Mudslides and floods are constant threats to Guatemala and have killed hundreds i. Rural villages are at a higher risk due to their high sloped mountainous terrain and isolation.
By strategically planting thousands of fast-growing trees on mountain slopes, our work can prevent mudslides and save buildings, food crops, and lives.
The large majority of rural families in Guatemala cook with firewood every day, usually open fires without chimneys. Exposure to smoke is the 4th worst risk factor for disease in developing countries, and causes four million premature deaths per year – exceeding deaths attributable to malaria i.
Providing efficient brick stoves with chimneys—custom built for each family—our work prevents lung disease, motivates the families to continue farmer training, and conserves a ton (literally) of firewood per year, per stove!
In 2013, USAID reported that Guatemala has the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the Western Hemisphere, and 50% of Guatemala’s children face developmental or physical challenges from malnutrition i. The root cause stems from lack of access to proteins and a wide variety of nutritious vegetables.
By educating and training rural families sustainable farming practices AIR helps increase the variety of crops planted for consumption.
173,374 acres in Guatemala were deforested in 2012 i. That’s roughly 15 full football fields per hour! Deforestation not only means barren mountains and mudslides, it also means loss of nutritious top soil for food crops; less carbon sequestration for the planet; and less habitat for wildlife.
By planting millions of beneficial native trees and training farmers in Sustainable Farming methods, we are reforesting central Guatemala.
Teaching sustainable farming protects the environment and increases crop yield.
We use trees that fertilize the soil naturally and are extremely fast-growing.
Our education programs provide a fun way to inform the generation of the future.
We strive to sharply reduce and eventually eliminate use of chemical pesticides and herbicides on family farms.
Our school curriculum is establishing positive attitudes and behaviors towards the environment.