Agriculture, Food, Nutrition

Alliance for International Reforestation, Inc.

  • Atlanta, GA
  • www.airguatemala.org

Mission Statement

AIR was established in 1993 with the mission of implementing environmental education programs, Sustainable Farming methods, building efficient stoves and planting millions of trees with low-income rural families in Central America. The impact of this mission is to prevent lung disease, reduce soil erosion, improve food crops and nutrition, prevent deadly mudslides, while sequestering carbon and protecting the gift of the Earth.

Main Programs

  1. Tree nurseries
  2. Farmer training
  3. Fuel-efficient stoves
  4. Youth Scholarship program
  5. Micro-businesses for rural families
  6. School programs

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Service Areas

Self-reported

International

AIR, or "AIRES" in Spanish, works in three departments in central Guatemala, where farmer training and reforestation projects have been implemented in over 150 communities with over 200 AIR tree nurseries, and in 200 schools over the past 22 years. These departments are Chimaltenango; Solola; and Sacatepequez. (AIR also has one small project in Nicaragua.)

ruling year

1992

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Ms. Cecilia Ramirez

Keywords

Self-reported

AIR-Guatemala, AIR; AIRES; agroforestry; reforestation; stoves

Notes from the Nonprofit

AIR is incorporated within the US where many volunteers support the mission of combining Education + Food Security + Environmental care. But AIR is distinctive because all salaried staff are themselves Guatemalan professionals and most speak the native Mayan languages-- this is one of the secrets of AIR's measurable, long-lasting success. Another key is that AIR technicians work in a community or school for FIVE years, not leaving until the lessons of Sustainability have transformed the community.
AWARDS: In 2013, AIR was recognized by the UN Conference on Climate Change as one of only six organizations in the world in the category of "Momentum for Change: Women with Results." In 2011, Dr. Anne Hallum was named one of the CNN Heroes by the Broadcasting Company; and in 2011, Dr. Hallum won the Morton Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation. She is also a Paul Harris Rotary Fellow. AIR, Inc. was named the "Best Environmental Organization" in the nation of Guatemala in 2004 by the National Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (INAB) and was a finalist again in 2013. AIR has also been recognized by numerous local government officials in Guatemala and in the US. The Awards show the credibility and reputation of this small, effective NGO.
Because all of AIR's salaried staff are Guatemalan, the Annual Reports are written in Spanish for the Board of Directors, except for the registration reports submitted to the State of Florida and the State of Georgia, departments of Consumer Services, available on their websites. We have included photos, Financial Reports and Metrics here, as well as contact information.

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Also Known As

AIR-Guatemala; AIRES; Alianza Internacional de Reforestacion

EIN

59-3062311

 Number

7199246005

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Other Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition N.E.C. (K99)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

AIR added more schools & new communities in 2015-2016 totaling over 200 communities over AIR's history, and the residents of these communities benefit both directly and indirectly from more protective trees and better crops. We are expanding to Department of Quiche. NUMBERS:
* At least 3,000 families trained for 5 years by AIR resulting in better food crops, more trees & fewer mudslides
* 840 fuel-efficient stoves constructed by AIR preventing lung disease & burns and conserving estimated 840 TONS of firewood each year;
* 200 schools have received AIR's environmental curriculum, reaching thousands of children and their families. AIR also provides organic gardens, tree nurseries and scholarships at many schools;
* In 2016 generous donors from Central Florida Presbytery and Coronado Community United Methodist Church have allowed AIR to hire a new Technician, purchase a motorcycle for him and expand to the impoverished Department of Quiche;
* 4.8 million trees planted by hand and reforested mountainsides--not even counting the planting that continues after the 5 years of training!

