I have been following SHI for a few years now and took an opportunity to join some members of the organization on an inspiring trip to Panama this past winter (2020) to visit a number of farms and farmers participating in the program there.
As an organic farmer, observer of the food system, and former scientist, I am of the opinion that growing your own food on a local level with as few inputs as possible is the only truly sustainable way for humans to continue producing and consuming food on this planet. SHI empowers willing participants to do just that. Through this process, more carbon is stored in the soil, the effects of climate change are mitigated, the lives of participant families are improved, and essential knowledge is gathered. The work of these farmers and the work of SHI not only benefit those taking up the effort to grow their own food but benefit present and future life on Earth.
I have been a donor for many years. Their work is amazing, and I was hooked when I heard the stories of volunteer work where the board of directors went down to work with farming families who were in various phases of the 5 year training program. On one farm, they installed a watering system on a super steep hillside, that was so hard to water before, and now it is super easy! SHI's work usually starts with building a latrine, to keep their water from being contaminated and making their whole family sick. They also work with each farming family and talk about what kind of crops they would like to grow - to creating a varied batch of foods to grow with multi story cropping, not just all corn. So if they plant a mahogany tree that must grow for many years before it becomes valuable as timber, how do they keep farmers from chopping them down too soon - grow vanilla bean vines up on the mahogany trees! To restore soli, they have ways to introduce nitrogen (bio char and a fast growing nitrogen fixing plant (the name I forgot, but it can grow in the worst soil) , and to keep the soil healthy they can build a moveable chicken coop - the chicken poop is fertilizer. And how to grow and plant seedlings. SHI installs wood conserving stoves in families homes which improves conditions and reduces asthma! Children's diets improve so they are not suffering from malnutrition. I mean how ironic is it that farmers children have been suffering from malnutrition? There are so many clever things that they teach farming families, I am always amazed. My daughter is serving on the board now, and I could not be prouder of her!
I have been supporting SHI for many years. It is one of the few environmental organizations that realized early that environmental sustainability is tied to the health of soils which, in turn can give people hope for a better life. Improve soil health without harmful chemical inputs, and people will thrive no matter where they are. If they understand their health and welfare are tied to the soil and have sufficient basic knowledge and practices to be good stewards of the soil, anything is possible. Climate change could even be reversed if large farms adopted regenerative practices. The earth is abundant and can support all life if we learn the lessons of soil stewardship.
I worked for many years as a professional in international agricultural development. This is one of the few organizations that makes a commitment to farming families resulting in lasting sustainable changes and measurable impact on wellbeing. Bringing simple appropriate technologies to raise production and do so organically is a real challenge in Central America. Thanks SHI!
Sustainable Harvest International has over 20 years of on-the-ground experience in Latin America, employing local experts to work with farmers to improve soil health through regenerative agriculture practices, including agroforestry, composting, and diversifying crops. This has led to the planting of thousands of trees to replace those lost by destructive practices such as slash-and-burn farming and to improved nutrition and livelihoods. It's an incredible organization doing pragmatic work tying together social and environmental benefits.
A former colleague of mine joined the Board of Sustainable Harvest International five years ago, which is when I first learned about the organization. I've heard so many great things about the incredible impact SHI is making in Belize, Honduras, and Panama, as well as the inspiration it is to so many others working in the intersection of sustainable agriculture, climate change, and livelihoods. This organization works very closely with local populations and the trainings are led by those who grew up in the area. I joined the Board in mid-2019 and continue to be impressed with the dedication of the entire team. I look forward to contributing to its growth.
I have supported this non profit from the beginning, having known its founder when she was just out of the Peace Corps. The founder is creative, smart, driven, caring and dedicated - and she has built an amazing team of super talented people. Very well run and efficient. Their work helps heal the earth, rejuvenating the soil - in rural communities, they work with farming families giving long term training in organic methods of farming. This helps families eat better with a more varied diet, and allows them to have surplus produce to sell. The farming methods sequester carbon, so it helps clean the air we all breath.
Sustainable Harvest International is Good for the Environment, Good for People.
SHI has been serving communities and families for decades and I am always amazed at the impact an organization of this size is having in the communities they operate. Management of the programs is top-notch with a strong financial position. I have to admit this is one of the best outcomes of improving lives of families in rural communities while saving the environment for generations. Keep up the good work!
