In the buffer zone of the Montecillos Biological Reserve, the Mesoamerican Pine Beetle has wiped out half of existing Honduran Pines, which protected cultivated coffee plants from the tropical sun. In addition, a coffee fungus has reduced production by up to 60% in some areas. Coffee is the basis for the economy of local communities. The pine canopy that has been destroyed not only protected the basis for the local economy, it also protected water availability and quality for the local communities. As income dries up, families struggle to meet their most basic needs. This puts additional pressure on the natural resources in the Reserve as people try to recover what they've lost.
With partners Trees Water People (TWP) and the Center for Education in Sustainable Agriculture (CEASO), Rotary will build resilience into the recovery by providing cook-stoves, cisterns, and diversified tree nurseries. The cookstoves will improve the health of the population by improving air quality. The cisterns will improve the quantity and availability of water. The tree nurseries will replace the devastated pine canopy with varieties of trees that can produce alternative income over time (protect coffee trees and provide tree and vine fruit for marketing).
This project was started by Rotary Peace Scholar Lucas Wolf (class of 2006 - 2008, sponsored by District 5440) while he was the International Director of Trees Water People (TWP), an NGO that works with rural communities throughout Central America and on U.S. Tribal Lands.
Lucas unexpectedly passed away at age 36 while attending an environmental conference in Havana, Cuba. Lucas lived in Managua, Nicaragua, in his role with TWP. The Rotary Club of Fort Collins Breakfast and TWP worked to develop a project in Lucas' memory which related to his passion. Until his death, Lucas remained very active in the Rotary Peace Fellow alumni organization, traveling often to speak and/or participate in Rotary-sponsored peace conferences. With this project, TWP and Rotary are carrying on his legacy, and kicking off a 5-year effort to plant 1,000,000 trees in his name. Products of this District Grant will include cisterns (to collect rain water from roofs) and efficient cook-stoves for 25 households. This project is in memory of Lucas.
Each set of 25 cisterns, two tree nurseries and 25 stoves can be completed in a 6 to 12month period, depending on the season. Roads in the rainy season make access to many communities impossible.
Club Member Involvement
Club members will have the opportunity to visit the site and help with hands-on implementation.