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Cattle Farmers Turn to ACCT Reforestation for Sustainability in Costa Rica

Cattle Farmers turn to ACCT reforestation programs for Sustainability in Costa Rica

IMG_2221 IMG_2336At Community Carbon Trees Costa Rica, we work with participating Costa Rican farmers who have deforested land from cattle farming. Meet Omar Godinez, who is participating with our biodiverse agro-forestry programs on his land in La Reina, Guabo Valley Costa Rica. Omar rides his horse in the village to collect and carry any materials he may need to live. He lives in a simple wooden house with a big river running nearby. Several uncovered water springs bubble forth on his land and a tiny stretch of rainforest remains in a very steep area.

Before participating with our community reforestation programs, Omar did not have gainful employment other than cattle farming. Little by little, his land would no longer support the cattle as all the topsoil had run off over the past 15 years in the torrential tropical rains and penetrating Equatorial sun. Omar felt hopeless.

In 2013, local women and Omar replanted over 600 trees on Omar’s land, including all kinds of rare tropical lumber, fruiting trees, and water protection species. Omar is thrilled. He got paid to plant his farm along with some of the local women who are now prospering because of tree production and planting jobs. Everyone gets paid each time the surrounding cattle grasses are chopped and trees tended during the first 4 years.

You can see how big and healthy the trees are growing on Omar’s farm. He is already harvesting bananas and corn and the hardwood and fruit trees are growing leaps and bounds. He will be able to harvest beautiful cocoa in just a few more years and sell it cooperatively for value added chocolate treats to benefit the community of workers and more tree planting projects.

No herbicide is allowed in any of all our projects and loves this. Some of his neighbors currently use herbicides and pesticides and he knows that this is harmful to the bees and bats living all around his land. Omar is learning how to rebuild his soil and grow organic food within the food forest.  He can see his neighbors paying attention and copying his lead to stop using pesticides.

The surrounding land is already buzzing with life, shadier and cooler in just two and a half short years. Omar is glad that we replanted the springs with water protecting trees for future generations. At Community Carbon Trees Costa Rica, everybody wins. Especially Nature!

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