In July 2013, Livelihoods launched a project in Guatemala in the area of Cerro San Gil, near the Caribbean coast on the border with Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. This initiative is the largest community reforestation project ever undertaken in Guatemala. It aims to protect primary forests of Cerro San Gil, and it will also enable small producers from local communities to improve their income and living conditions through agroforestry.
Social and environmental impact
Project Cerro San Gil will be deployed on a large scale: 5 million trees and plants of various species (citrus, coffee, cardamom, cocoa, mahogany, laurel, cedar, etc.) will be planted on 4,000 hectares in the next three years. The project goes beyond just helping local communities to plant trees. It also entails the economic development of production (rubber, fruit, coffee, perfume plants), and the marketing and processing of the products. The goal is to ultimately maximize the value created for small producers.
Testimony from a local farmer
Ezequiel Cervantes is starting a great change in his life. A few months ago he survived mainly on what he could grow in his small village named Lampara. Thanks to the Livelihoods project he is now planting more than 1.4 acres of rubber trees and timber plantations and sees a brighter future for his family.
“We are very happy that there is a project like this one that will help us improve our way of living and will start to contribute to the development of our communities,” he said. “From now on, I will wake up with a purpose to work as hard as I can for my children and wife and their future.”
The Q’ueqchi’ region where our project is located is one of the poorest in Guatemala. Here, the education and health rates are very low. For the villagers, this project presents a unique opportunity to improve their livelihoods and their incomes.
“With the participation of all the community the project will make important changes and that is the main reason of our work”, said Marco Vinicio Cerezo, Director of FUNDAECO, our partner NGO in Guatemala.
To find out more about the project visit our partner Fundaeco’s website at: www.fundaeco.org.gt