FROM FARMLAND TO FOREST - PART III


How Reforestation Projects are Helping Rural Farmers in Chiapas

Cooperativa AMBIO has been working in the rural area of Tziscao, Chiapas for over a decade, as can be seen in the size of trees in their reforested plots.

Located in the border between Mexico and Guatemala, the area is often visited by tourists from both countries wishing to admire the deep blue and crystalline waters of Lake Tziscao.

With the support of AMBIO, the indigenous inhabitants of Tziscao continue to turn abandoned agricultural lands into planted forests in an effort to restore the water sources that feed this beautiful lake and their families.

This short photo essay portrays the human scars in the landscape and the humble people helping to bring the rainforest back.

Margarito standing in his plot of forest just outside of Tziscao. Years ago this area burned in a wildfire. Instead of replanting all of the land with coffee or corn, as is very common in Mexico he decided to reforest this part of the plot
Tziscao Lake, Chiapas
An example of planned land use. Coffee, corn and forest all share the same plot
Fungus grows on the forest floor, a sign of the biodiversity that reforestation provides
Margarito in his forest plot
The border between Guatemala and Mexico
Lesbia Solis Vasquez stands in her plot of forest on the border of Mexico and Guatemala. Originally this plot of land was a corn field. She reforested the hilly terrain by herself, leaving just a small patch of land to grow corn.
Looking down the international border between Mexico on the left and Guatemala on the right. In the right hand corner is a small coffee plantation, which can produce approximately 400kg of coffee beans a year. The farmers earn about 30 pesos ($1.60 USD) per kilogram of beans.
A simple cooking area inside a rural Guatemalan home
Alberto Morales Hernández discusses his hectare of forest on the shores of Tziscao Lake, Chiapas. This area is one of the most fragile and endangered ecosystems in Chiapas, and maintaining the forests is vital to the preservation of the rare and endangered species of flora and fauna in the area.
Alberto Morales Hernández walks through his plot of forest in Tziscao
Trees ready to be planted in Tziscao

Special thanks to Cooperativa Ambio for access and interviews. Find out more about Ambio and Scolel’te at http://ambio.org.mx/

For more information on the Plan Vivo Standard, visit http://www.planvivo.org/