Environment at Risk

** Drought in the Dry Corridor **

The reasons for the recent surge of immigrants crossing the US southern border are most commonly stated as political instability, gang violence, crop failures due to climate change, and social and educational inequitity. More simply stated: hunger and lack of opportunity for an entire region of the world. For a deeper dive read this article:


and more here: http://www.fao.org/emergencies/crisis/dry-corridor/en/

There are many government and NGOs ( non-governmental organizations) trying to help.  Support us or give directly to our artisan partner groups.  Please educate yourself and get involved.

The region once occupied by the Maya civilization contains the largest surviving rainforest in North America and is yielding some incredible new discoveries.  But it is an environment at risk.  The factors that contributed to the collapse of the ancient Maya civilization are being repeated today and will have global consequences that affect us all.

Environmental issues are critical in Guatemala because of the country’s vast natural resources.  Guatemala is one of the most ecologically diverse nations on the planet, with 14 different eco-regions and great biological and cultural diversity.  These areas however, as well as other parts of Central America, face threats related to habitat loss, deforestation, over-exploitation of natural resources, and environmental contamination. 

In addition to these threats, Guatemala is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change which disproportionately affect rural indigenous farmers and exacerbate poor land management practices.  Especially affected is the area known as the Dry Corridor which includes parts of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.  Lack of rain causes crop failures leading to hunger and mass migration.

National Geographic 2018 Lidar Discoveries in Maya World:  


Recent discoveries by National Geographic using LiDAR scanning has revealed an ancient Maya civilization more extensive and populated than previously thought. 

USING A REVOLUTIONARY technology known as LiDAR (short for “Light Detection And Ranging”), scholars digitally removed the tree canopy from aerial images of the now-unpopulated landscape, revealing the ruins of a sprawling pre-Columbian civilization that was far more complex and interconnected than most Maya specialists had supposed.

“The LiDAR images make it clear that this entire region was a settlement system whose scale and population density had been grossly underestimated,” said Thomas Garrison, an Ithaca College archaeologist and National Geographic Explorer who specializes in using digital technology for archaeological research.

 The survey is the first phase of the PACUNAM LiDAR Initiative, a three-year project that will eventually map more than 5,000 square miles (14,000 square kilometers) of Guatemala’s lowlands, part of a pre-Columbian settlement system that extended north to the Gulf of Mexico.


Tikal in the Peter Rain Forest

We support preservation efforts to preserve the incredible environment where the ancient Maya once thrived. Our wooden kitchen servers are made from certified sustainably harvested trees.  And we support the efforts of CECON in Monterrico to rescue baby sea turtles year-round. 

We support sea turtle rescue efforts!

The Tortugario (turtle hatchery and refuge)  in Monterrico, Guatemala looks to preserve and conserve marine sea turtles that nest each year on the Pacific coast of Guatemala.  This is the nesting site for three species of endangered sea turtles. It is in fact one of the few places in the world that is visited by so many species. Plus, these turtles are extremely important to preserving the marine habitats.  This operation is part of the San Carlos University Center for Conservation Studies (CECON).  They offer to buy eggs found on the beach from the finders.  Guatemalan law says that residents may keep only % of eggs found.  The rest they must sell to the tortugarios for hatch and release.  

The nesting season runs from June through January, but peaks in August and September. During this time female sea turtles return to the place of their birth to lay their clutch of eggs in the sands.  Arriving in the dark she digs a hole and fills it with eggs before covering the site with sand and returning to the sea.  When the eggs are ready to hatch the baby sea turtles emerge from the nest and make their way across the sands to enter the ocean for the first time.  

Rescued eggs are held in the sand at the tortugario until it’s time to hatch.  Once the baby turtles have emerged from the sand they are released on the beach to make their way home to the sea.   

You can rescue one sea turtle and purchase a sea turtle bracelet for $25. All  monies raised with our Sea Turtle Collection will be donated to the Tortugario Monterrico to support their rescue efforts, expand holding facilities and redeem more eggs in the future.  Or donate directly by clicking here to donate.  Thank you for caring!