- Organization Name:Alliance for International Reforestation
- Address:4514 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd
Unit # 496
Atlanta, GA 30338
The mission of the Alliance for International Reforestation (AIR) is to implement educational programs, Sustainable Agriculture methods, reforestation, and efficient stoves in Central America in order to protect water sources, prevent mudslides, reduce erosion, prevent lung disease and provide more nutritious crops, while protecting the Earth.
AIR is determined to address causes and not only symptoms of deforestation, poor crops, mudslides, and lung diseases--working in the farmers' own fields and in rural schools.
The Alliance for International Reforestation, Inc. (“AIR” or “AIRES” in Spanish) is a 501( c )(3) organization that began working in Guatemala in 1993. AIR’s goal is to help rural communities implement sustainable methods of farming and cooking that are healthier and environmentally responsible--and sustainable over the long term. These transformative methods can be readily adapted and re-taught by local people in the communities. To that end, AIR, Inc. provides three inter-connected programs:
• Tree nurseries for agro-forestry and general reforestation resulting in over 4.3 million trees planted in Guatemala;
• Environmental education for all ages—from training families in sustainable farming to school curriculum and scholarships; and
• Fuel-efficient stoves with chimneys to protect lung health and efficiency to conserve trees.
The reasons that AIR succeeds where other non-profits have failed are because (a) FIVE YEARS of training are essential for the benefits of "farming with trees" to be experienced by the families before AIR technicians move to new communities; (b) Mayan professionals are the core of AIR's approach, and they speak the indigenous language and quickly earn the trust of farmers; and (c) the participants themselves make the key decisions about community leadership, who receives the stoves first, which fields to plant first, tree nursery maintenance schedules, etc. This sense of ownership means that Sustainable Farming and reforestation continue long after the AIR technicians move on to other communities. In fact, dozens of participating families turn their AIR tree nurseries into micro-businesses that benefit their families economically and spread the reforestation to surrounding communities.
AIR technicians provide all three of the above programs to community groups as a "package." First, they recruit interested families and begin enjoyable weekly classes in the community. The groups elect their leadership and find a small plot for the shared tree nursery. Native trees are planted from seed-- fruit trees, pine trees to prevent mudslides, windbreak trees, and the "miracle" Aliso tree that has nitrogen-fixing roots to fertilize the food crops and grows eight inches per month! When the tree seedlings are large enough, the group decides which farms and community areas will be planted first and thousands of seedlings are planted by hand. In addition, they decide which families will receive the stoves first based on need and level of participation. Finally, AIR technicians are establishing tree nurseries and programs in community schools to reinforce all the lessons taught in the community groups.
AIR has a track record of over 22 years of successful projects, improving the lives of thousands of rural families and reforesting whole mountainsides in Guatemala for the long-term.
AIR, Inc. was founded by former Stetson University political science professor, Dr. Anne M. Hallum, after a Stetson research trip to Guatemala in 1991. She witnessed the severe malnutrition, deforestation and soil erosion, and she experienced the extraordinary hospitality of the Mayan people who were still enduring a lengthy civil war.
With determination, Dr. Hallum raised funds in the US for the first projects, formed a Board of Directors and returned to Guatemala to hire the executive director and gradually, technicians with degrees in agro-forestry and Environmental Engineering. She also traveled to Nicaragua and hired a staff person and found volunteers to work there for five years. In 2000, volunteers constructed a Training Center in Chimaltenango, Guatemala where AIR maintains its in-country offices and where rural families, teachers and students come for extra assistance.
After over 20 years, AIR staff members and volunteers have established over 200 tree nurseries in three Departments in Guatemala, work in dozens of schools, have built 820 fuel-efficient stoves and planted over 4.3 million trees by hand. In 2013, AIR received a “Momentum for Change” award from the United Nations Conference on Climate Change and in 2011 Anne Hallum was named one of the CNN Heroes for her leadership efforts. All salaried AIR staff members are native to the south-central region of Guatemala where AIR works and most are indigenous Maya professionals.
- Year established:1992
- Organization type:Grantseeker
- Country of registration:United States
- Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
- IRS Section:501(c)(3)
- IRS Subsection:None
Types of funding being sought (i.e. funding type)
- None specified
Program areas of focus and activity (i.e. funding cause)
- None specified
Geographic areas of focus and activity (i.e. geographic area)
- None specified