I have served on the board at two different times in SHI's 23-year history. The work going on today at SHI has never been more impactful and effective, both in terms of breadth and depth. The combination of human and environmental benefits to some of the most marginalized people and some of the most degraded ecosystems makes me hugely supportive of SHI's work.
I learned about SHI when I was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panama. I was able to observe first hand the amazing work that SHI does. Since I returned I stay in touch with my community and the community tells me how much they appreciate the support it gets from SHI, especially during the hard times of COVID 19.
I got to know the work of Sustainable Harvest International, (SHI), while serving in the Peace Corps in Panama. Although my scope of work was to support my small community’s efforts for a safe and well-maintained water supply, I became aware of SHI and of their work in a neighboring community. I invited SHI to adopt my community and they gracefully accepted the invitation.
During my two years in Panama I had the opportunity to observe firsthand the amazing work that this organization is doing in the field. SHI employs local experts who visit the adopted communities weekly and help the families that participate in its program by giving them not only training and advise, but also seeds, saplings, and tools as the need may be. The experts know the local culture, how to identify the people who need assistance the most, and how to maximize the outcome of their limited resources.
When I left Panama in August 2019 SHI had been working in my community for 7 months. I participated in the training of making organic fertilizer, in the formation of a demonstrative farming plot, and in the construction of an “eco-stove” that burns ¼ of the wood that traditional stoves use. I also saw pastureland that had never been cultivated before transformed into a vegetable farm based on the guidance of SHI.
I consider SHI’s adopting my community as the major accomplishment of my Peace Corps service.
SHI is a incredible organization with compassionate leaders. There work in regenerative agriculture and education across Central America has helped 3,000 low-income, rural families to adopt regenerative agriculture practices on 30,000 acres of land including the planting of 4 million trees.
Sustainable Harvest International work with the small farmers to preserve the environment across Sustainable practices of agriculture. I was doing my internship with them in 2016 and it was a great experience.
Sustainable Harvest International embodies and holds true to values of dignity and partnership. Working at the nexus of food security/nutrition and environmental conservation, farmers working with SHI have regenerated thousands of acres of land that support thousands of smallholder farmers. In a world where farming families are facing the double crisis of climate change and the impacts of the global pandemic, it is comforting to know that organizations like SHI exisit. They have continued to diligently empower farmers with tools and capacity to confront and overcome the negative impacts of climate change and COVID.
Sustainable Harvest International is a nonprofit with an incredible, devoted, innovative team and an even more impactful mission. SHI shows great promise as it scales up its operations, having proven to be effective in four different countries with four completely different climates and cultures. I have gone from being a donor to an intern at SHI and in every phase of my involvement with the organization I have been blown away by its magnitude, its devotion to real change, and its intentional community.
This organization walks the walk! They work hand in hand with farming families in Central America, providing the support and technologies needed for healthy livelihoods and a healthy planet. Keep up the great work, SHI!
From the moment I set foot on a small village in Santa Barbara-Honduras, I could tell that SHI was making a great impact in the lives of the 30 participants assign to the project. I was lucky to be part of a Church women's trip in 2009 and spent 10 days working along side the small farmers and their families. They were elated that we had traveled so far to spend time with them and visit their humble homes. SHI has provided tools and knowledge for a better way to plant without using the slash/burning practice that is so common in Central America They also provide materials to build a very efficient burning stove with a chimney creating a healthier environment for the women and children who spend most of their time inside the house. All the practices are sustainable and organic, no pesticides but the most important part is that is a partnership with the farmers to increase access to healthy food and income. I got so impressed that I became involved first as a volunteer and now as a Board member. SHI has my fully support!
La organización Sustainable Harvest International es una organización que logra ver y entender los problemas por los cuales atraviesan las familias de comunidades rurales, muchos de ellos agricultores y agricultoras, pero la mejor parte es que más allá de ver o entender el problema, esta organización toma acción y contribuye para dar solución a estos problemas.
Gracias a la interacción que tiene la organización con la Universidad EARTH he podido conseguir un espacio en la organización para como estudiante aportar en la solución de esos problemas.
Sin duda SHI es una organización que si trabaja para conseguir una mejor calidad de vida de las familias de comunidades rurales y a su vez es un ejemplo de que trabajar en el desarrollo de comunitario si es posible.
