This machete grows trees!

by Paso Pacifico
This machete grows trees!
This machete grows trees!
This machete grows trees!
This machete grows trees!
This machete grows trees!
This machete grows trees!
This machete grows trees!
This machete grows trees!
Finca Santa Cruz reforestation, visited in June
Finca Santa Cruz reforestation, visited in June

I would like to update you with some good news about our reforestation efforts made possible thanks to you. 

Last month, I traveled to El Salvador where I met with several farmers in the rural countryside. They shared information about their efforts to rebuild forests quickly by using cuttings from trees, and by planting seedlings sprouted from a seed and managed in an at-home nursery. The information they shared will go into the tree planting manual that we are developing to be both a manual and digital guide. 

During this same trip, I met with local children and local surfers at the La Punta or Punta Roca surf break to locate sites for tree-planting. Then, we led a public tree-planting together with the World Surf League nonprofit WSL PURE and the tourism development association Oriente Salvaje. This planting only involved some 30 or so native plants, but it went a long ways towards building awareness around the relevance of river and forests to ocean conservation. Thank you supporting our efforts to restore native vegetation.

We are also getting closer to our big vision to support "farmer mediated natural regeration" with  people, young and old. To reach many people and grow more trees, we have designed a digital platform that will promote restoration using native species. Recently, with your support, we have been meeting weekly with a global digital company that is offering us pro-bono support to build a business plan for this digital, forest-promoting project. We will keep you updated as we develop this digital reforestation plant. We are grateful that you support our ambitions to plant trees and create social and economic benefits for farmers. Thank you.

Finally, it is rainy season and so we have also begun efforts to cut back weeds and competing grasses from recent reforestation areas in Nicaragua. Your support makes it possible to do the long, committed work of sustaining trees even after the first few months. 

Thank you again for your incredible support! We could not do this work without you.

Sarah

Endangered spider monkeys in reforestation area
Endangered spider monkeys in reforestation area
Discussing restoration in rural El Salvador
Discussing restoration in rural El Salvador
Maintaining reforestation areas
Maintaining reforestation areas

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Maintaining reforestation areas
Maintaining reforestation areas

We are so grateful for your support for this project that aims to catalyze farmer-led forest restoration and slow climate change. We have used your support to bolster our restoration efforts on the ground and to gather resources for a training manual. Here are some updates: 

Your gift made it possible for us to hire a part-time intern to support our exeuctive director with project research and to gather training materials for our restoration platform. Training materials are for youth and farmers to develop skills in farmer-mediated natural regeneration, restoration mapping, and digital media and story-telling, Materials gathered thus far include scientific literature, restoration training manuals from around the world, and a compilation of existing apps and software for restoration purposes.

We mapped Paso Pacifico's current restoration areas in RESTOR and Explorer.Land mapping platforms. Each of these formats gives us the ability to add data layers like carbon, biodiversity, and farmer profiles. Our project profiles are not yet public on these platforms due to privacy concerns for landowners in Nicaragua.

In addition to these platforms, we mapped individual trees at the Mono Bayo Reserve using GreenStand. The next steps for this work will be to digitally tag each mapped tree with its species names. Now that we have made it through the rainy season, our ranger team on the ground is clearing weeds and vines around these trees to make sure they grow strong and healthy while they remove carbon from the atmosphere. Thank you for helping us to make it possible.

Finally, I would like to mention that your support has enabled us to pinpoint opportunities to link forest products with potential markets. This is important to our long-term restoration goals because farmers need to make a living from the trees that they grow. Balsum oil and native-bee honey are two such products. Balsum oil is extracted from native balsum trees using an artesanal approach. We have shared a sample of Central American balsum oil with a beauty company in France in hopes up opening up that market connection.

The digital platform to facilitate the interactions between youth and farmers grow in 2022. We are pleased to share that we have received a generous grant from the Bruce and Marilyn Wallace family foundation that will enable us to contract a Chief Product Officer to help lead the digital build-out of the product. 

We hope you have a wonderful new year!

With gratitude,

Sarah and the Team

Sketch of digital forestry platform relationships
Sketch of digital forestry platform relationships
Balsum tree in El Salvador
Balsum tree in El Salvador

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Farmers are proud to put their machete to good use
Farmers are proud to put their machete to good use
Dear Friend,
Thank you so much for supporting our campaign to develop a learning curriculum that will support farmers in planting trees. Here are some updates on our progress over the past few months:
  • We completed our ethnographic study of farmers across three regions in El Salvador and Nicaragua. There, we learned that farmers are proud of their ability to utilize their machetes, and have deep knowledge about how to use their machetes to prune trees, stimulate new growth and replant trees. As a result of this study, we are now putting together an illustrated training manual to help reach 1 million farmers in the area. Our manual will empower farmers and their communities, while also ensuring that our fight against climate change is stronger than ever.
  • Our reforestation project has also led us to become finalists in a global innovation competition! Thanks to you and your support, our project has led us to gain more exposure which, in turn, will lead to more trees being planted to save our planet.
  • We have begun reviewing illustrations and searching for Latinx artists who could help us to draw culturally relevant images of farmers using machetes to stimulate different types of tree sprouting.
  • Rainy season is underway in Central America and we are working with landowners in eastern El Salvador to identify new sites to plant trees.
This project is a key element of a platform being under design by Paso Pacifico, with support from the Ashoka ASPIRe program and Societal Platform of the Ekstep Foundation. The platform will connect youth with farmers to promote tree-growing using traditional tools like machetes, and by mapping them for climate change. We are grateful for your contributions to this program and look forward to sharing more in the coming months.
With gratitude,
Sarah
The machete represents an important life skill
The machete represents an important life skill
Local farmer in Nicaragua
Local farmer in Nicaragua
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Organization Information

Paso Pacifico

Location: Ventura, CA - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @pasopacifico
Project Leader:
Paso Pacifico
Ventura, CA United States
$3,130 raised of $15,000 goal
 
33 donations
$11,870 to go
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