Job Opening: Development Associate

end year pic

The Development Associate aids the Development Director in securing grants to support the national
and international programs of Trees, Water & People (TWP), as well as supervising development interns
and managing office volunteers.

– Draft letters of inquiry, grant proposals, award nominations, and reports
– Research potential foundation, corporate, and government funding opportunities
– Supervise development interns
– Manage office volunteers
– Other tasks as assigned

– Successful grant writing experience
– Strong professional writing and editing skills
– Excellent written and verbal communication
– Supervisory skills (volunteers/interns)
– Research skills
– Able to work independently
– Able to prioritize and meet deadlines
– Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel
– Spanish language skills highly desired


– Responsible
– Organized
– Detail-oriented
– Motivated
– Interest in TWP’s mission and programs

Development Director

Trees, Water & People’s office in Fort Collins, Colorado

$14/hour with benefits

Full-time 40 hours/week, Monday – Friday

Email your cover letter, resume, and a sample showcasing your grant writing skills to Heather Herrell,
Development Director at All Required Skills must be addressed in your
application. Please, no phone calls. Thank you for your interest in Trees, Water & People!

Community-Based Development in Action: Reforestation in El Salvador

tree nursery El Salvador
Don Jorge Ochoa has worked at the El Porvenir nursery since 2007, helping to grow nearly 630,000 trees.

community_based_developmentTrees, Water & People’s Community-Based Development Model is based on the philosophy that the best way to help those most in need is to involve them directly in the design and implementation of local environmental and economic development initiatives. This creates ownership, involvement, and financial sustainability well into the future. Our proven development model of training and execution, coupled with an enterprise approach, engages and inspires local residents to preserve their precious natural resources.

Our Reforestation Program in El Salvador is a great example of this Community-Based Development Model in action:

identify_community_needsEl Salvador is the second most deforested country in Latin America after Haiti. Nearly 85 percent of its forest cover has disappeared since the 1960s. Less than 6,000 hectares are classified as primary forest. Deforestation in El Salvador has had serious environmental, social, and economic impacts. Today over 50 percent of El Salvador is not even suitable for food cultivation, and much of the country is plagued with severe soil erosion (Mongabay, 2015).

partner_with_local_organizations In 2001, we formed a partnership with environmental conservation leaders in El Salvador, who created Arboles y Agua para El Pueblo (AAP) to address natural resource issues within the country. The organization is led by Armando Hernandez and his dedicated staff who work tirelessly to protect the precious natural resources of El Salvador.

El Salvador tree nursery
Members of the AAP staff at our 30,000-tree nursery in El Porvenir.

design_and_implement_projects (1)The AAP staff addresses El Salvador’s natural resource issues through reforestation, producing over 28 hardwood and fruit tree species in their nurseries. Local community members, governments, and farmers use these trees for food, firewood, and shade. In addition, AAP and TWP work together to build clean cookstoves that reduce deforestation and deadly household air pollution. Community-led conservation projects create jobs for local people as well purpose and meaning in life. Don Jorge Alberto Dorado Ochoa, an AAP staff member since 2007, found his work at the tree nursery to be healing during his battle with cancer. “I feel strongly that my dedication to the nursery and the work of TWP gave me strength and health.”

evaluate_and_monitor_projectsAAP reports to TWP on a monthly basis to ensure projects are running smoothly and efficiently. Our International Program staff visit the projects several times a year to monitor progress. At the end of each year, we work together to evaluate successes, challenges, and plan for future needs.

To learn more about Trees, Water & People please visit Our grassroots conservation efforts depend on friends and donors investing in our work. We hope you will join our community today!

Building the Nicaraguan Center for Forests, Energy & Climate

Nicaraguan Center for Forests, Energy & Climate

Climate change affects us all. Around the world, communities are already suffering from its drastic local impacts, such as increased natural disasters, destructive weather patterns, and reduced crop yields. It’s time to take action.

Trees, Water & People is working with our long-time partner in Nicaragua, Proleña, to establish the Nicaraguan Center for Forests, Energy, & Climate near La Paz Centro, about an hour northwest of Managua.