Sustainable Harvest International es una organización ejemplar en el desarrollo de comunidades latinoamericanas. Su modelo basado en la agricultura regenerativa garantiza la seguridad alimentaria de las familias participantes y estas actúan como líderes en la comunidad y logran continuar con sus practicas una vez haya finalizado su periodo de seguimiento. Las familias participantes son resilientes al cambio climático y se encuentran en constante capacitación. Una de las características de éxito de esta organización es su búsqueda y trabajo constante en alianzas, lo cual, favorece el mayor impacto de las comunidades. Tener la experiencia de trabajar con SHI y realizar investigación en el trabajo que realizan ha sido todo un honor.
Sustainable Harvest International, s una organización que transforma realidades, sus fondos son distribuidos con mucha ética en las comunidades, el modelo que se sigue dignifica al ser humano y permite lograr cambios en los países. La interacción con instituciones cono la Universidad EARTH ha permitido generar investigación y oportunidades para que los estudiantes puedan aportar con sus capacidades a seguir mejorando la calidad de vida de las familias.
Sin duda, SHI es una organización de respeto y de alta excelencia.
sustainable Harvest International supported me with a full funded internship through my education process as as agricultural student at EARTH Univerity. SHI is a leading and examplary in sustainable agricultural practices and works gard to transform a farmer/ villager from the roots. SHI has been able to turn abandoned lands into fertile farms, tught rural people how to eat and prepare balanced diet. Unlike other NGOs, SHI evaluates annually its efficiency towards the communites they impact. SHI is worth to learn from. SHI surpasses the odds of NGO´s.
Great organization...years of on-the-ground effort to create and refine a very effective and efficient program that has worked for over 3000 small family farmers who have participated...most donated funds used to support knowledgeable and experienced Central American farmer-trainers who work with individual families in a successful 5-year long program that focuses on self-sufficiency and long-term environment protection...efficient bare-bones American-based staff...big local Central American demand to grow this program...I'm proud to donate and know that My donation can make a difference!
Two of the most pressing issues facing Latin America and the lesser-developed world are the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation and the challenges associated with people improving their livelihood. Sustainable Harvest International is able to transform the lives of countless farming families with relatively small resources. Some organizations provide a quick fix. Sustainable Harvest International builds long term human capacity to improve livelihoods and steward the environment. I wouldn't volunteer my time and choose this organization as the main target of my donations and volunteer time if this weren't the case.
I have been volunteering with Sustainable Harvest International as a board member and field-supporter since 2009. It is in one of the few organizations that provides long-term solutions that address both poverty and degradation of the tropical environment. They are able to make a dollar go a long, long way!
On our visit to SHI projects in Panama in February we were impressed with the hard working farmers, the know how and dedication of the local SHI staff as well as with the vision and perseverance of Florence Reed, the founder of SHI.
Sustainable Harvest International is doing amazing things! Their unique approach is founded on the truth that "environmental degradation and rural poverty are unavoidably linked.”
In partnership with rural farming families, Sustainable Harvest is replacing damaging agricultural practices with techniques that stop deforestation and sustain the land for strong, self-supporting farming families.
I have spent most of my professional life working on social change from the top down, assisting government agencies in creating programs and policies that promote environmental protection, conservation, and sustainable development. I have often been frustrated by political roadblocks, problems with implementation, or limited results on the ground. I am coming to realize that real social change happens from the bottom up in individuals, families and communities. This is how lives are transformed and positive impacts are sustained. This is what Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) is doing in Central America.
While in Piedras Negras, Honduras as an SHI volunteer, I witnessed the commitment that families make to alleviate their hunger – from the backbreaking tilling of small hillside plots of parched land, to hauling water, bottle-by-bottle from a distant stream to water tender seedlings. I experienced how community members supported and trained one another – sharing limited resources and tools, working together to build chicken coops and wood-conserving stoves for other families, and looking after each other’s children. I saw adults in the community care for the land - nourishing it for future generations and devoting themselves to teaching children sustainable farming methods.
I have returned to Piedras Negras with SHI several times since my first visit, and I am astounded at the palpable changes resulting from SHI’s work. I no longer see malnourished children. Miquel and Candia, (my hosts) are now happy and healthy – laughing and playing with their children and proud of their accomplishments. The plantains that I helped Evan and his family plant two years ago are not only a staple of the families improved diet, but are also a commercial crop providing needed income for the children’s school fees.
