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. Our programs in Guatemala aim to decrease fuelwood consumption and, at the same time, improve the health of families and the overall environment.
Our Guatemalan tree nurseries provide 14 communities with tree seedlings to plant, offering protection against soil erosion, a sustainable firewood supply, and a source of income. The Tiquisate nursery concentrates on fruit tree production, and our partners conduct workshops to train local farmers how to graft, plant, and care for the trees (including the increasingly important Maya Nut tree). To double our reforestation efforts, farmers who receive fruit tree seedlings also plant native trees on their land to increase biodiversity and improve soil quality.
In 1998, TWP began building Justa stoves in Guatemala to improve the economic situation of disadvantaged rural and urban families. And, in 2011, we began work with our partner organization, Ut'z Che', and the communities they serve, to design the Emelda stove, a two-burner cookstove for rural indigenous populations who have no access to the energy grid. These clean cookstoves drastically reduce the amount of wood needed to prepare each meal and remove deadly pollutants from the home. Guatemalan families help build their own clean cookstoves, using local materials and local people to complete every project.
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