Nicaragua 067
Proleña and TWP are working together to develop the Nicaraguan Center for Forests, Energy & Climate.

Working with our dedicated partner organization Proleña, we have already grown more than 3.7 million trees in Nicaragua. The new Center will not only grow and plant more seedlings, we will also provide hands-on demonstration plots to show how local people can integrate growing trees and growing food crops together in the new era of a changing climate.

We will also use the Center to continue to build and distribute our clean cookstoves to reduce firewood use and deforestation. To date, we have built and distributed more than 64,000 fuel-efficient stoves that also eliminate the toxic smoke that causes millions of women and children to get sick or die every year.

The new Center is ultimately about resilience – learning how to survive and even thrive despite a harsh new climate reality. To do that, we must provide a place where educators and students come to teach, work, and learn about the real impacts of climate change, what can be done about them, and how we can and will adapt.

2015 Nicaraguan Center for Forests, Energy & Climate timeline

For questions about the new Center please contact Sebastian Africano, International Director, at

ETHOS Conference Brings Clean Cookstove Sector Together in Seattle

A throwback to 2005 when I first started working with Trees, Water & People's Clean Cookstove Program as an intern.
A throwback to 2005 when I first started working with Trees, Water & People’s Clean Cookstove Program as an intern.

by Sebastian Africano, International Director

Almost 13 years ago, a fringe group of scientists, development practitioners, and academics came together to coordinate a response to an epidemic that claims over 4 million lives a year. That epidemic stems from the health problems caused by dirty indoor air – largely a result of cooking inside with solid fuels like firewood, charcoal, and dung.

The group that emerged from these meetings was named Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service, or ETHOS, and has since helped catalyze a global movement based on the simple notion that cooking shouldn’t kill. I attended the third ETHOS conference held in Kirkland, WA in 2005, and I have just returned from the 13th, marking ten years since I entered the clean cookstove sector.

Trees, Water & People (TWP) and our partner’s understanding of how to design cookstoves appropriately, how to test them, how to increase adoption, and how to improve their durability has increased exponentially in the past ten years. Where there were only a handful of scattered groups dedicated to moving this work forward, there is now a Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, pushing to deploy 100 million cookstoves worldwide by the year 2020, with endorsements from public figures such as Hillary Clinton, Julia Roberts and Chef José Andrés.

Playing with fire (testing cookstoves) at ETHOS 2015.
Playing with fire (testing cookstoves) at ETHOS 2015.

While some groups focus on mass fabrication of cookstoves for export, other organizations like TWP focus on designing locally appropriate solutions using local materials, and creating jobs in the process. Advances in monitoring and evaluation and testing have taught us to gather evidence from the field, demonstrating how these technologies truly reduce firewood consumption, exposure to pollutants, and carbon emissions in the atmosphere, slowing the acceleration of climate change. With three billion people still depending on solid fuels for daily cooking needs, all involved are hitting the gas pedal to increase the quality, quantity, and impact of the clean cookstove sector.

In TWP’s case, this work gets done when donors like you support our Clean Cookstove Program with your generous donations. Just as we in the U.S. have a wide array of safe cooking technologies in our kitchens (count them!) for our varied cooking tasks, we believe that families living on the economic margins of society should have the same safe and clean options, even if they continue to use biomass fuels. So thank you for supporting this great work, and for following our progress in tackling the silent killer in the kitchen.

Join our team! TWP Hiring Assistant International Director

Position Title: Assistant International Director

Summary of Position:
Unique role providing program support to the International Director of Trees, Water & People (TWP), by working directly with partners in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Haiti. Candidate must be a self-starter with excellent written and verbal communications skills, business and tech savvy, with Spanish fluency and international experience. The position will commence as part-time during a three month trial period, and then will transition to full-time. Extensive travel to Central America with extended stays required.

