Notes from the Field: Quixay√° and the Mesoamerican Permaculture Institute

Quixay√° is a true paradise in the heart of Guatemala.
Quixay√° is a true paradise in the heart of Guatemala.

by Lucas Wolf, Assistant International Director

After a couple of hours of driving, the lowland cane fields gave way to rolling hills of more extensive monoculture in the form of rubber plantations that envelope the highway on all sides. After a few slight detours through bustling towns, we began a slow ascent back into the extraordinary coffee country that begins near the foot of Volcano Atitlán in the highlands of Guatemala’s Sierra Madre mountain range. With the change in topography and scenery came a surprise pit stop for lunch in the indigenous community of Quixayá, just south of San Lucas Tolimán.

As our group of 15 Work Tour guests exited the vans to stretch and take stock of the new surroundings we followed our guide, Ramiro Tzunun, towards the edge of the small town. From a strategic perch we took stock of our bearings Рwe now stood on the precipice of a cliff overlooking a lush river valley. Ramiro informed us that this was, in fact, a unique and special place Рa collective and familial agriculture and aquaculture system divided into three unique zones: a valley floor and riverbank sector devoted primarily to watercress, tilapia and shellfish; a mid-level sector with flatter plots used primarily for impressive companion planting of corn, coffee and bananas; and, finally the higher reaches of the valley that marks the transition zone to the mountainous forest, primarily devoted to agroforestry and woodfuel.

Companion planting of corn, coffee and bananas in Quixay√°.
Companion planting of corn, coffee and bananas in Quixay√°.

In 2010, Hurricane Agatha swept through the river valley and caused widespread destruction to the community¬īs main economic lifeline, but since then there have been impressive rebuilding and development of terraced ponds designed for tilapia and watercress production. The community is mostly self-sufficient and autonomous, content to carve out a living from their special place on the earth. In fact, the community has received very little foreign NGO or state assistance, but guidance from the¬†Mesoamerican Institute of Permaculture¬†(IMAP) has been particularly important and Ramiro is one of their co-founders. He bases his approach to development on the farmer-to-farmer methodology as well as ancestral knowledge and the overall Mayan cosmovision.

Following our hike down the ridge and through the river valley, we stopped at a bucolic dining spot that also functions as a gathering place for workshops and educational events for the few groups that are fortunate enough to visit. Lunch consisted of the local tilapia and watercress, accompanied by broccoli, carrots, peppers, and potatoes Рall harvested directly from the fertile valley. Many of our Work Tour guests were positively impacted and moved by the beauty and the special energy of this valley, a strong testament to the power of human potential when combined with solid permaculture design and Mayan cultural philosophy.

Sharing and learning about new cultures was an important experience for everyone involved.
Sharing and learning about new cultures was a life-changing experience for everyone on the Guatemala Work Tour.

The permaculture and Mayan elements are a powerful part of IMAP¬īs mission, which is “to empower communities towards self-sustainability through permaculture education, Mayan ancestral knowledge and conservation of native seeds.” Upon the completion of our Quixay√° visit we ventured up through more mountains heavily dotted with coffee production before arriving at the idyllic lakeside location of IMAP¬īs main center just outside of San Lucas Tolim√°n. Once settled in, our group received an informative introduction into the history and mission of the center and its work in surrounding communities along with a more holistic discussion on the Mayan cosmovision on agriculture, water, and ecosystems.

This single day was short compared to the more extensive time in our focus community, but the overall impact was deep and helped our group to understand alternate approaches to development and environmental management. Additionally, it provided crucial perspective on the indigenous approaches to agriculture and permaculture and their relationship to overall community development. The Mesoamerican Institute is conducting profoundly important work in Guatemala and our relationship with them is only in the preliminary stages, but we certainly look forward to continuing our collaboration in the future to continue the process of positive community development in Guatemala and Central America as a whole.

Notes from the Field: Guatemala’s Forest Guardians

Cultural exchange unites children from Guatemala with TWP supporters from the US.
Cultural exchange united children from Guatemala with Trees, Water & People supporters from the U.S. (Image by Jeff Lejann Abbott)

by Lucas Wolf, Assistant International Director

Earlier this month, Trees, Water & People (TWP)¬†staff led a Work Tour to several locations in Guatemala, primarily in the southern region of the country. The focal point of this trip was a 4-day working visit to the rural community of La Bendici√≥n, located in the department of Escuintla. A total of 18 participants embarked on the special journey to gain an in-depth view into one of the key areas of TWP¬īs international focus: the agroforestry communities of Guatemala.