2016-2017 GOALS:
To build many more STOVES that prevent lung disease, conserve trees, and motivate families to plant trees;
To install rainwater CISTERNS, thanks to a new program addressing Guatemala's recent drought;
To continue training hundreds more Mayan farmers, including in the new Department of Quiche;
To introduce two NEW groups of volunteers to AIR's work (but not become a "tourist agency");
To distribute AIR's environmental curriculum, which has been updated and printed with a grant from Environmental Resource Management (ERM) Foundation
To plant by hand, at least 350,000 more beneficial trees

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Tree nurseries

Tree Nurseries - AIR has approximately 200 nurseries in 130 communities and dozens of schools, established over AIR's history. The population served by these nurseries are the resident families who participate in the agro-forestry training by AIR technicians and who manage the tree nurseries and own the tree seedlings produced.  AIR provides all seeds, materials and training. AIR staff and volunteers have planted over 4.2 million trees by hand from these nurseries!

Category

None

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Budget

$50,000.00

Program 2

Farmer training

AIR technicians train in five or six villages each; they help farmers implement agro-forestry methods in their own fields-- increasing food crops without using dangerous chemicals!   They also have School programs and have published a curriculum--so the farmer training begins early, and tree nurseries on planted at each school.

Category

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Budget

$54,000.00

Program 3

Fuel-efficient stoves

Brick, fuel-efficient stoves each year are built by AIR technicians and volunteers.  These stoves ventilate harmful smoke to improve family health, and they conserve a ton of firewood each year, and are an important incentive for farmers to reforest and participate in farmer training.

Category

Health Care

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Budget

$20,000.00

Program 4

Youth Scholarship program

AIR selects fourteen students-- seven girls and seven boys-- and finds US sponsors to pay their tuition and purchase school supplies, uniforms, and transportation, to allow them to graduate from high school;

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$6,000.00

Program 5

Micro-businesses for rural families

AIR trains farmers participating in Sustainable Agriculture to make organic products for sale, providing all the materials and assistance in marketing: Aloe Vera Shampoos, lotions, and cold remedies are among these products

Category

Community Development

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Budget

$5000

Program 6

School programs

AIR technicians provide teacher training on environmental topics and establish tree nurseries and gardens on rural school campuses. AIR with a grant from ERM has published two textbooks in English and Spanish.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Budget

$9,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Our Goals are:
    (1) to train as many rural families as we can reach in central Guatemala in Sustainable Farming for better nutrition and food security;
    (2) to plant millions of beneficial trees, both for agro-forestry and reforestation of mountains in Guatemala to prevent soil erosion and mudslides;
    (3) to provide educational programs in dozens of schools, as well as scholarships for rural teens;
    (4) to build hundreds of fuel-efficient brick stoves to protect lung health and conserve precious trees, throughout central Guatemala;
    (5) to empower local decision-making by involving Maya residents in every stage of planning and implementing projects; and
    (6) to restore Bird Habitat and to sequester millions of tons of carbon pollution, combating climate change on this troubled Earth.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Efficiently use the time and talent of AIR Technicians. Each technician teaches six communities and schools, for FIVE YEARS of training and then moves on to another six. This strategy has enabled a small staff to reach large areas of two departments (now THREE departments) in Guatemala, with projects sustainable into the far future, as we educate all ages. We hope to hire more technicians in the near future to reach more communities.
    Secondly, each technician is a trusted native of Guatemala who speaks the Mayan language as well as Spanish--this provides extraordinary access and sustainable success.
    Thirdly, residents have ownership of the projects from the first day and select their own leadership and sites for nurseries and stoves and cisterns.
    Fourth, AIR accepts US volunteers in order to conserve funds and have powerful friendship exchanges with the farmers-- but AIR avoids becoming a year-round tourist organization and losing our mission.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    AIR-Guatemala has an expert full-time staff in Guatemala and every salaried member of AIR is a native of Guatemala.

