Getting back to work with the reforestation project.  Here´s a copy of an end of the year article from El Nuevo Diario, one of the national newspapers, which doesn´t include our project because it is privately funded, but shows that we are in good company.  Translation thanks to NicaNet, the Nicaragua Network.  I highly recommend their news services and bulletins as a way of keeping in touch with Nicaragua in English.

Leon and Chinandega close out the year working on Reforestation

During 2009 a diverse group of institutions continued a reforestation project on hillsides and in river basins, in parks and in school yards to improve environmental conditions in 13 of the 22 municipalities of the Departments of Leon and Chinandega. The campaign, the third in a series, completed the reforestation of 11,000 acres. Among the thousands of trees planted were mahogany, teak, laurel, pochote (Bombacopsis quinata), eucalyptus, oak, Guanacaste, Genízaro (Albizia saman), Ceiba, and cedar. There was a special emphasis placed on the reforestation of land near rivers.

The program received support from many sources, including the National Forest Institute (INAFOR), the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA), mayors of the municipalities involved, the Ministry of Education, the Nicaraguan Army, the Young Environmentalists Club, the United States Millennium Challenge Account (CRM), and the Monte Rosa and San Antonio sugar mills. Over 600 high school students from Chichigalpa and Posoltega participated in the program. Each school and institution that participated received an award.

There was also an environmental education campaign for populations located near the reforested areas, to teach them about proper trash disposal in order to avoid the contamination of rivers and the spread of illnesses. The campaign will continue through next year with the goal of caring for sources of water and trees so that they can be inherited by future generations, thereby strengthening preservation of the rivers, and maintaining the river basins.

Gloria Gonzalez, Education Ministry delegate for Chinandega, said that a total of 7,000 students from that department had planted 60,000 trees. They also cleaned up the Acome River which had been contaminated by dumping. Alejandro Palma, Mayor of San Pedro de Potrero in Chinandega, said that extensive areas in his municipality had been reforested. He added that the population has learned to conserve the pine forests of the area near the Honduras border and now many have solar panels to provide electricity and no longer burn pine branches for light. (El Nuevo Diario, Dec. 30)