The history of La Bendición is as complex and compelling as that of Guatemala as a whole. Currently, the community consists of three distinct ethnic groups from the western side of the country who fled their homes in search of a more stable and hospitable place to settle. They were promised a fertile area with well-equipped infrastructure, but instead found a challenging mountainside with high winds, limited water, and very poor road access.

Rough roads
Rough roads and a harsh climate make La Bendición a tough place to live and work. (Image by Jeff Lejann Abbott)

La Bendici√≥n has been a key part of our overall presence in Guatemala since Sebastian Africano, TWP¬īs International Director, first began to cultivate the relationship with local partner Utz Che‚Äô over four years ago. La Bendici√≥n is one of over 40 communities represented by Utz Che¬ī, an umbrella organization that provides legal services and critical advocacy to underserved, mostly indigenous, communities. This was the first Work Tour experience to this community and, by all accounts, a very successful endeavor. In the future, TWP hopes to be able to bring groups here at least once a year.

The flourishing community nursery now has 35,000 plants growing.
The flourishing community nursery now has 35,000 plants growing. Work tour participants had the pleasure of working with local youth to do some weeding. (Image by Jeff Lejann Abbott)

It is important to include a note of gratitude here to the participants of the work trip for their exceptional energy, engagement, patience and dedication to learning as much as possible about La Bendici√≥n, TWP¬īs work in the region and the reality of Guatemala.

“Outstanding cultural experience and wonderful people. You should continue to offer it and other similar trips. Nice mix of work and “tourist” activities. Thanks!” – 2015 Work Tour Participant

In terms of learning and engagement, the primary focus of the trip included:

  • Overview of community history and economic development realities and challenges
  • Agroforestry crops and production
  • Apiculture (bee keeping) best practices
  • Cultural and social exchange with community members

Some notable highlights were the tours of the honey production and beekeeping project, which included a visit to the colonies and sampling of the honey straight off the honeycomb. ¬†We also enjoyed visiting the tree nursery and pineapple fields, which have expanded seven-fold in just the last couple of years, from an original total of 5,000 plants to over 35,000 total plants. The expansion of the pineapple project has grown to include the use of more organic methods with help from one of the community¬īs younger members, who studied organic agricultural practices at University before returning to share his expertise with fellow campesinos. This type of engagement from the youth is critical to insure the creation of economic opportunities that allow them to remain part of the community¬īs present and future development plans and resist the urges of immigration.

David (left) and myself on our cloud forest hike.
Community leader, David (left), and myself on our cloud forest hike. (Image by Jeff Lejann Abbott)

Perhaps the most striking observations about the history and struggle of La Bendición were broached on a group hike to the community’s water source, the imposing mountain that forms their scenic backdrop. David, one of the youth group leaders and a champion for agricultural and economic empowerment, highlighted the struggles to develop and work their land with less than ideal infrastructure and climate. Another challenge is the external interest groups, especially agribusiness and timber agents, who eye the exceptionally well preserved forest that forms the backbone of their watershed and agroforestry existence. The forest is made up of rare hard and softwoods and old growth trees that are critical to the ecosystem and habitat, but also a prized commodity for selective cutting by the timber industry.

The forest provides resources and bidoversity, such as honey bees, that are critical to survival.
The forest provides resources and bi0diversity, such as honey bee habitat, that are critical to survival. (Image by Jeff Lejann Abbott)

Through education and public awareness, David and his fellow community members remain committed and dedicated guardians of the forest. With hard work and perseverance, they have managed to improve their quality of life through the design and implementation of critical projects, like apiculture and pineapple production, as well as the installation of clean cookstoves, solar lighting systems, and improved water infrastructure.

Through these forest conservation and community development efforts, and continued support from TWP and Utz Che’ staff and donors, David and other local¬†leaders hope to continue educating their community on the importance of the land and forest while working to improve livelihoods. Their is much hope and opportunity for a brighter future in La Bendici√≥n, and we hope you will join us in supporting these efforts!

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 www.treeswaterpeople.org. 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, Prole√Īa, to establish the Nicaraguan Center for Forests, Energy, &¬†Climate near La Paz Centro, about an hour northwest of Managua.

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

Working with our¬†dedicated partner organization Prole√Īa, 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 ‚Äď 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 sebastian@treeswaterpeople.org.

Notes from the Field: Generations of Knowledge and Experience Converge

Guatemala apiculture workshop

by Sebastian Africano, International Director

A lot of my recent “firsts” have been in Guatemala, while working with TWP partner Utz Che’¬†– an umbrella group for 36 campesino organizations throughout this vast country. Through Utz Che’ I met the community of La Bendici√≥n – a displaced population of some 100 families from San Marcos, who were resettled in the south east of the country, in the Department of Escuintla.

