Sustainability Eco-Libris: The Story of Don Cheyo

Published on April 1st, 2008 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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Eco-Libris: The Story of Don Cheyo

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Editor’s note: Our friends at Eco-Libris are in the business of preserving forests by “offsetting” books. Today, they bring you a profile of another organization involved in forest conservation, and one of that organization’s success stories. This post was originally published on Friday, March 28, 2008.

We bring you from time to time stories and updates from our great planting partners, and today we have a mini-documentary about Honduran farmer Don Cheyo, who grows organic crops and lives sustainably thanks to help from our planting partner, Sustainable Harvest International (SHI).

SHI works in developing countries in Central America – Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, Panama. Central America has lost more than half of its rainforests in the last 50 years, contributing to mass extinctions and global warming. Rainforest destruction also wreaks havoc on local populations who depend on the rainforest for their survival.

SHI helps many farmers like Don Cheyo in nearly 100 struggling communities across Central America to reverse rainforest destruction with sustainable land-use practices that allow them to take control of their environmental and economic destinies. SHI is involved in many activities – from trees planting and restoration and preservation of degraded land to educational programs and community loan funds.

Here are some of SHI’s achievements within 11 years of operations:

  • Planted more than 2,000,000 trees.
  • Converted 6,000 acres to sustainable uses, thereby saving 30,000 acres from slash-and-burn destruction.
  • Improved nutrition through the establishment of more than 200 organic vegetable gardens.
  • Increased farm income up to 800%.
  • Built 165 wood-conserving stoves (saving 1,650 trees per year)

SHI is proud in the fact that it works only in communities where we have been invited by local people. One of their main strengths is that their projects are locally initiated and supported by in-country organizations, which helps to ensure that the work will continue long after they left an area.

So, now that you know them a little better, you can lay back and enjoy this video clip. The story of Don Cheyo demonstrates the important work SHI does in few areas – promotion of sustainable agriculture, planting trees, provision of wood-conserving stoves, etc. It was filmed and edited by a media company that is currently producing a documentary on SHI’s work (we’ll update you as soon as this documentary will be released):

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/rsosWesVYOk" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

If you like to know more about SHI, please check their website – http://www.sustainableharvest.org/



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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



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