Those little white butterflies with translucent wings carpeted the ravine. They were destroying crops, believed local coffee farmers. They should be dead.
After planning comes execution. One example would be efforts to institute Payment for Environmental Services (PES) schemes. IUCN is participating in joint governmental-nongovernmental commission on PES.
Women from the El Palmeral Cooperative on the outskirts of a small town in northern El Salvador produce world-class handmade necklaces, bracelets and earrings from the seeds of local trees. But there are only two buses a day to the market town. If they miss the last one, they won’t make it back home to San Francisco Menéndez that night.
Driving his heavy-duty pick-up truck, wearing a baseball cap and sporting a plump middle, Humberto “Beto” Ruiz Granadino could pass for yet another anti-environmental rancher. But looks can be deceiving. He is indeed a farmer, and proud of it.
Anastacio Mendez Diegez is the kind of guy who will climb a tree to pick a local fruit for a visitor and stop to answer his mobile phone while up in the branches. He maintains firm roots in the culture and traditions of his rural Mexico while keeping his antenna attuned to what’s going on around the globe.
It is hard to care much, let alone protect, something you don’t have. And in Guatemala, only 38 percent of extremely poor rural households have tap water, according to a recent study entitled “The Economic Lives of the Poor” by economists Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Tourism brochures advertise the “dramatic scenery” of the Guatemalan highlands. Indeed that’s what you’ll find most everywhere – albeit not always the kind the tour guides would show you.
Stories of start-up businesses run by twenty-somethings are a dime a dozen in the 21st century. But a group of high school and college students in the Guatemalan highlands have a truly unique tale to tell.