Over the weekend, Friends for Conservations and Development (FCD) hosted an exchange program with youths from five Guatemalan communities. These communities are unique because they fringe the Chiquibul National Park.
Over the weekend, Friends for Conservations and Development (FCD) hosted an exchange program with youths from five Guatemalan communities. These communities are unique because they fringe the Chiquibul National Park. There were eleven children in all, from the communities of La Rejoya, Nueva Armenia, San Jose Chiquibul, Las Flores Chiquibul and Puertas del Cielo Chiquibul. They are all located within the Chiquibul Maya Mountain Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala. The purpose of the exchange was to educate the youths on the need for the protection of the environment, primarily the forest and water resources. The land surface of the biosphere has been severely fragmented, leading to scarcity in these resources. The youths were coordinated by members of the FCD Environment Youth Group and Todos Por Un Mundo Verde. Participants who attended expressed their concerns for the forest loss and the effects this has on the Chiquibul and Mopan Rivers. To address this situation from further deterioration, outreach education campaigns were recommended for the children and youth in the rural communities as well as the identification of sustainable livelihood programs that provides an alternative means whilst protecting the natural resources. The engagement with the rural communities in Guatemala is being conducted through Asociacion Balam and FCD with the aim of promoting and economically sustained biocultural landscape. The exchange program was made possible through the support of the Canada Fund for local initiatives.