CONGRATULATIONS to all the Challengers on our first six Charity Challenges of 2011, biking from Guatemala to Honduras, the inaugural Nicaragua Volcano Challenge, Brazil's Chapada Diamantina Challenge , Guatemala's first Caribbean Kayak Challenge, Perú´s Cerani Pass and Ecuador's Volcano Challenge. Nicaragua's second volcano Challenge is set for 3rd-6th November and the third Guatemala Volcano Challenge dates are set for 27th November -2nd December.

Click on the following for our most recent official project reports for Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Perú and Brazil.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

GVI Phoenix Reforestation in Guatemala

For the past couple of years, GVI Phoenix has undertaken a reforestation program in Guatemala, thanks to a part of the volunteer financial input and the GVI Charitable Trust. This year we are planting 10,000 trees.

This scheme is in conjuntion with the women's group in Itzapa, whereby we rent the land, buy materials and tools, and the women must tend to the seedlings, watering and caring for the treelings during the year (from September) until they are ready to plant.

GVI Phoenix then buys the trees back off them, so there is an income for the group, and each family of the children who attend the school can take as many trees as they can plant wherever they can, often on a small piece of land in the hills.

To put this into perspective, the trees we plant this year will be ready in 5-6 years for harvest, and a family with one of the stoves we build, will need one tree every three months for fuel, that's it, compared to one every 3-4 weeks without the stove.

The rate of deforestation in the near future is cut down, so much so, there is considerable reforestation on the land around Itzapa, which is often on steep gradients. The types of trees we are planting are excellent for fire cooking. The mountainside opposite to where we planted this week gives a good idea of what isn't there now.

The volunteers went out this week to plant 400 trees on Monday, amidst the crops on a steep gradient, and 800 will be planted on Thursday. The families have already started to plant their trees and it is hoped that by the end of the month, all 10,000 will be planted.

It is also important to show the kids the benefits of reforestation, and they lent a helping hand, with more due to join us next Thursday. It is essentially for their future, so the more they learn now, the more optimistic they can be.

As this is an annual event, with 10,000 our target for each year, we can slowly but surely turn the severe deforestation in the area into a sustainable reforestation program, thanks to the volunteers and the GVI Charitable Trust.

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How does GVI Phoenix make a difference?

The following film was made in Guatemala, though the message is the same across all GVI Phoenix projects