P1090040

Since 2011 a group of young men from La Bendición has been approaching me very formally, seeking support for some community projects they were getting off the ground. Their pitch was impressive Рsaying that while they lived in a remote area with no municipal services, they saw an opportunity to make their living from the land and resources around them, avoiding migration to the city or to the United States.

After three years of visits, I have never been let down by these guys – they’ve planted tens of thousands of trees, thousands of pineapples, and have a small enterprise producing honey.¬† So, when they asked me to support them getting additional training in bee keeping to improve their business, I made it a priority to see that it happened.

Guatemalan honey
Guatemalan honey

For two days in November 2014, a group of 16 beekeepers from the Utz Che’ broad network of partners came together at the Meso-American Permaculture Institute (IMAP) on the south shore of Lake Atitl√°n to receive an apiculture workshop from local expert Genaro Simalaj. The participants ranged in age from 16 to 70 years, and were from throughout Guatemala – three generations of knowledge and experience in one powerful convergence.

When participants were asked in an introductory circle what bees meant to each of them, responses included “they are part of my family”, “they are who give life to nature through pollination”, “a healthful economy” and “they are the scientists that do with nature what no one else can”.¬† We then spent two days studying and splitting hives, collecting honey, and learning from each other in the mountains around Lake Atitl√°n.

This workshop was a reminder to me of the importance of my work at TWP – a fulcrum between the aspirations of rural communities and the resources that help them become reality. David Bautista, the unwavering leader of the youth group from La Bendici√≥n said that “when the adults are no longer here, it’s us (the youth) who are going to have to guide this ship”. My role, as I see it, is just to fan the sails.

Guatemalan apiculture

Join TWP on a work tour to the community of La Bendición the week of March 15 Р22 to build clean cookstoves, work in the tree nursery, learn about bee keeping, and help fix a water system. A great way to travel while giving back!  Register by Dec. 31 for a 5% discount: www.treeswaterpeople.org/worktour

Project Update: Matching Loans for Women Farmers in Haiti

Haitian women farmers

by Sebastian Africano, International Director

Progress

In late October 2014, I was able to travel to Haiti to meet with our partners at the Local Capacity Alliance (LOCAL), who have taken over all field activities for the Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT). Once at the project site, six hours northwest of Port-au-Prince, we launched into three days of visiting tree nurseries, reforestation sites, farm plots, and the Self Help Groups (SHGs) who will be supported by these Catapult funds throughout the coming year. Far from being the timid, poor victims on the margins of an economically challenged society, the women members of the Self Help Groups groups have taken charge of their development, and are dedicated to the notion of lifting themselves out of poverty. One testament to their success was a recent award received by LOCAL‚Äôs Self Help Group coordinator Remise Belizaire, recognized as Digicel‚Äôs “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the region ‚Äď an honor bestowed on 10 outstanding leaders per year in Haiti.

Risks and challenges

As the Self Help Group program grows, it places increasing levels of responsibility on the members of each group to manage their growth, keep their leaders in check, and to deal cooperatively with problems. Some groups have had members withdraw from the group and take their capital with them, which destabilizes the rhythm of the group and shrinks the pot of money available for loans. Even though they can only leave with what they actually deposited, a new member recruited to replace the old does not deposit the same amount in replacement, so the group’s capital is reduced.

Haiti Self-Help Group

Get personal

‚ÄúThe Self Help Groups are not only for us to make money, it has also shown us how to live together, to collaborate, and how to work in groups‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúOur husbands have begun to understand the benefits we’ve been gaining from our Self Help Group, and have asked LOCAL to help start groups for men following the example of the women.‚ÄĚ

Next steps

LOCAL has just hired two Haitian Agronomists to manage the program, and they are in the process of developing a strategic plan for 2015, including activities with the Self Help Groups. Initially they will focus on working with the them to improve agricultural productivity, increase the use of tree crops and orchards, and to produce Moringa powder, a locally grown superfood, for sale and local consumption.

To learn more about this project please visit Catapult.org!

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.

moringa-vs-common-foods
Source: http://moringaoleifera.com/nutrientcontent.html

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.”

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

youth farmers Guatemala

by Sebastian Africano, International Director

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 ‚Äď 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 Bendici√≥n, in 2011.

‚ÄúAt first, there were many in the community who didn‚Äôt believe in us ‚Äď they‚Äôd say that it was a passing fad,‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs 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. ‚ÄúAn old tree can‚Äôt be straightened out,‚ÄĚ says the sitting President of the town council Oscar, who still bears the memories of his time laboring in the U.S., ‚ÄúIt has to be trained while it‚Äôs young.”

