Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Reforestation with Stove Families and the Family Support Center

Text and photos (except as noted) by Amy Scheuren

Guatemalan schools have their mid-year break at the end of June.  Taking advantage of the school, we scheduled our Llanos del Pinal reforestation day for Thursday June 25, 2015. 

On Wednesday Pop Wuj Spanish students helped pick up 300 seedlings in anticipation of an early start on the reforestation day.  We purchased a mix of alder birch, cypress, encino (oak), and eucalyptus seedlings to plant on three pieces of land in and around Llanos del Pinal

Counting and loading the seedlings
Photo by Oscar Rodriguez
300 seedlings

On Thursday morning, Pop Wuj students, volunteers, and staff headed to Llanos del Pinal and met the children and youth of the Family Support Center as well as some of the Safe Stove Project families.  We divided into three groups and planted trees on three different pieces of land.  We always plant on private land, owned by the family members in the communities in which we work. 

Looking for a good spot to plant

A freshly planted cypress seedling

I traveled with the oldest group of Family Support Center participants to a piece of mountainous land in Chuicaracoj, high above Llanos del Pinal.

Angelica, planting a tree

After we planted our seedlings and ate a snack, we headed back down the mountainside.  On the walk back (which took about an hour and half!) we collected a LOT of plastic bottles.  We even found extra costales (sacks) to carry all of the plastic.  There is no trash collection in rural Guatemala and recycling is even less common.  We collected the plastic and will later take it to a private recycler in Xela.

Walking back and collecting plastic

Brandon and Angelica even asked when we could take another hike and collect more plastic!

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