Unión Cantinil Reforestation Project – Guatemala

Unión Cantinil, Huehuetenango, Guatemala

Community Description
Unión Cantinil is a newly-minted municipality located deep in the highlands in Northern Huehuetenango. Formed as a union five years ago between two largely ignored villages, they have for the first time been able to help themselves and make development a real priority in the area. They now have their first roads and schools, but still lack the infrastructure present in more established municipalities.

Largely a coffee farming community, Unión Cantinil is unique in that most inhabitants are land owners, and are able to make enough during the short coffee harvest to eat throughout the year. However, this is the extent of the economy, and the villagers suffer from the wax and wane of the coffee market.

Project Description
This is a project to reforest large areas around those large springs which have been deforested due to the use of the trees for cooking fuel.

The project has the support of the Asociación de Agricultores Tinecos, Oficina Forestal Municipal, COCODES de Unión Cantinil, and La Comisión de la Mujer.

Project funds will be used to purchase 2,000 assorted native pines and cypresses from a local cooperative just outside of Unión Cantinil, located in the mountains of San Martin Cuchumatan. This cooperative hires mostly women and those in extreme poverty as a source of work and economic investment in the area. The cooperative is partnered with another Peace Corps Volunteer and she will oversee the seedlings until they are ready for planting.

Trees will be placed at the largest water sources, including the areas of Valenton Cinco Arroyos, Los Planes, Tajumuco, Villa Linda, and El Rincon, at a density of 1,210 trees per acre. This will provide coverage of almost two acres in total, at a 6 x 6 foot spacing.

The planting of trees in the affected areas will begin during the month of May so as to ensure that the newly planted trees have sufficient water.

Project Impact
This project will benefit 12,000 people by protecting 5 crucial water sources that serve them.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Erik Benoist

Comments The preservation of water sources is an extremely effective way of ensuring a continuing supply of uncontaminated water to a large number of people. By definition, the project is sustainable, as the benefits are permanent.

Water Charity is very supportive of an expansion of this type of project, as the effects of deforestation are widespread. An analysis of the causes of the problem reveals that benefits will be achieved in the future if we become involved earlier in the cycle, namely with the implementation of projects to promote the use of efficient stoves in order to reduce the need for wood as a fuel, thereby impacting on deforestation.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has been fully funded, through the generosity of the Elmo Foundation.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify the Peace Corps Volunteer of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by the PCV and/or those of other PCVs in the country of service.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.