Support TWP While You Holiday Shop!

AmazonSmile

Doing any of your holiday shopping online? When you order from AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Trees, Water & People. This is an easy way to support our programs, so sign-up today!

Bookmark this link http://smile.amazon.com/ch/84-1462044 and support us every time you shop!

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Upcoming Event: Party With a Purpose on Colorado Gives Day!

You’re invited! Join us on December 9, 2014 for a Colorado Gives Day Celebration at Odell Brewing Company.

Colorado Gives Day 2014 celebration

CGD2014 flash

The Mighty Moringa Tree in Haiti

Haiti Moringa trees

The Moringa tree is well-known in Haiti for its medicinal and nutritional value.

This year, our Haitian partners at AMURT and the Local Capacity Alliance (LOCAL) have focused their Transformation de l’Environment Rural (TER) training on agroforestry, fruit trees, and Moringa. Hundreds of Haitian farmers in the northwest region of the country have learned diverse cultivation methods and utilization of the mighty Moringa tree, known in Haiti as d’olive, benzolive, or gabriel.

According to AMURT, people have been very interested and enthusiastic about Moringa, which is well-known in the area for its medicinal and nutritional value.  Training sessions have focused on tree-care, harvest and simple processing of the leaf into Moringa powder. In the near future, experiments will begin on extraction of the Moringa oil, which also has multiple beneficial uses. Due to it’s high vitamin and mineral content, AMURT and LOCAL’s ultimate aim is to promote cultivation of Moringa as a nutritional supplement for families, for school meals and eventually as an export product from the economically challenged region.

Moringa powder

Moringa leaves can be ground into a fine powder and used as a nutritional supplement.

LOCAL’s Moringa Specialist, Daniel Isner, said “This training is a fundamental step in the projected establishment of a Haitian Moringa producers network, one that holds great potential in supplying Moringa leaves to booming global superfood/nutrition markets and to quality Moringa seed oil to a variety of markets, both here and abroad.”

farmer training

Farmer training promoting Moringa cultivation and agroforestry

Thanks to many generous donors, we have been able to support this very impactful project that is helping Haitian farmers earn an income while also protecting the land. As Demeter from AMURT recently commented, “It’s inspiring to see the partnership we started 7 years ago give such beautiful fruits – more than a million trees, 600 farmers organized in Self-Help Groups with more than 50,000 USD in savings, and a growing appreciation for “green” in this isolated NW corner of Haiti.”

Join us for the 2015 Work Tour to Guatemala!

Guatemala Work Tour 2015

To view a full itinerary of the trip and to register please visit: www.treeswaterpeople.org/worktour

Notes from the Field: Guatemalan Youth Discover a Love for Community-Based Conservation

youth farmers Guatemala

Migration from Central America to the United States has been in the news more than usual these days. It is accelerating due to the difficulties that come with rapid population growth, rising energy demand, massive crop losses from the effects of climate change, and organized crime and violence reaching alarming levels along this tiny string of countries.

Even if migration is just to the nearest city, the actual movement of family members is really a means to an end. These families only seek to provide a better future for their children: keeping them fed, educated, safe, and healthy. At Trees, Water & People (TWP), we have learned that there are many opportunities to create sustainable livelihoods in rural areas, and that often these opportunities can be paired with better natural resource management.

To modify an old adage – this is akin to getting two plants from one seed. Recently, I had this conversation with a group of young men from a rural village near Escuintla, Guatemala. They have formed a youth group in their community that is taking on migration by seeking new, local income generating opportunities. David Bautista, 26 and Osvin Gomez, 25, are the de facto leaders of the group, and together have been pitching their projects to TWP since we first began working in their community, La Bendición, in 2011.

“At first, there were many in the community who didn’t believe in us – they’d say that it was a passing fad,” says David, referring to their plans several years ago of starting an entrepreneurial youth movement in the community.