Examples of Typical Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Communicate regularly with program managers in TWP program countries to monitor their programmatic priorities, funding opportunities, and operational outputs and outcomes.
2. Develop tracking and reporting systems, and test and improve them against ongoing activities in the field.
3. Travel between program countries on a regular basis to oversee, implement, and monitor TWP’s forestry, clean cookstove, and solar lighting programs (stays may be extended and require considerable independent field work).
4. Contribute to grant writing efforts to raise funds for International Programs.
5. Compile and consolidate program outputs and outcomes into digestible impact metrics for TWP staff and donor community.
6. Seek out funding opportunities at the regional level, keeping abreast of trends, actors and activities in the local development sector.

Education and Training Level:
Bachelor’s Degree with five years of relevant international experience or Master’s Degree with two years of relevant international experience.

Experience Level:
A qualified candidate will exhibit strong conversational Spanish language skills, critical thinking skills, and show evidence of their ability to excel under challenging circumstances with minimal oversight. International experience is a must (Latin America preferred). Proficiency in Microsoft Office and experience communicating and working with a range of populations – from extremely poor rural households, to leaders in the global development sector. Evidence of successful grant writing experience a strong plus.

Supervisor: International Director

Type of Position: 24 hrs/wk during trial period, 40 hrs/wk upon reaching full time status

Salary Range: $14 – $16/hr, with benefits upon reaching full time status
Email CV and Cover Letter to – no calls or visits please

Application Deadline: February 15, 2015

Thank You Redwood Partners!

The relationships that we form with businesses from around the country, and the world, make much of our work possible. Thanks to these innovative partnerships, we have been able to complete important community-based sustainable development projects around the globe. Thank you 2014 Redwood partners!

Redwood Partners

To view a full list of our 2014 Corporate Partners and to learn more about how your business can partner with Trees, Water & People click here >>

From the Board: Building the National Center for Biomass Energy and Climate Change

by Jon Becker, TWP Board Member

Nicaragua clean cookstove factory
TWP Executive Director Richard Fox at Proleña’s cookstove factory in Managua.

It’s Wednesday in Managua, which puts me in the middle of my 10 day Central American journey. Here in Nicaragua, Trees, Water & People’s Executive Director Richard Fox and I are completing a series of meetings with our long time partner, Proleña.  It is a very exciting time here – we are truly getting our hands dirty to launch one of our biggest projects in the region – the National Center for Biomass Energy and Climate Change.

NicaraguaSeveral years ago, with support from our donors as well as funds from the Rio Tinto Prize for Sustainability, we helped Proleña purchase a property in a rural area near the town of La Paz Centro, an hour northwest of Managua.  After years of planning, fundraising, and dreaming, we have finally started construction of the Center. Today I had the pleasure of walking the seven acre property with Proleña’s Director Marlyng Buitrago, Technical Director Leonardo Mayorga, Board member Juan Torres. We visited the two buildings that have already been constructed, chatted with our caretaker and his family who are living on the land, and imagined the day (soon!) when the views, including majestic Mt. Momotombo in the distance, would also feature the classrooms, dormitory, agroforestry demonstration areas, clean cookstove workshops, and more that will make up the Center.

A view of Momotombo from the National Center for Biomass Energy and Climate Change
A view of Momotombo as it rises near the shores of Lake Managua – a beautiful backdrop to the National Center for Biomass Energy and Climate Change.

The Center is a unique and critically important addition to the entire region’s capacity to restore and maintain forest health, expand the use of clean energy and appropriate technologies, and develop adaptation strategies to the already present impacts of climate change.  As such, it will embody a model worthy of replication as all of the world steps up to the challenge of climate change and the transition to renewable energy.

I was flashing back to similar feelings of excitement, concern, and hope that I felt just a few years ago walking the grounds of the mostly unfinished Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.  I was remembering the flood of joy and satisfaction I reveled a little more than a year ago, when I was attended the grand opening of the Sacred Earth Lodge training center and dormitory at Pine Ridge. We did it before – we can do it again.  And I want to be there for La Fiesta!!

To learn more about the National Center for Biomass Energy and Climate Change in Nicaragua please visit our website.