Looking to get your hands dirty, meet local families and make a difference on your vacation? Sustainable Harvest International is a non-profit organization operating in Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, and right here in the Toledo District of Belize. The mission of Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) is to provide farming families in Central America with the training and tools to preserve our planet’s tropical forests while overcoming poverty.You are invited to join SHI for a day-long service project, which may include building a fuel-efficient wood burning stove, reforesting land, or planting an organic school garden. Working side-by-side with SHI families and staff, you will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the cultures and communities you are assisting. You will also gain a deeper understanding of SHI’s environmental and social efforts within Belize and across Central America. Your day of volunteering includes a traditional Belizean lunch prepared and served by an SHI family in their home.Volunteer opportunities are available regularly on Wednesdays, and additional dates may be available by request. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks before your visit to make arrangements. SHI requests a tax deductable $80 donation per person to defray the costs of staff time and materials. Sustainable Harvest International is a 501c3 non-profit organization and donations may be tax-deductible.
Sustainable Harvest International Belize Partnered with Cotton Tree LodgeYesterday, today and tomorrow – by Joanie Alexander, friend of Chris and the lodge
At the 2006 NOFA (Northeastern Organic Farmers Association) Conference, I heard Florence Reed talk about Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) projects in Central America, including Toledo district, Belize, where my friend Chris Crowell was building a jungle lodge.I was excited to learn that SHI was teaching farmers to grow food sustainably, enabling families to continue their village lifestyle. Meeting with Flo afterwards, we both agreed Cotton Tree Lodge (CTL) and SHI might work together.
Sarah Kennedy, SHI Outreach Director at the time, planned a visit for me to the Honduras SHI program in November 2006. The Honduran farmers and their families were proud and excited about their new farming methods, giving a higher yield and greater variety of vegetables. Many were raising chickens in coops designed by SHI, harvesting the manure for compost, selling eggs and chicken to their neighbors. They were building a demonstration garden/education center.
Soon Candido Chun of SHI Belize, Chris Crowell at Cotton Tree Lodge (CTL) and Greg Bowles at SHI Maine began brainstorming ideas and funding options for a joint venture. The lodge opened January 1, 2007. SHI held a board meeting there in February. That spring a foundation offered support for an additional field trainer who would develop an SHI demonstration garden at CTL and work with farmers in neighboring villages. -Joanie
Today the garden is thriving and our partnership with SHI strengthens with each passing year. In addition to its projects in the garden, SHI now offers volunteer opportunities to Cotton Tree Lodge guests who would like to work on a meaningful project in one of our neighboring villages.Sustainable Harvest International runs Sustainable Chocolate Trips which stay at Cotton Tree Lodge and incorporate chocolate making activities along with several days of volunteer projects.Please contact Emily Hewes, at email@example.com for more information about any of these initiatives.
Sustainable Harvest International partners with Cotton Tree Lodge to offer unique voluntourism opportunities. Participants can stay at Cotton Tree Lodge and take part in a variety of cultural activities, eco-tours and service projects with local families. Activities may include planting trees, building gardens and constructing wood-conserving. In addition to volunteer projects, there are opportunities to tour local Mayan ruin sites, visit jungle waterfalls and take part in cultural events. Go to: SHI Voluntourism Opportunities for full details.