Guatemala tree nursery

Today, the ambitious young group has a plantation of 5,000 organic pineapples that produce a continuous, mouth-watering harvest, a few dozen bee hives from which they are bottling and selling honey, and plots of shade-grown coffee. In addition, the group also runs a 15,000 tree nursery, which they use almost exclusively for fruit trees. These high-value crops, including coconuts, cashews, citrus, coffee, and cacao, are providing an important source of income to young farmers while promoting natural resource conservation.

The youth group’s mission, which TWP continues to support, is simple: find approaches that allow them to develop their community from within, so they never have to migrate to the city, or to the U.S., to work for someone else. “An old tree can’t be straightened out,” says the sitting President of the town council Oscar, who still bears the memories of his time laboring in the U.S., “it has to be trained while it’s young.

Trees, Water & People Announces Winner of $40,000 “Green Business in Indian Country Start-Up Award”

Tyler Tawahongva

Tyler Tawahongva accepts the Green Business in Indian Country Start-Up Award.

Trees, Water & People (TWP) is pleased to announce Tyler Tawahongva as the winner of the 2014 Green Business in Indian Country Start-Up Award. Mr. Tawahongva, a Hopi member of the Coyote Clan from Hotevilla, Arizona, will receive up to $40,000 in start-up capital and technical assistance to expand his company, Cloud Nine Recycling.

Tyler returned to his hometown of Tuba City, Arizona in 2010 after working for American Express for ten years. While exploring career options, he found that he could make extra income from recycling. He has been recycling for four years now and recently expanded Cloud Nine Recycling to include paper products, plastics, aluminum cans, metals and electronic equipment.

“This principle of being a Native and a steward of the earth is a driving force to my endeavor of creating this recycling business.” Explains Tyler, “With the award from Trees, Water and People, I will now be able to continue my mission to intercept waste from landfills and provide jobs for the local community as well as bring awareness to the need for recycling in my community.”

The Green Business in Indian Country Start-Up Award is an exciting culmination of Trees, Water & People’s annual Green Business Development Training and Business Start-Up Mentorship Program. Using the Indianpreneurship curriculum developed by Our Native American Business Network (ONABEN), this new multi-tiered approach provides Native American students with the practical knowledge, resources, and confidence needed to create their own businesses.

“We had several excellent green business plans submitted, but Tyler’s personal statement and feasibility plan really stood out. Recycling is one of the bases of community-wide involvement in addressing climate change and sustainable living, and TWP is very excited to help support Cloud Nine Recycling get a strong start.” Said Jamie Folsom, TWP’s National Director and a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

TWP is proud to sponsor this Award and offer assistance to Native American entrepreneurs like Tyler who are eager to create and grow their green business ideas.

For more information please contact Jamie Folsom at jamief@treeswaterpeople.org or call 970-484-3678.

Community Voices: Juan Francisco Velasquez

by Sebastian Africano, International Director

clean cookstove guatemala

Chico and Florida are happy to have a safer and healthier home with their new clean
cookstove.

In every country where Trees, Water & People (TWP) builds clean cookstoves, we train local citizens in the design and construction of the stoves. These dedicated individuals work with community members throughout the entire process to create stoves that meet their specific cooking needs. In addition, stoves are built using local materials. Families invest in the stove by providing a portion of the materials needed as well as investing time in helping to construct the stoves.

Imagine: more than 63,000 cookstoves built to date, all designed and constructed by local citizens! This accomplishment gets at the core of TWP’s mission and vision – an emphasis on community-based natural resource management that benefits both people and the planet. Our projects are not successful unless local people are involved each step of the way.

Sebastian Africano clean cookstove

Inspecting Chico’s cookstove and happy to see how well it works for the family.

During our most recent visit to Guatemala, we saw this model in action. Juan Francisco “Chico” Velasquez and his wife Florida Vitalia welcomed us into their home to see their new clean cookstove. Chico and his family have benefited from the stove for eight months now, greatly reducing their fuelwood use and indoor air pollution in the home. Our partners at Utz Che’ worked with community members to design this stove to meet their unique cooking preferences.

Chico says, “Before we had the clean cookstove, I never knew food could smell so good! Now that there is no smoke in the kitchen, you can smell dinner cooking from outside the house and all the way down the street.”

To learn more about our Clean Cookstove Program click here.