HOW DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?
We understand the importance of educating individuals and providing them with the training and tools necessary to become community leaders in sustainability. To accomplish our mission, Sustainable Harvest International's local field trainers work with families, individuals, and communities for an average of five years using a five-phase approach (we really like the number five).
Each family that chooses to participate in our program receives frequent, technical assistance from their field trainer. Visits and trainings are tailored to each participant's goals, preferences, and abilities. In order to graduate to the next phase, participants must demonstrate that they are ready.
The Multiplier Effect
When participants graduate from our program, they continue to demonstrate their increased capacity by teaching others the skills they learned through working with us.
our Methods at work
At just 36 years old, Nelson Aníbal has invested a lot of effort in reforesting his land in the Santa Barbara region of Honduras.
Nelson has planted over 1,000 trees of various species for shade and timber, over 8,000 coffee trees, and 500 plantain trees. He also plants more than two acres of corn and beans each year, along with maintaining a family garden to feed his wife and three children.
"Before working with Sustainable Harvest International Honduras, we used to burn our fields and depend on chemicals to make our soil productive. Now we know how to take advantage of all the resources around, such as coffee pulp and papaya leaves, to make natural fertilizers."
In his own words, Jorge Chirú, of Membrillo, Panama shares his achievements:
"In just one year of working with my field trainer, I have learned many new techniques for my home garden. I have learned to make homemade organic fertilizers and natural pest repellents. I have been improving the life of my soil, controlling pests and different crop diseases. I now realize that our garden can produce the food we need for my family’s meals without harming the soil or the environment.
"My family's health has already improved because of the good food we are eating. I know that in four years, when we are finished working with Sustainable Harvest International Panama, that we will have achieved many things."
Wood-conserving stoves save thousands of trees, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and greatly improve the health of women and children. They use up to 50% less wood than traditional open fires and reduce the amount of smoke and air pollution in the home.
The wood-conserving stoves we introduce are a radical and healthy change. Just hear what Rufino Hernández has to say:
"Recently, Sustainable Harvest International Panama taught my family to build a wood-conserving stove. It is marvelous! The great thing is that it burns less wood and has cut down on the smoke inside our home, which makes my wife very happy. She hasn’t stopped cooking since!"
Luisa Pan is the proud owner of a successful small business in her community of Dolores.
She received a micro-credit loan from Sustainable Harvest International Belize to expand her mini-store to purchase supplies that were in great demand by her neighbors, such as sugar, flour, soap, and oil. She also stocks the shelves with crops harvested from the family farm, including cassava, tomatoes, onions, plantains, cocoyams and more.
With the profits, she was able to pay off the loan in less than one year, and also pay off other household debts and purchase school supplies for her five children.
Luisa, who runs the store while her husband farms, says, “At first Vicente and I weren’t sure if we should expand the store because we didn’t know if we could pay the loan back. But the business has done well and we agree that it is important for me to make money to help support our family.”