Alliance for International Reforestation, Inc.

Rating: 4.89 stars   53 reviews

Issues: Environment

Location: 4514 Chamblee Dunwoody Road Unit # 496 Atlanta GA 30338 USA

Mission: AIR was established in 1992 with the mission of implementing environmental education programs and Sustainable Farming methods with low-income rural families in Central America, in order to reduce hunger and malnutrition, while protecting the Good Earth.
Target demographics: the rural families, and the Earth
Programs: Tree Nurseries - After twenty years, AIR has approximately 300 nurseries in 130 villages and schools in Guatemala. The population served by these nurseries are the resident families who participate in the agro-forestry training by AIR technicians and who manage the tree nurseries and own the tree seedlings produced. AIR provides all seeds; materials and training. AIR also provides school curriculum, scholarships, and programs in rural schools. Finally, AIR constructs fuel-efficient stoves to protect lung health and cut the use of firewood in half, conserving precious trees!

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

My experience with AIR started with my desire to provide forestry college students from Montana with firsthand experience in the operation and challenge of community-based reforestation in a developing country. A week of volunteering with AIR fit this goal perfectly and proved hugely instructive for our group of 8. Anne Hallum provided skillful leadership, insight, and dialogue; the AIR reforestation staff were friendly, knowledgable and engaging; and all details were meticulously, professionally managed. Working together with AIR and numerous community members to restore Guatemala's was a tremendous learning experience, and one that I intend to repeat with more students for years to come.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Volunteering with AIR, Alliance for International Reforestation, was truly a win-win experience. My teaching the sciences years ago, and participating with Florida Native Plant Society, made this humanitarian effort of reforestation a perfect fit for me. Though AIR's "volunteers" can only actively plant tree seedlings during the rainy Guatemalan summers, I am pleased to see that AIR continues to employ its indiginous core of "Technicos" (trainers and leaders) to work year round with Guatelmalan farmers, and communities to promote sustainably agriculture and forestry. This is a project that returns all but 3% its donations back into the project. Kudos to AIR, and Dr. Anne Hallum who had the vision and persistance to make this project work. She is one of my heros. This project shows what one person can do wnen moved to make a difference in the marginalized lives of an indiginous Guatemalan people still recovering from a 30 year cultural war, for their economic benefit and the health of the whole world.

Sincerely
Sonya Guidry.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to expand.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

AIR is one of the most impressive non-profits I know of. Being an educator myself, I especially admire the education component of this organization. A better future for these dear people will come education.

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Rating: 5 stars  

AIR Guatemala and its mission for reforestation, empowerment of the Mayan indigenous population, especially women, and its education curriculum in over 300 schools to teach sustainability, has amazed me! The opportunity to be a working contributor to Dr. Hallum's vision by volunteering and bringing a team (we planted 1860 trees!) had been a dream of mine for many years. The past two summers I have been able to participate and to verify first hand the depth of AIR's work within the Mayan villages and to share the culture first hand. This is unique. The strength of more than 20 years success for a non-profit, with all Guatemalan employees in country, and volunteer teams that return each year illustrates AIR's appeal to those of us who sincerely want to share our time and resources to create opportunities for better liives for the beautiful, generous, and spiritual Mayan villagers. My team members and I found the experience enlightening, rewarding, hopeful, spiritual, and FUN! Hard work, too! AIR Guatemala is phenomenal.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I love the work that A.I.R. is doing. Years ago I visited Guatemala and have visited again since. I love the Guatemalan people, and it is wonderful to have a non profit group there that is truly helping the people,
A.I.R. trains local folk to plant and tend more trees on the hillsides, thus avoiding mud slide disasters seen in other countries where preserving trees isn't widely understood when a hungry family needs fuel to cook their food. It's a catch -22 situation.The far more efficient stoves that they build for the villagers are so important in keeping the steep hills from being deforested, and the people with cooked food!

I am presently putting my 4th Guatemalan girl through high school, a small outlay with giant results. Raise the women of a country along with the men and you have a balanced society. How could anyone not want to contribute to such an effort! Mrs. Jan M Geisler, School Teacher, Florida, USA

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer with others from my Methodist Church in FL working with AIR in 2013 and 2014. We look forward to another exciting and hard-working trip in 2015. In all my volunteer experiences in Guatemala, including medical and construction trips, AIR stands out for providing an educational work experience where team members work alongside members of the communities served. My most cherished memories are the camaraderie and the feeling that our hard work makes a difference now and will continue to make a difference for future generations. If we help to prevent one landslide with planting trees, help make daily life safer and healthier by building a properly constructed and vented stove, or educate a future farmer, we help heal the world. The communities graciously welcomed us into their homes and prepared meals for us, giving us a glimpse of their daily lives and struggles.

It is important to me, on a personal level, that organizations I support with my time and dollars are fiscally responsible and that the highest possible percentage of funding goes directly into the project in a way that benefits those being served.

I look forward to continuing my support of AIR and visiting whenever possible to see how those trees have grown and to see the families also growing and thriving.

My husband and I are proud supporters of one of the secondary school scholarship students. She is an outstanding teenager, representing a hopeful future for this beautiful country still recovering from a painful history of civil war.

Paz y salud,
Janet Bernhard

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Rating: 5 stars  

As a nonprofit CEO, I especially appreciate AIR's low administrative and overhead costs. Funds contributed are used responsibly and for the benefit of the people and environment of Guatemala. Volunteering for AIR this past summer was a rich and memorable experience, and one I hope to repeat in the future.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I first met Dr. Anne Hallum at a North Georgia Presbyterian meeting in Athens, GA. She spoke with such passion about her organization, AIR-Guatemala, a nonprofit that promotes agro-forestry. I knew I wanted to see with my own eyes the wonderful things that her and her team were doing there. After arriving in Guatemala, I was immediately moved by the hard work and the dedication of her staff, who are all native to Guatemala. This, I believe, is the key to AIR’s successful program. The technical staff develop close and trusted relationships with the people they help. We, too, felt that closeness, even with the language barrier and the short amount of time spent with each other. The AIR staff always went out of their way to make us feel part of the team. The people of Guatemala were welcoming and were much appreciative of our presence. The communities are taught how and where to plant and develop beautiful tree nurseries. Each day, we traveled to a new community, meeting new people and working side-by-side with them.
Knowing that the accomplishments of planting trees will directly and immediately improve the lives of the community, this made volunteering for AIR a truly wonderful experience for me. I applaud Dr Hallum and the entire AIR staff for truly changing the world one tree at a time.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My 17 year old son and I volunteered in the summer of 2013 with AIR and it was an amazing experience. We worked side by side in God's good earth, planting trees and helping the native people improve their lives and health by building stoves. More than the demanding physical labor (as satisfying as it was), we enjoyed the ministry of presence. We ate lunch daily with the villagers at the particular site where we were working that day. We were recipients of their gratitude as they cooked generously for us, sharing what they harvested from their land. We will always remember AIR and the tangible good work this organization does for not only the people of Guatemala but for the environment.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Volunteering with AIR in Chimaltenango, Guatemala was truly an amazing experience. From interacting with different cultures, to witnessing how dynamic and involved community members (esp. the women) are in protecting their environment was truly fascinating. Their work not only caters to the natural environment but to personal development and whether you are a local community member or an overseas volunteer you get to witness the strengths and beauties of the local individuals you work with and how their commitment to each other produces incredible results and an effective organization.

Many organizations preach sustainability but AIR is by far THE MOST sustainable organization I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Over 20 years strong, this organization is a prime example of how great things come in small packages.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful?