLogic. If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with me at mdeleon@ecologic.org. Or, better yet, come visit us and see for yourself!

Saludos,


Mario Ardany de León
Program Officer, Guatemala
EcoLogic Development Fund

Pasture used for raising cattle
Pasture used for raising cattle
Luis and Angelica on plot with Inga and cardamom
Luis and Angelica on plot with Inga and cardamom
Angelica preparing bags to produce more Inga trees
Angelica preparing bags to produce more Inga trees
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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
$987 raised of $10,866 goal
 
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