by Elliot Cooper, International Program Coordinator
Armando Hernandez has been Trees, Water & People’s link to sustainable reforestation and clean cookstove implementation in El Salvador since 2000. Currently the Director of Arboles y Agua para el Pueblo (AAP), this outgoing, gregarious, and considerate Salvadoreño has been the mastermind of these projects since the very beginning and, to this day, he continues to work as hard as he did more than a decade ago.
Don Armando, as he is known throughout the TWP office, is a courteous and respectful individual, always taking into account the well-being of his staff while balancing the needs and wants of the many communities he serves.
“This is a difficult country to work in because environmental awareness is only a secondary concern to the general population,” notes Don Armando. “In the communities we work in, there is a significant lack of jobs and opportunities for advancement, so people only worry about themselves and don’t think about the natural world that surrounds them.”
Even with the challenges that present themselves on a daily basis in El Salvador, Don Armando has overseen the planting of more than 555,000 trees and the successful construction of nearly 4,200 clean cookstoves.
“The best part of my job is contributing to the improvement of lives of not only individuals, but also families and communities through our projects. Whether it is stoves, reforestation, latrines, or soil conversation courses, we bring our environmental message to everyone in order to shift values and drastically improve lives of our fellow Salvadoreños.”