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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

71 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
4

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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1

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

1

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.

1 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!

1 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!

1 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.

2

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.