    The Executive Director of AIR, for instance, is Sra. Cecilia Ramirez who has earned business degrees and leads this award-winning organization with efficiency and effectiveness. AIR's technicians each have degrees in Agro-forestry and two have earned Master's degrees in Environmental Engineering as well, plus they are themselves K'akchiquel and Quiche Maya and know the native language.
    Finally, AIR has a team of generous Board members, donors, and volunteers in the United States-- including churches, Rotary Clubs, Foundations, and individuals.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    *Number of families trained in Sustainable Agriculture for five year period;
    *Number of schools receiving AIR curriculum and intensive training of field days and campus tree nurseries & gardens;
    *Number of stoves constructed--840-- and follow-up information that they prevent family illness & conserve approximately 5 trees per year per stove;
    *Career success of AIR's scholarship students-- all 20 graduates have found jobs AND continue planting trees in communities;
    *Reduction in number of mudslides in communities with AIR tree nurseries-- this happens within four or five years of planting fast-growing trees on mountain slopes, based on interviews with residents;
    * NUMBER of trees planted each year which is carefully documented on tables (see table from 2016 Annual report)
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Please see previous question on INDICATORS for impressive numbers:
    *Over 3,000 Guatemalan families have received five years of training in Sustainable Farming and have changed their farming methods (planting windbreak trees, fertilizing trees and fruit trees; using poly-culture; terracing; using little or no chemicals in fields; setting aside areas for forestry to prevent mudslides)
    * 840 fuel-efficient stoves custom built in homes to prevent lung disease and to conserve trees;
    * 200 schools with AIR's environmental curriculum and over a dozen schools with intensive lessons by AIR technicians;
    * 4.8 million trees planted by hand within fields for agro-forestry and on steep mountain slopes!
    * Even more trees have been planted by the large majority of the communities who continue the tree nurseries beyond the five years of AIR training;
    * 300 US volunteers from universities, Rotary Clubs and churches have worked with AIR-Guatemala
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

AIR, or "AIRES" in Spanish, works in three departments in central Guatemala, where farmer training and reforestation projects have been implemented in over 150 communities with over 200 AIR tree nurseries, and in 200 schools over the past 22 years. These departments are Chimaltenango; Solola; and Sacatepequez. (AIR also has one small project in Nicaragua.)

Social Media

Funding Needs

Needs for AIR, Inc.  Increase donations to $160,000 for AIR's staff in Guatemala and for the educational and reforestation programs; paid staff members of AIR, Inc. are residents of Guatemala and we need an additional technician. $18,000 to $20,000 - Extra funding for a new or used pick-up truck.  AIR's current vehicles are over 6 years old, and one is over 10 years old.  It is dangerous for AIR staff members to drive on mountain roads in old vehicles, and strong vehicles are essential for reaching remote communities and tree nurseries; $ 5,000 for new technician to have a motorcycle.

Accreditations

Videos

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Alliance for International Reforestation, Inc.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Ms. Cecilia Ramirez

BIO

AIR does not have an Executive Director in the United States (the unpaid Board of Directors is very active).  However, AIR does have an administrative Field Director in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, Sra. Cecilia Ramirez.  She has worked with AIR since 1999 as a Field Director.  She has a degree in Business Administration and is a skilled budget administrator and organizer.  She also often works in the field directly-- planting trees and building stoves alongside volunteers in order to know every aspect of the work.  She manages the scholarship program directly, for instance, and is in charge of all communication with the Board of Directors.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"Executive Director, Cecilia Ramirez:   "We are not only planting trees; we are planting a better future for ourselves and for the children."  What is distinctive about AIRES is that we are a team, making all decisions collaboratively, through constant communication and meetings and through weekly contact with residents in the villages-- no one is a "dictator."  Most of AIR's employees even speak the indigenous Mayan language for better collaboration. Another distinctive about AIRES is that the projects are comprehensive, including education and stoves and tree nurseries and scholarships and micro-businesses, all linked together."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Dr. Anne Motley Hallum

No affiliation

Term: Jan 2013 - Dec 2016

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

No

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?