Sustainable Harvest International does an amazing job of motivating social change from the bottom up. The organization works in rural farming communities in Belise, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, providing seeds, training and support to families desparate to grow food and sustain themselves and their land. SHI is truly changing lives and the productivity of land that those lives depend on.
SHI is a wonderful organization that really, truly cares about the program members. I had the opportunity of going with them to Honduras to build chicken coops and install wood-conserving stoves in homes. Every engagement with people was friendly, warm and educational. They are part of the community and approach everything they do from that angle. They're truly a world-class nonprofit.
I've been fortunate to travel to Panama with Sustainable Harvest International to see the positive impact this organization has on local farming communities - from preserving and restoring forests and healthy soil to improving the economic and health conditions of farming families and communities. I'm proud to support Sustainable Harvest International and its important work on issues of food security and climate change.
Sustainable Harvest International invests in Latin American farming communities where both the need and the potential impact are the greatest. By supporting small scale farmers to improve productivity, restore agricultural land and forests while reducing negative environmental impact, the organization positively addresses the needs of both people and the planet. Sustainable Harvest International has developed a unique mission and programs that have a broad impact on the communities served, and are important to addressing global issues of food security and climate change.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) achieves remarkable results with a lean budget. Working on the ground in Central America, SHI helps poor farmers dramatically improve their lives using organic farming techniques, agroforestry and diversification of crops. Families also plant thousands of trees to protect watersheds and curtail erosion. SHI is truly a gem!
Sustainable Harvest International is an amazing non-profit! SHI has tremendous positive impact on the people they work with. I volunteered with SHI and saw first hand how small farmers lives were dramatically improved when they were taught susatinable alternative practices to slashing and burning the rainforest. Flo Reed, SHI's founder is making the world a better place. I greatly admire her dedication and the incredible work SHI has done!
I have volunteered for Sustainable Harvest International as a translator for the past year and it has been nothing but a pleasant experience. They go out of their way to help me feel valued and appreciated and are constantly thanking me for me time and my efforts to help them out. Additionally, whenever they send me more material to translate, they are very considerate of my time and other commitments and are flexible with the time-frame in which I return the translated documents to them. Whenever they do have a more urgent assignment for me, they let me know with as much heads-up as possible and are even more grateful when I can help them in a crunch! SHI has not only been great to work with, but it also makes me feel really honored to get to work with and help out an organization that is doing such great, crucial work in the Americas. The projects SHI has implemented are key to promoting food security and more sustainable development in that part of the world and I am proud to support them!
In the 6th grade, I had the opportunity to travel to Panama through SHI with a small group of family friends and school acquaintances. Sustainable harvest changed my whole perspective on how to go into a remote community and offer recourses and knowledge in a manner that is not invasive. Ever since that experience, I can't wait to get to my fund raising goal for another trip with a group of high school friends. I can't wait to perfect my Spanish, and be able to have conversations with people I come across. That trip made me see the true value of collaboration, and communication with people from different backgrounds and fields of knowledge.
I would highly recommend an SHI service trip to everyone!
I recently join SHI Board and am enthusiastic about the efficacy of the programs, board and SHI Staff. The programs aimed and improving the well being and quality of life in rural areas of Central America are impressive and inspiring. I'm proud to be volunteering for this organization and belief in the vital work and support they are providing to improve lives while restoring vital tropical rain forests.
Sustainable Harvest is a remarkable organization at a break-out stage in its evolution. After spending its first 12-14 years refining its mission and developing a proven process, it has been transformed into an even more effective and capable organization by creating an efficient executive team and small staff to support its dynamic founder. The work that SHI does in Central America is fantastic and the impact on program participants is profound. With a strong core organization and focus on good governance, SHI is well positioned to grow the impact of its outstanding program.
I have been a board member of SHI for two years and am very impressed with the knowledge, dedication and spirit of cooperation of both the board and staff. SHI works to lift families out of poverty in four Central American countries by providing field trainers who promote sustainable farming methods instead of traditional slash and burn. Results to date have shown improved nutrition and added income which pays for school fees and other needs. Benefits to the planet include improving the farm soil, preventing erosion, planting trees and improving biodiversity. During my visit to Belize I saw the results first hand and got to meet the dedicated and enthusiastic field trainers. It is important to me that SHI uses residents of the country as field trainers rather than US experts.
