They say "a picture is worth a thousand words", and these pictures are proof. They are all trees planted by AIR, and they are 4, 8, and 12 years old. It demonstrates how barren mountainsides, prone to mudslides during the rainy season, can be restored to lush, beautiful forests. AIR technicos work with Mayan farmers for 5 years teaching the principles behind reforestation, and enlisting them as partners in improving life for themselves and their community. Some farmers have started their own tree nurseries which becomes a small business for them as they sell seedlings to their neighbors. Another aspect of AIR is stove building. The cook stoves are wood burning as is the Mayan tradition. The AIR designed stove uses far less wood than their traditional way of cooking, and they are vented to prevent inhalation of smoke, thus improving health. The lady of the house is consulted about the height and location of the stove, and later it will be a gathering place for the family.AIR has a curriculum in many schools that teaches agro forestry and sustainable farming. They offer scholarships to students to ensure that the principles can be carried on into the future. I have been privileged to volunteer on three AIR mission trips, and will continue to support this wonderful organization.
Air Guatemala knocks it out of the park yet again. What an amazing organization AIR is!!! The hard work and dedication of the staff in Guatemala are remarkable.
I returned for my sixth trip to Guatemala with AIR this past June. Every time I return I am impressed anew with the efficiency and devotion of the Guatemalan staff. The results this group of people achieve are astounding given the challenges they face. I will be returning again and again.
This organization has been in existence for 21 years working in Guatemala. In that period of time, with a staff of just eight technicians and an annual budget of less than $200,000, it has worked with volunteers to plant over 4 million trees all by hand, establish tree nurseries in 130 communities, and build some 800 stoves which use less wood for cooking thereby saving a half a million trees. In addition, the staff works with 200 schools to teach the importance of conserving and reestablishing the forests in Guatemala. I have served as one of the volunteers in Guatemala planting the trees and observing what this amazing organization does on such a limited budget.
This organization has made a remarkable difference with a skeleton crew and a bare-bones budget in the countries of Guatamala and Nicaragua. The staff goes into villages and helps the residents first establish tree nurseries, teaches them how trees benefit their lives including how to farm using the trees to prevent erosion, and then helps them plant the trees from the nurseries. They also help the villagers build ovens that use much less wood for cooking so that fewer trees are cut down. In addition the staff goes into the schools to teach the children the importance of protecting the forests. This organization is definitely worthy of winning a 2013 Top-Rated Award.
I have enthusiastically served as a board member for several years, due to AIR's impressive international reputation as a productive and culturally sensitive organization. Through active reforestation programs, scholarship programs, and the construction of stoves that allow families to forego open cook fires for a more healthy and efficient alternative, AIR has earned a reputation as a valued partner in the local communities it serves. Not only does AIR have an exemplary record of accomplishments, but it is even more remarkable that it has achieved them through honoring and respecting the local, largely indigenous, way of life.
Alliance for International Reforestation is a wonderful organization. We educate families in Guatemala concerning the environmental challenges facing their country. We help them plant trees to avoid flooding and destruction of the environment. We have established tree nurseries. We build fuel efficient brick ovens for families to help end the pollution and smoke hazards occurring in their homes. We provide scholarships for children. Our staff is dedicated and hard working. We make a difference in the lives of families in Guatemala and establish a model project that can be duplicated in other countries to lessen the environmental challenges faced by developing countries.
The Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR) works in Guatemala to assist communities in the mountains develop sustainable agro-forestry. I was part of work teams in 2002 and 2007 that assisted villagers plant trees to stop erosion in the mountainous terrain around Chimaltenago. The teams were hosted by a professional staff of Guatemalans. This project change lives of the communities where they serve - and it has changed mine as well. AIR does this by building nurseries and relationships to plant trees. In addition they respond to various human needs created by natural disasters such as Hurricane Mitch and volcanoes. My trips have turned into regular monthly support of AIR. I recommend this project for it allows an individual to participate in life-changing work. Who knows? If you support or participate the life that is changed just might be yours.
As a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala I wanted to work in some way to support development at the grassroots level in Central America. AIR has provided me with the opportuntiy to work with Guatemalans as they seek to serve the poor in their country through reforestation, improved farming techniques, community organizing and education. AIR has no paid staff in the US and has on the average 8 Guatemalans working with the indigenous farmers in their own communities and surrounding villages. AIR has planted several million trees and touched the lives of hundreds of Guatemalans and dozens of citizens of the United States who have had the opportunity to work with AIR in Guatemala on a volunteer basis. I have chosen to be part of and support AIR as I have not seen an organization that does a better job of giving individuals from different countries and cultures the opportunity to serve beside each other and as part of the same team. Also AIR for the size of its budget and number of individuals involved has accomplished on a yearly basis much more than organizations several times larger with much larger budgets.