Helping Communities in Central America Adapt to a Changing Climate

National Center for Biomass Energy and Climate Change

by Megan Maiolo-Heath, Marketing Manager

For many years, we have been supporting conservation throughout Latin America, helping local people manage their most precious natural resources: trees, soils, and water. During this time, the communities we work with have experienced the negative effects of climate change first-hand, including hurricanes, droughts, flooding, and crop loss.

Here in the U.S. and other developed nations, we are beginning to see how a rapidly changing climate can hurt our environment, economies, and health. But, the poorest people in the world have been feeling the brunt of climate change for years.

Honduran farmer
Local farmers and their families are feeling the effects of climate change first-hand.

We have been working with our partners in Central America to help communities face this challenge by continuing our efforts to plant millions of trees and build clean cookstoves for thousands of families. In addition, we have introduced clean energy products, such as solar lighting and solar cell phone chargers, so families can gain access to energy that does not lead to more pollution and environmental degradation.

But this is not enough. We must continue our work to educate people and share knowledge across borders. This is why TWP is developing the National Center for Biomass Energy and Climate Change in La Paz Centro, Nicaragua.

This new facility will be an educational resource where communities can learn about renewable energy, forest management, clean cookstoves, and clean energy solutions. In addition, we will develop the center as a global facility, where global citizens from around the world will be empowered with the skills needed to adapt to climate change in their region.

2014 Project Timeline:

National Center for Biomass Energy and Climate Change 2014

We have broken ground on the Center and constructed several buildings already. Now, we are moving onto the next phase of development: building classrooms, hands-on demonstration sites, and forestry plots that will make this a unique place for learning and sharing knowledge.

You can support this project by making a donation through our website: www.treeswaterpeople.org. Thank you for your support!

For questions about the new Center please contact Sebastian Africano, International Director, at sebastian@treeswaterpeople.org. Stay tuned for updates!

Notes from the Field: Transforming Rural Environments in Haiti

 by Sharifa Bagalaaliwo, Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team

Haitian farmers

Located in the quiet and scenic Northwest region of Haiti ‚Äď a small team is doing big things using holistic and sustainable methods to transform the rural landscape of the communes of Anse Rouge and Terre Neuve.

Since 2008 Transformation de l’Environment Rural (TER)/ Transformation of Rural Environment has been the brainchild of the Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team in Haiti (AMURT- Haiti). With the support of Trees Water & People (TWP), the TER project has been helping communities preserve the fragile ecological balance through grassroots initiatives focused on watershed protection, soil conservation, sustainable agro-forestry as well as integrated water management.

Exchange of tree nursery techniques, Hatte-Dimanche
Exchange of tree nursery
techniques, Hatte-Dimanche

But what are we talking about when we say environmental transformation?  For starters, our integrated approach relies on organizing Haitian farmers into Self-Help Group (SHG) structures, providing technical agro-forestry training and accompaniment, creating model demonstration parcels, and helping farmers save their own money, manage the self-generated funds and create micro-lending programs that allow them to rely less and less on external inputs. The SHG’s have registered savings of more than $1,500 USD per group!

As part of this integrated approach, AMURT-Haiti has also used support from TWP to transform plots of land into community demonstration garden parcels that are models of sustainable farming and watershed protection. The demonstration gardens are accompanying farmers to develop more sustainable methods they can practice in the model gardens and then take back to apply in their private yards and farms. Hand-in-hand with this, the TER program emphasizes collaborative leadership and autonomous initiatives through the Self-Help Group approach. This collaborative strategy includes the creation of tool and seed bank cooperatives (Boutique Agricoles). The Boutique Agricoles have made it easier for farmers to access essential materials and products locally saving them time and money, increasing self-sufficiency and keeping the focus on the environment and agriculture.

Rivier Forad tree nursery
Rivier Forad tree nursery

As partners of TWP, AMURT ‚Äď Haiti is also proud to admit that something else that‚Äôs been hugely successful is our focus on tree planting. Over the last year, this partnership has led to the planting of approximately 100,000 trees in three villages with a special emphasis on Moringa. Tree nurseries set up in selected villages (Hatte -Dimanche, Ti Plas, Rivier Forad, and Gros Roch) have been the base of ongoing training and exchange opportunities between our tree nursery technicians, farmers, and the community. Growing community participation during annual tree planting days have shown us that there is a greater appreciation for trees, increased awareness of the need for tree planting and improved knowledge of planting techniques.

A SHG member plants Moringa trees
An SHG member plants Moringa trees in Northwest Haiti.

All in all it has been busy for AMURT ‚Äď Haiti‚Äôs TER team and a fruitful and valued partnership with Trees Water & People. In the following months and year we are excited to continue working alongside TWP in Haiti to help strengthen local capacities and keep helping people and the planet.