My husband and I went to Belize a few years back and volunteered alongside the Agricultural agents who work directly with the farmers and their familys. We met some of the most wonderful and appreciative people who benefit from all the work that SHi does with them and for them. AS a long time donor, it was great to directly meet the people who our money is going to help. SHI knows what it is doing, and spends my money well. They can see and measure their work to prove it works. Their goal is to continue to help more farmers and hopefully grow to help farmers in other Central American countries.
SHI has been helping farmers in Central America for over 10 years. They have had a tremendous success rate in changing the lives of farmers and their crops and land. I traveled to Belize with them on a trip where we met the families that were working with SHI and who had experienced improvement in their annual income and changed the way they farm. I volunteered by helping to plant trees, built a solar latrine and a stove for a Maya family that previously had no stove. This stove used only 1/3 of the wood previously used and eliminated the smoke from their home which contributed to poor health.
They continue to do wonderful things in an area that needs their help and instruction.
My wife and I have been on 7 trips to Central America as an "agricultural missionary" with Sustainable Harvest. We have visited farmers in all four of the SHI countries and have always been impressed with the high quality work done by SHI local staff in each country. Although other residents of these very poor communities try to migrate north for a better life, we have never met a family from the SHI program who needed to leave their country to survive. They have learned how to grow nutritious cash crops.
Still a wonderful organization and getting better every year. The level of commitment of everyone involved is unparalleled. Overhead is low, the funds are strategically spent, the results show. Audits are performed to ensure that the money goes where it is supposed to: the participant families. Thank you, SHI, for giving me hope!
SHI is one honest organization working with farmers to improve their living conditions while restoring forests, teaching and implementing sustainable agriculture. The organization is so well directed that I donate time and money to it. The passion of everyone involved -from the founder to the chair of the board, the executive director, the country directors, volunteers and families is so great that it inspires me not only at the professional but at the personal level.
I finished a three-year board term with Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) in June 2014. I was honored to be invited to join their board and enjoyed my experience immensely. SHI's staff and board are passionate about the work they do and it is making a life-changing positive impact to the families they serve in Central America and to the biodiversity and health of our planet by saving our tropical forests and raising people out of poverty.
I'm continuing to volunteer for and donate to SHI because of the results they produce and I see the potential and possibilities for their work model to aid other countries and people. I hope you'll join me in supporting them.
I visited some of SHI's Panamanian farms this past January and what I saw and heard was beyond what I'd imagined and very inspiring. One farmer, Demitrio Martinez, decided to farm because of bad experiences working in commercial rice fields. The first year he rented the land and started immediately with SHI-Panama. Eventually his father bought the land for him. Because of his experience with the chemicals in the commercial rice fields, he was quite willing to work with sustainable, organic methods. This was hard work since it meant working steep slopes with very abused soil and lots of insects and hauling buckets of water up from a small stream during the dry season.
His number one income-producing crops are greens -- which he calls mustard greens and many other kinds of vegetables as well. He and his farm have been such a success that it is now a demonstration farm, with many other improvements including a fish pond and rice paddy.
SHI's board was there to tour the farm and to attend a graduation ceremony for Demetrio and 35 other families. It was wonderful to see so many women and men with their families graduating and we had a special ceremony, lunch and musical entertainment to top it off.
It was a remarkable day and a remarkable testament to the mission of SHI - providing farming families in Central America with the training and tools to preserve our planet's tropical forests while overcoming poverty. SHI is making our world a better place for all of us.
I have been inspired by the vision, goals and work of Sustainable Harvest International ever since hearing its founder and executive director, Florence Reed, speak at the annual National Peace Corps Association conference in 2012 in Minneapolis. That afternoon Flo was awarded the Sargent Shriver award for creating a successful paradigm that has been used repeatedly for assisting subsistence farmers and their neighbors to improve crop yields and diversify harvests, using earth-friendly, community-friendly, and sustainable methods. At this time Sustainable Harvest is looking into extending its efforts from the countries of Belize, Panama, Nicaragua and Honduras in Central America to other continents. I am excited to have the opportunity to play some part in realizing this vision.
