After six months of planning, we are proud to launch into an ambitious clean cookstove initiative with our partner Utz Che’ in Guatemala. From now through August 2016, Trees, Water & People (TWP) and Utz Che’ will be building 500 new clean cookstoves in three indigenous communities in the departments of Chiquimula, Jutiapa, and Escuintla.
Clean cookstoves provide many benefits to rural, indigenous families who do not have access to the electrical grid. These stoves remove smokey, open fires from the kitchen, greatly reducing deadly household air pollution. In addition to the human health benefits, cookstoves also reduce deforestation. In Guatemala, over 71% of the nation’s 14 million people are dependent on wood to cook every meal. This demand for fuelwood has put a huge strain on one of the country’s most precious natural resources: the forests. Each stove uses about 50% less wood every time a meal is cooked, taking pressure off of the country’s forests and saving families money and time.
Utz Che’ (“good tree” in the Maya K’iche’ language) is a unique organization as it is an association that represents 36 autonomous indigenous groups from around Guatemala, all working toward economic and environmental sustainability. Utz Che’ helps these groups navigate the complex Guatemalan laws that govern property and natural resource rights, and advocates in the legal realm for communities to retain management and ownership of their land and resources.
TWP adds to the portfolio of Utz Che’ services by helping to build community tree nurseries, supporting training opportunities for Utz Che’ field staff and community members, and raising funds for clean cookstove initiatives, such as this one. This is our community-based philosophy in action – partnering with local organizations to access remote communities, in order to collaboratively achieve local conservation goals and improve quality of life.
TWP’s work does not happen without the support of our donors here in the US. That said, I encourage you to help us deliver the best service possible by donating to this and other TWP programs using the button below. Over the next six months we will be posting updates about our Guatemala clean cookstove initiative, so sign up for our eNewsletter to watch our progress!
A surprising number of organizations with Colorado roots are working in Haiti to offer earthquake relief and improve the lives of the Haitian people. Six of those organizations will participate in a panel discussion at the EventGallery 910Arts, at 910 Santa Fe Drive in Denver, on Saturday, September 25, from 3 to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Colorado Haiti Project; Lespwa Haiti; Renewal 4 Haiti; The Lambi Fund of Haiti; Trees, Water & People; and Wish 4 Haiti are represented on a panel designed to introduce Colorado organizations working in Haiti, bring awareness to their efforts and invite the public to get involved. This will be the kick-off event for an exhibition of Haitian art and culture scheduled in the EventGallery 910Arts for summer 2011.
A discussion of how earthquake relief work transitions into rebuilding in Haiti and creation of the model for long term sustainability is led by Paul Casey, Executive Director of Colorado Haiti Project; photographers Colby Brown and Ray Tollison from Lespwa Haiti; Jodel Charles, Haitian immigrant and founder of Renewal 4 Haiti; Godson Beaugelin, Community Outreach Coordinator of The Lambi Fund of Haiti; Sebastian Africano, Deputy International Director, and Claudia Menendez, International Program Consultant, from Trees, Water & People; and Leslie Christensen from Wish 4 Haiti. The panel will be moderated by Melissa Basta, a Peace Corp volunteer who has worked in Haiti. And, the Colorado Committee on Africa and the Caribbean is a co-sponsor of the event.
Committed to demonstrating how art can inspire change, the EventGallery 910Arts is a gallery space that often offers exhibitions with a social or environmental message. Located in the heart of Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe, the EventGallery 910Arts and Gallery Gifts are housed within the creative community known as 910Arts. It is a complex of 17 artists’ studios and galleries, 8 live-work lofts and the Studio 6 Coffee House, anchored by a colorful open-air courtyard. The EventGallery 910Arts is a venue for meetings, parties, workshops and retreats and it hosts music, literary and film events. For more information, please visit www.910Arts.com.