Originally from Colombia, Maria is one of three interns from EARTH University working with Sustainable Harvest International this fall. Maria is conducting her research in Panama. Here, Maria shares her passion for her home and work and vision for the future with us.
Cassandra Johnson is a fourth-year chemical engineering student at Northeastern University from Issaquah, WA. She recently visited our Belize program with a group of engineering students. Read about her experience and how it shaped her understanding of her future career!
On a Saturday morning in Otoxha, over two dozen men are building a house in the diffused yellow light of a misty tropical morning. They’ve been at it since daybreak, and their work is nearly silent.
The materials are modest: a pile of freshly cut cahune palm for the roof, a stack of long rails harvested from jungle trees, and rough-hewn boards of emory wood ready to become walls.
There are no saws, hammers or nails. Instead, a pile of dark machetes under the overhang, abandoned out of the rain, and a community of men balancing on the beams and rafters of the house in progress, lashing materials into shape.
Have you heard all our carrying on about the upcoming Climate Ride from Bar Harbor to Boston lately? (No? Not even here? Or here? Or here?) Maybe you’re even a generous contributor to Elliott’s ride? (Thank you!) Maybe you’re a proud supporter of a local business sponsor? (Thank you, thank you!)
Or maybe you’re still trying to figure out what the heck Climate Ride is, why we’re so excited, and what it has to do with saving forests and ending poverty in Central America?
That’s fair, too. Just let us explain.
We recently published a post by Steve Richards about his time as chair of our board of directors. Now, our incoming board chair, Charlotte Dougherty, chimes in to describe her experience with Sustainable Harvest International and her vision for our future. Charlotte writes:
“On that first night of my 2011 visit, I listened to the laughter, squeals, and giggles of the children and their parents as we all settled down to sleep. I was witnessing real improvement, real change in people’s lives as a direct result of working with Sustainable Harvest International.”
In this two-part series, our outgoing board chair, Stephen Richards, and his successor, Charlotte Dougherty, shine a light on the past and future of our board of directors. In Part One, Steve illustrates defining moments and landmark initiatives from his tenure as chair. Stay tuned for Part Two, when Charlotte will fill us in on where we’re going next!
Steve writes, “Through my involvement with those organizations, I had visited and worked in over 60 countries and enjoyed learning about other parts of the world. Most importantly, I was in a position where I could have an impact on people in desperate situations.”
You know how it goes. Sometimes, you start a project, and the project starts small. The snack bar operated out of a bread truck. The internet start-up masterminded from a dorm room bean bag chair. The nonprofit born from a diving trip and an unexpected gift.
Ambitious ideas paired with strong leadership have a tendency to grow. The snack bar moves into an honest to goodness building. That website start-up garners few hundred million users and moves into cutting edge offices in Silicon Valley. And the nonprofit, too, expands; attracting more donors (hello you!), planting more gardens and farms (hurray planet!), and working with more families (hello impact!).
Along the way, there’s bound to be some updating, and it’s not all trees and seeds here at Sustainable Harvest International. There’s some precise planning and implementation behind the success of our programs. That’s why this is a story about accounting.
I saw that the organization works with long-term projects targeting low-income farming families that need some support to improve their livelihoods. The organization works in 5 specific areas: agroforestry, environment, food security, livelihoods, and learning capacity. All of this while promoting organic techniques to improve people’s health and stop the environmental damages caused by conventional agriculture.