I have been involved in not for profit organizations as a staff member and board member for over 40 years. Much of my work over the past 25 years has been in the international field, primarily in Africa, Asia, and Europe. I became aware of SHI through a contact with Flo Reed, SHI's founder. The more I researched the work that they are doing in four Central American countries, the more convinced I became that this was an organization worth supporting with my donations. As I became more knowledgeable about what SHI was able to accomplish, my commitment to SHI became even stronger and I agreed to serve on its board. SHI has a great leadership group in the US that works together in support of the programs in Central America. I have visited SHI programs in Panama and Belize and will be visiting SHI programs in Honduras in February 2015. I have seen firsthand how the SHI programs are transforming farming in these communities. It has virtually eliminated the slash and burn method of farming. It has created a far more diverse and healthier diet for the families. The crops are rotated and are grown using organic methods. It is a real win for preserving the rain forests, a win for the families in eating a far healthier diet, and finally a win producing food that can be sold at local markets, which also helps the financial position of the families.
My favorite non-profit organization! I love the concept of providing sustainable agricultural education to the people in Latin America. Having read a bit about tropical sciences including agriculture issues, I truly appreciate the mission of Sustainable Harvest International. As a donor I like how well they keep me continuously informed with the progress they make.
Since 2008 I have made 10 trips to visit family farms and in some cases, live in the homes with the families: 5 as a Board member visiting farms in all 4 countries and 5 as a volunteer visiting and working in farming communities around Trinidad, Honduras. Each time I have come away deeply impressed with the dedication and sensitivity of the field trainers and the pride and motivation of the farming families. I see the sense of empowerment as they chose to learn new more environmentally-friendly and healthy alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture and to plant a variety of vegetables that they previously had to buy -- when they had the money to do so. The progress in the communities which I visit each year with a group from Washington DC has been astounding. There are productive gardens near the homes; there are fields with basic crops (corn and beans), a huge variety of vegetables and herbs, and "forest gardens" where mahogany and coffee plants shade smaller crops like ginger.
I wish I could take everyone interested in SHI to meet Don Noe of La Majada. Noe farms less than two acres, but he is so proud of the crops he is harvesting. His land even yields coffee seedlings which he can sell for a good price to nearby large-scale coffee growers. Photos of Noe show such happy eyes and broad smile!
My husband and I have helped lead 3 adult trips and 3 youth trips to Honduras organized by SHI. We have seen the benefits first hand to communities and families since 2006. As result, I am active board member and fundraiser and my husband is pursuing institutional gifts for SHI. We recommend that friends and family donate and come on trips as well. We encourage your support as well.
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Great non-profit doing wonderful work to help people feed themselves and improve their lives with minimal impacts to their environment.
SHI has continued to use local personnel to educate the poorest farmers to be more self sufficient and avoid harmful chemicals and activities. It is a system to help the soil regenerate and for their family to eat better. It is a great organization with constant reviews of its processes and results.
SHI was established by former Peace Corp Volunteer Florence Reed in 1997 to serve farmers in four countries of Central America in learning sustainable farming techniques and has become so much more than that. Grown from Flo's deeply held values SHI allows poor farmers to take responsibility for reversing environmental degradation and achieving economic viability within their own countries. The most amazing thing is that after 16 years this organization is thriving with 60 percent of its support coming from individuals who believe in the mission and want to ensure its capacity to work with farmers and communities. More amazing is that this tiny organization returns 83 percent of its $1.6 million budget to programs that serve 4 affiliate offices in 4 countries and thousands of men, women, and children. I love this organization and it's no wonder that Ms. Reed has been named to the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program and received the 2012 Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service from the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA).
My church has worked with SHI for several years, supporting them financially, sending youth groups to work every other summer and adult groups as interest allows. My own experience on an adult trip of women working with women in two communities was so satisfying. I saw the dollars I had given being used to change people's lives in positive ongoing ways. Participants' gardens were proof that they were improving the soil and producing good food for their families - no more need to slash and burn! The other thing that impressed me is how much SHI commits in-country developing and using local personnel to support their mission. This is a lean and lovely organization - one that I am happy to support with my money and time. Tucker H.
my grandson and i volunteered with SHI last summer in the jungles outside Punta Gorda, Belize. It was an incredible experience for both of us. SHI had the supplies needed tht couldn't be found at the family home; they educated and guided the families; their intent was to help the families maximize the use of their lands without contaminating the land or water available to them. They presented everything in a simple easy to understand manner for both the families and the volunteers. this was the best experience i could give to my grandson about giving back to the community, the global community.
