| Nov 16, 2023
Harvesting Progress with Agroforestry & Interns Empowering Communities
Dear GlobalGiving Supporters,
I hope this message finds you well! I am thrilled to provide updates on our recent progress in Guatemala, showcasing the impactful transformations made possible through your generous support.
In Ixcán, we successfully established 38 new hectares of agroforestry systems, introducing medium-growth fruit trees such as avocado, banana, lemon, tangerine, orange, chicozapote, soursop, and rambutan. These trees were strategically planted alongside Mahogany trees and the fast-growing Inga edulis, offering both shade and enhanced soil moisture retention, particularly crucial during this year's extreme dry season.
Adapting to the weather conditions, we collaborated closely with our partner farmers, recommending reduced pruning and postponing certain planned activities until the arrival of rains. The resilience of our previously established agroforestry systems proved significantly more robust against the heat wave compared to conventional cardamom production methods.
Over the past four months (from July to October), we actively supported APROSARSTUN in hosting two interns, Carlos and Oswin, from the Ak’Tenamit School. The internship was part of their capstone experience leading up to their November graduation focused on Community Development.
During their internship, Carlos and Oswin shadowed our field technicians, gaining valuable insights into our community-driven approach and the diverse strategies we employ for community-based conservation. Carlos was particularly enthusiastic about learning and providing technical assistance for the new beekeeping project in San Juan. Oswin found fulfillment in aiding the construction of a community oven in collaboration with the Women’s Committee, contributing to a small enterprise that will produce and sell traditional coconut bread and other baked goods.
They also learned about the use of GPS and georeferencing of agroforestry plots. Both interns were deeply honored to be hosted by the exemplary organization APROSARSTUN, and they are committed to "paying it forward" as they chart their future career paths.
We extend our immense gratitude to you! Your dedication has made an extraordinary impact on the lives of the communities we serve. As we persist in our efforts, we eagerly anticipate keeping you updated on the progress of these activities throughout the year.
Thank you for being champions of change!
Mario Ardany de Leon, Guatemala Program Officer
Carlos learning about beekeeping in Sarstun
Interns learning how to use GPS
Oswin delivering materials for community oven
Interns helping deliver agroforestry materials