Young people from the La Fortuna/APECAFÉ Cooperative in El Salvador and CLAC signed an agreement for a project entitled “Recuperation of ecosystem and protection of groundwater reserves in the La Fortuna coffee and balsam cooperative.” The aim of the project is to implement measures to mitigate the effects of climate change in the Cooperative, with active participation by young people, with a firm commitment to maintain an ecosystem in sustainable conditions. The project is minimizing environmental impact by planting native trees, specifically species identified in the zone for their ecological and commercial importance.
“We are experiencing the effects of climate change, and as young producers, we need assistance in seeking ways to minimize the impact on us. It is important that we are taken into consideration in terms of the processes that organizations are using to improve the situation in communities and to ensure the survival of cooperatives,” stated Teresa de Jesús Buendía, a daughter of a member of the La Fortuna Cooperative in El Salvador, during the signing of the agreement between the cooperative and CLAC.
Gabriel Marroquín Choto, a specialist in forest systems, is assisting the project as a volunteer. He will provide follow-up for the construction and maintenance of greenhouses, the collection of seeds, and other activities involved in reforesting the areas identified. He will also work to strengthen the group of youth participants, to apply the knowledge they have acquired in the project.
“We very much liked the proposal because it came directly from young people. It is a project that will help us to care for our environment, and work in the area of climate change and environmental sustainability, and it will be young people who will play the central role. This is an initiative that can signal a change in the future for the benefit of our organizations,” stated Xiomara Paredes, CLAC’s Executive Director.
The signing of this agreement is a commitment based on mutual interest, to apply knowledge acquired, and to seek a better living situation for the cooperative’s families and communities. “Our cooperatives have the vocation of caring for the environment—the aspects where work is needed—and for us, this project will contribute to a change. And if we don’t open up these spaces to our young people, this may end up collapsing,” commented Ricardo Puentes, President of the Salvadoran Network (CESPPO).