The Chico Mendes Reforestation Project is a grassroots, indigenous-run initiative that works to reforest areas of Guatemala's western highlands while providing work and environmental education to youth and other local community members. Founded in 1998 and based in the Maya K'iche' community of Pachaj, Quetzaltenango Department, the Chico Mendes Project plants between 10,000 and 15,000 trees a year in an effort to rehabilitate forests that have been over-logged or were destroyed during Guatemala's civil war.
The Project coordinates hundreds of local and international volunteers a year, but is nevertheless a small grassroots endeavor supported primarily by individual donations in an area where resources are extremely limited. Their number one need right now is a reliable 4x4 pickup truck. In Guatemala, even small pickups that are over 15 years old are incredibly expensive, often selling for 3-4 times what they would in the United States. Because of this, we are trying raise the funds to deliver a 1993 Nissan 4x4 pickup truck to Guatemala to donate to the project.
Please help us make this happen! Your contributions will go to support the cost of fuel to drive the truck from Tucson, AZ to Pachaj as well as to cover Guatemalan import fees and taxes and the return bus fair for the two drivers. We will be volunteering our time to make this happen, but we need to raise at least $2,000 to cover these basic expenses.
We should note that some funds (around $1200) have already been raised to support this effort. However, in a terrible and exceptionally sad turn of events, the family who is responsible for founding and maintaining the project recently lost their teenage son Raúl in a car accident and had to spend much of that money on funeral expenses, having no other financial resources at their disposal. Raúl was not only the son of Claudia and Armando López Pocol, the founder of the project, but was himself deeply involved in all aspects of the work at Chico Mendes. We hope that those who donated previously will appreciate the unique and tragic nature of this situation and that, with your help, we can offer this small but critical contribution to the project and to Raúl's family.
Thank you so much for your support!
For more information on the Chico Mendes Reforestation Project, click here