Category: Justice
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$1,805 raised
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GOAL $5,000 Support 23 indigenous Guatemalan households to plant and manage 2,300 perennial fruit trees for home consumption and sale in local markets. The project will strengthen indigenous women’s leadership and economic autonomy while increasing tree cover, biodiversity, and soil health.
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Why Contribute to this Project? Communities that produce their own food are independent, resilient, and powerful. They are also far healthier – both their bodies and their lands, with women playing a critical role in the food security, health, and nutrition of their families. By donating, you will enhance the participation of women and girls in biodiversity regeneration and conservation processes, forging a food-sovereign, equitable, healthy, and environmentally sustainable future. 

What Will the Funds Be Used for? Your support will expand tree planting through women’s associations in Caxlanpom and Chinabenque, indigenous communities in mountainous northeastern Guatemala. A historically persecuted group, the Q’eqchiʼ Maya have been actively resisting a foreign-owned mine that has polluted nearby waterways. 23 Q’eqchiʼ households will receive 3 progressive rounds of diverse fruit trees during the year-long project, plus field training on tree maintenance and the use of contour planting to manage erosion. 

What Are the Expected Outcomes? Families in the two Q’eqchiʼ communities will have planted 2,300 fruit trees and strengthened their capacities to use and maintain biodiversity for food and economic security. Increased use of agroforestry species has profound environmental benefits and makes a significant contribution to improving the communities’ nutritional status and health.


This project is organized by the International Women’s Convocation (IWC), a global partnership of Unitarian* Universalists who work for women’s empowerment through U*U connections around the world. We are living our U*U values by demonstrating our respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part as well as commitment to a just, compassionate, and sustainable world.

Project Partners

Ecosystem Restoration Camps is a growing network of ecological restoration efforts around the world that are working to repair the relationship between people and healthy ecosystems. Erin Beasley, Executive Director of Ecosystems Restoration Camps USA, is a UU who has been closely involved with IWC since 2015. 

Contour Lines leads reforestation programs in Guatemala to integrate productive (food and fiber) trees with annual agricultural crops. The results are resilient, diversified farms with full, local ownership and benefits to the local ecosystems such as improved soil health, increased tree cover, and maintained biodiversity. Their family-focused approach engages participants in successive rounds of planting to get more fruit trees into the hands of the most committed participants. Since 2018, the organization has planted over 120,000 trees in degraded land with 1,200 local residents in 37 communities. 


Project Endorsements

Herlinda Xo Caal, leader of the women’s associations of the two communities: “I’m looking forward to this project because I want to secure the future of my family to have healthy food. I believe that our community can produce our own food, and we should have the right to choose what we eat, and be able to eventually sell food that is free of chemicals. The increased use of land without conservation practices has been a problem in my community. This project will bring multiple benefits, including workshops on soil conservation, how to diversify our crops, and the use of organic products that won’t harm the environment. We’re working together to reforest the land and take care of the environment.”

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