By Naomi MacMurdie
In June 2022, what has come to be known as the Reforestando Guatemaya National Campaign was implemented in Guatemala with the participation of more than 10,000 volunteers. Most of the volunteers are indigenous peoples from 122 municipalities and more than 600 communities across Guatemala.
Called “Planting of Tree Zero,” the event in the Cayalá Ecological Park was symbolic of the Mayan cosmovision. It was attended by former President of Guatemala Mr. Vinicio Cerezo, who has also served as the General Secretary of the Central American Integration System (2017-2021) and as a member of the Latin American Presidential Mission.
Olinda Salguero, Representative for Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Central America, shared:
“GPF is synonymous with service and we are pleased to officially initiate activities in Central America with active participation in the Reforestando Guatemaya Campaign, which involves the participation of more than 10 thousand volunteers, mainly from the native peoples, to serve the country, the region, and the planet by planting life in 122 municipalities and more than 600 communities. We have planted more than 30 million trees in 14 years and this is a fundamental contribution from one of the most vulnerable regions of the planet, trees are our best allies to capture carbon and contribute to the balance of ecosystems.”
The campaign originated in 2009 as an initiative of the Ajtzuk Youth Movement in order to promote the care of natural resources to move from a culture of deforestation to one of reforestation and greater harmony with nature. Since its conception, more than 30 million trees have been planted in 27,967 hectares of forests in national territory.
In Nahuatl Quauhtemallan, Guatemala means "place of forests or many trees." Unfortunately, Guatemala loses much of its forest every year, which is why projects that promote reforestation are so essential to protecting the environment and quality of life for the people of Central America.
“All efforts are more than necessary and I am very encouraged that young people are contributing in such a significant way,” said former President Vinicio Cerezo when planting his 2022 tree, “Therefore, personally and with the organizations to which I am linked, I join Reforestando Guatemaya to continue planting life, because there is no planet B.”
Reforestando Guatemaya is a collective effort of Ajtzuk Youth Movement, Esquipulas Foundation, Fundaeco, the Latin American Presidential Mission, and GPF Central America. These organizations are joined by dozens of local organizations that contribute volunteers to reforestation efforts in Guatemala.