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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Energy Resources Conservation & Development, Environment, Environmental Education, Food, Forest Conservation

Mission: Our mission is to preserve the environment by partnering with families to improve well-being through sustainable farming.

Results: +Worked with more than 2,543 families +Planted 3.8 million trees, restoring 15,100 acres of forest devastated by slash-and-burn agriculture

Target demographics: stop slash-and-burn farming and alleviate poverty

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 550 families

Geographic areas served: Central America

Programs: locally-trained extension agents who assist small-scale farmers and communities with the implementation of sustainable land-use practices by providing materials, tools, and knowledge to willing participants. SHI helps plan and implement alternative power projects such as biodigesters and solar-powered water pumps. SHI also aids communities by helping to establish community loan funds and farmer cooperatives.

Community Stories

66 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is my role model for everything I am trying to do in my own Central American community. I love what they are doing; especially having it directed by the people and outward to their communities. Great work.

Betsy

Donor

Rating: 5

While on a trip to Belize I was able to spend a day with SHI helping build a water reservoir for a family. I also learned about the various other projects SHI did to help local families to farm in a sustainable way and to preserve the rain forest. I have been proud to be an SHI supporter since that day!

Francesca L.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love what Sustainable Harvest does to help promote sustainability by helping farmers around the world take care of the land, farm more efficiently, and reduce poverty!

Steve175

Donor

Rating: 5

Sustainable Harvest International's programs promote sustainability and conservation on multiple levels: preservation of rain forest, enhanced productivity of crop land, enhanced nutrition and healthier families, improved food supplies for communities, and even greater financial security for families and woman-run enterprises and economic opportunity for their communities. SHI does all this with a notably cost-effective organization; contributors get an exceptionally high return on their investment in the work of Sustainable Harvest International. We are SHI supporters for life.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an exceptional organization that has grown in leaps and bounds in the past 18-20 years, aiding small farmers and growers (and their families) not only with terrific changes in quality of life but also with improved farming techniques that better protect soils and surrounding forests. It sounds dramatic to say but I have been moved to tears more than once when I've heard the stories of profound change that have helped propel these villages and communities into improved living circumstances while simultaneously improving the ecology of the land, forests and streams around them. Sustainable Harvest is efficient in their work, they aim to educate and do so with humility and awareness of the existing community while supporting its autonomy as well. They deserve the highest marks for their diligence and vision.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a terrific organization making a difference at the micro level with farming families in Central America and at the macro level with the enviroment and our planet. Farming families are improving their lives by growing more and more varied food. Better health and more income are the direct results. The sustainable methods they learn result in a significant decrease in the slashing and burning of the rain forest. Trees are planted to provide food such as fruit, nuts, coffee, and cacoa.

Previous Stories
4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love this organization, having been actively involved since 2004 when I made my first trip to Honduras. It is heartwarming to see the pride that the farmers take in the skills and techniques they have learned that enable them to produce a greater variety and more food for their families. Selling surplus produce helps with school fees for their children and needed medical attention. And their work helps us all as they stop slashing and burning the rain forest because they have learned how to make their land more fertile using sustainable techniques. Planting a variety of trees that provide fruit, nuts, coffee, chocolate and wood further benefits both the families and the environment.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sustainable Harvest International is our favorite non-profit; the first choice for our non-profit contributions. The work of SHI preserves our environment, alleviates poverty, supports family enterprise and helps women become self-sufficient. SHI is efficiently managed and delivers huge benefits for every dollar it receives.

2 Lisa479

Board Member

Rating: 5

SHI is making a difference in the lives of farmers and their families in Central America. I have had the opportunity as a volunteer to work with SHI programs in Belize and Panama, and the experience was life changing. It quickly became apparent to me that The SHI model truly works. I was so impressed with this organization that I became a committee member for several years, and am now serving my second year as a board member.

2 Steve Richards

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with non-profit organizations for over 40 years as a staff member, board member, board chair, and as a volunteer. I have found SHI to be a truly unique organization in a variety of very positive ways. SHI's small staff accomplishes amazing things.
It is addressing some of the most important global issues such as climate change on a local level. By teaching farmers how to grow healthy vegetables through organic farming, SHI is is able to provide healthy food for families and to market their excess crops thereby generating some income for their families.
SHI's 5 phase program usually takes about 5 to 6 years to complete. It is a comprehensive plan that produces outstanding results. An additional benefit of SHI's program is that, by teaching farmers how to grow their crops using organic methods, they no longer engage in the traditional slash and burn techniques which have been destroying the tropical rain forests which is a leading cause of climate change.
I am very proud to be associated with such a worthwhile organizations which has a record achieving outstanding results.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) is an amazing organization! I have been involved as a board member and staff member of a number of NGOs working overseas. SHI stands out as an organization that works hand in hand with local farmers and helps build the local infrastructure so that local farmers are helping train and educate other local farmers.

It has a well thought out 5 phase program that results in outstanding crop production that does not deplete the soil. It creates a real win - win situation as the local farmers no longer need to use the slash and burn technique of their forefathers, which was devastating the forests. With sustainable agriculture, not only do the farmers have a broad variety of crops with better yields, but the forests and the many species who call the forests home, are no longer being burned. So SHI not only helps the farmers, it also has a significant impact upon the environment by saving tens of thousands of trees each year.

I had the opportunity to visit SHI programs in Panama this year and was impressed by the results being achieved. In one small village I saw many farmers graduating from the 5 phase program. One local farmer had significantly diversified his crops, created a fish pond, created a rice paddy, installed an irrigation system. He also installed a composting toilet and a very energy efficient stove. All this was accomplished with the advice and support of the local SHI field trainer.

SHI has a very small staff in the US so that most of the money donated to SHI can be used to support the local organizations with which it works in four Central American countries - Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. These local organizations, with the support of SHI, hire and train the local staff who then work with the local farmers. As a donor to non-profits, I want to see my donations having a real impact. With SHI, I am assured of my donation having an impact in supporting sustainable agriculture in Central America and saving the forests. It also has positive impact upon the environment.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have seen the impacts of Sustainable Harvest International's work in communities in Belize and Panama. Not only do participant families learn to plant healthy foods in a sustainable manner--while preserving tropical forests--but they also feel empowered in many aspects of their lives. Women have noted that learning to cultivate food and often earn income has helped them take on new leadership roles in their community. Individuals who formerly had little access to education now have the confidence and resources to send their children off to school. And communities feel empowered to come together around any issue, challenge, or opportunity as a result of their work with Sustainable Harvest International. SHI changes peoples' lives and those changes even ripple out to impact others in the community for the better.