This organization was named after a Brazilian environmentalist, who fought against deforestation. The NGO in Cantel also has this goal, and works in the rural area close to Quetzaltenango. It has its own cultivation project where they work hard for the reforestation of the hills and mountains around Quetzaltenango, because a lot of (illegal) logging takes place.
We plant trees endemic to the western highlands of Guatemala, with a focus on cultivating those most affected by over-harvesting and best-suited for environmental remediation.
As a volunteer you will work outside all day. You will be working with new seeds, prepare the ground where small trees will grow, bring the small trees to the mountains, collect new seeds in the mountains, etcetera. You will learn a lot about nature, while being outside. Be ready to make your hands dirty! The project leaders will always make your day varied, and they will even take you to the local school sometimes, to educate the local youth about the importance of preserving nature! Volunteers who are interested in helping out with publicity and/or fundraising (can be combined with fieldwork) are also more than welcome!
Over 3600 local students and more than 1000 international volunteers have worked on the project. Together, we have implemented new ideas, overcome challenges, and celebrated successes. We are who we are today thanks to the dedication of many hands and hearts. Past international volunteers have worked with local students in el vivero (the tree nursery), planted trees in the mountains of Cantel, created publicity materials (videos, logos, photos, etc), helped with fundraising efforts, managed social media platforms, and developed our website.
While work varies depending on the season, the list below provides a sample of volunteer activities available throughout the year. But of course, the possibilities are endless; we love when volunteers come up with new project ideas. Your insights, observations, and talents help us continue to evolve as an organization:
- Seed Collection
- Tree Planting
- Tree Maintenance
- Brush Clearing
- Bark Mulch Collection
Tree nursery maintainance:
- Soil Preparation
Project management and outreach:
- Website/Social Media
- Publicity Materials
- Volunteer Coordination
- Long-term Project Facilitation
We work five days a week, from 7am to 3pm with a one-hour break for lunch. Volunteers generally work for four to five hrs/day, but may work for more or less time, depending on how they feel. We also always have more work to do, so you are welcome to help out on the weekends as well.
Here we view volunteer work as a mutually beneficial exchange. From employees to volunteers, everyone working on the project is both a student and teacher. Through many years of experience, we’ve found that exchange happens best when we have enough time to get to know one another.
With each tree planted, soil bag filled, and weed cleared, we sow the seeds of environmental justice in Guatemalan indigenous communities. Yes, we know we have big dreams. But we also know that our small steps of change today are what shape the future.