After working in a farming community for a week in Honduras, I came home committed to supporting the work of SHI. they support in-country staff to help individuals become self-sustaining farmers and entrepreneurs using moderately priced, low-tech and locally available resources. As a result, I saw first-hand how lives were improved by the work that SHI does, family by family.
My family and I have been donating to SHI for the past 7 years, since our son was born. We wanted to do something to celebrate his birth so we decided to plant a tree in his honor. We planted one in our yard and donated to SHI so that many more trees could be planted in the rain forest. The more we read about the good work SHI was doing, the more we wanted to donate. Now we give gifts of hope to our family and friends to celebrate their special occassions. SHI's ability to combine short-term relief for people in poverty with long term, sustainable changes is very important to us.
My name is Joanne Holman and I have been supporting SHI since its inception. I enjoy supporting an organization where I know the bulk of the money given will go directly to work for the folks 'in need.' I am proud to have been part of helping to change for the better so many folks lives and also to be working to sustain our planet. In addition. I greatly value the fact that SHI organizational structure is 'sustainable' with the local organizations are establish and run by local people. This is truly a sustainable model. - for business and for human beings!
I work for Votenet Solutions, Inc. and we honor and award new customers by making a donation to SHI to plant new trees. Depending on the products a customer buys, we plant from 5 to 30 tress per customer, in their honor. We have been running this program since 2007 and are continuously pleased with the high-integrity programs that SHI runs.
My name is Terry Gibson. I have been translating quarterly reports from Spanish into English for SHI for about two years now. I discovered SHI on-line while researching for my MBA of Sustainable Business at Marylhurst University in Portland Oregon. The reports that I have received to translate from communities in Panama, Nicaragua, and Honduras have given me a valuable look at the wonderful work SHI is doing in remote locations that have very few options, if any, to earn money to send their children to school, start home-based businesses, and restore the environment using sustainable agricultural practices. The success stories and testimonials that I have translated not only inform me about how critical the SHI mission is to those most in need, but in a model that does not patronize or lock them into destructive globalization strategies. SHI truly helps these communities, sometimes one family at a time, but more often raising the hopes and living standards of entire communities in sustainable ways. SHI gives a hand up, not a hand out. I know of no other organization working in Central America with their track record of success at practical sustainable agriculture.
My daughter and I traveled to the Toledo district of southern Belize last December. We learned of the efforts of SHI through the Cotton Tree Lodge where we stayed. They helped us set up a day of volunteering with Herminio Cho and another SHI worker at a Mayan home in Santa Teresa village. We helped the Max family with a vegetable garden on their property, discussed the importance of keeping a compost pile to add nutrients back to the soil, and enjoyed a wonderful, simple meal together. Sustainable Harvest is making a lasting impact in the lives of native Mayans of Belize and eco-tourists who visit the area and want to help out.
It's so hard today to know where to direct your charity dollars to. I used to give to a large charity that builds houses. I've was looking for a way to celebrate a friends 50th birthday and stumbled across this charity. I was so impressed with their work, I have now switched over my charity donations. Their name says it all: Substainable and Harvest. They work directly with people to change their lives in a way values the environment in an area crucial to our ecosystem. Letting them earn enough money to build their own houses and build a foundation for their children's education and future. Keep up the great work!
I have been aware of the work Sustainable Harvest has done for years. The tremendous beneficial change they make in people's lives and livelihood is nothing short of phenomenal. Especially when one considers the amazing things done with the resources they have. Their heart and soul is based in the purest of intentions for helping others. Kudos to SHI and all the tremendous workers on their staff.
I love supporting Sustainable Harvest International because so much is accomplished with seemingly little funds. Participants learn that growing food sustainably is great for their family's health and also profitable! Many trees have been planted to reforest land that was cleared, leading to improved water quality and reduced erosion. The amazing improvement in the quality of life for participants causes others to want to work with SHI as well, leading to community-wide impacts. I do hope to travel with SHI someday.
I had a chance to volunteer with SHI in Belize toward the end of 2011. My esperience was an excellent one, and the projects I worked on were planting pineapples and various types of trees, and helping to build wood conserving stoves. The people from SHI were very pleasant to work with.
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