June 24, 2023

Your Trees Have Been Planted

Your Trees Have Been Planted

We recognize that every decision we make in our business has an impact on people and on the planet. Respect for Mother Earth has been at the very heart of everything Maya people have done for thousands of years as nature is central to the Maya Cosmovision.  The earth is a mother who provides for her people who in turn need care for her.

Cajola is a rural community of about 18,000 people in the western highlands of Guatemala. The name Cajola means son of water in the Mam language. The surrounding forests are the source of many springs which give Cajola its name. For years the people have climbed the mountains regularly to cut down trees for the firewood they need for their wood burning stoves. Understandably, that has been very destructive of the forest and the many springs that provide water for the town.

On several occasions we have contributed to efforts of planting saplings in the spring. This time last year, we committed to an annual planting event and shared our promise with you that “Every Order Plants a Tree.” For every order you place on our website, we donate a sapling to be planted in the spring. So, at the end of May, the weaving cooperative gathered together with other members of the  community -- from preschoolers to teachers to weavers and carpenters -- and headed to the communal lands overlooking Cajola.

With over 1000 saplings to plant, the group started early in the morning. They met at a women-owned nursery in the center of town to pick up the saplings, ready for the adventure. The drive was short but boy was the walk long!

Everyone set their own pace as they hiked up a steep mountain. Once they reached a midpoint, they went in different directions to plant cypress, pine, eucalyptus and alder seedlings. By noon, everything had been planted and a relaxing picnic was enjoyed in a beautiful setting. Rewarded with views of trees planted in past years, it was exciting to note the progress from past years.

We know that together we must live in harmony with Mother Earth. The earth needs to be respected, and right now it needs healing and attention. Planting trees is a way to keep the water sources alive.  It’s also a way to ensure biodiversity continues to thrive.  A single tree can be home to hundreds of species of insect, fungi, moss, mammals, and plants. Planting trees is also an affordable way to tackle the climate crisis. As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide emissions that are responsible for global rising temperatures.

With your support, we had a successful and rewarding tree planting this year. We continue to accumulate the funds to buy next year's saplings with every order placed on our website. And we can't wait to plant more next year!