We are currently focusing our efforts on 5 project areas in Mexico, located in the municipalities of San Andrés Tuxtla and Catemaco in the Los Tuxtlas region of Veracruz.
View Interactive Map here.
All of the labor for our projects is donated by dedicated volunteers and many of the trees we plant are provided for free by a state-owned tree nursery. Your support allows the Forest of Interbeing to:
- purchase and install fences to protect reforested areas
from neighboring cattle
- purchase additional trees, including fruit trees, which provide economic benefit to land owners willing to transform their land into a forest
- transport trees from regional nurseries
- provide meals and transportation for volunteers
Reforestation Areas (on map above)
A. In April we began our reforestation efforts in the community of Ruiz Cortines by collecting seeds and seedlings from the forest and planting 34 trees on the property of local resident Mauricio Vázquez.
Recollection of Seedlings
Newly Planted Tree
B. In July we will assist the junior high school of Sihuapan in the reforestation of a portion of the school’s land with approximately 60 trees. With your support, however, we could make a much greater impact by reforesting approximately 5 hectare (~ 12 acre) with more than 3,000 trees.C. The largest reforestation area is in Rancho Los Amigos, a former cattle ranch transitioning into a center for ecotourism, yoga and environmental education. They have already reforested parts of their land and will allow us to reforest a space of 3.1 hectare (7.3 acre), closing a gap between forest sections on their land and a large remaining rainforest area on neighboring land. Reforestation here will start on July 25th with a short mindfulness retreat. Local Wake Up participants will be assisted by volunteers from Rancho Los Amigos, the nearby community La Barra and a group of young indigenous mindfulness practitioners from Chiapas (7 hours from Los Tuxtlas by car).
Valeria Vega, the director of Rancho Los Amigos (right) together with children from the community La Barra
D. Maxacapan is a future reforestation site and is located near the small lake of Chalchoapan. A portion of this land is forested, with the remaining hectare (2.2 acres) previously used for growing tobacco. The owner’s daughter, María López, has convinced her father to provide this land for reforestation. She and other members of her family will assist us in planting trees.
María López in front of a tree on her father’s property
E & F. Our final planned sites are located in in the community of Chuniapan de Arriba. The first (Area E) is an area of 0.7 hectare (1.3 acres) on the land of the Comisariado Ejidal Lucio Pucheta. This area protects a spring, which provides about 200 people with water. Local community members, including students from the local junior high school, will assist us in planting trees. In addition to this land, we will help the community protect an additional 7 hectare (~ 17 acres) of rainforest on communal land, also serving as an important water protection area (Area F). Currently, neighboring farmers do not respect the area’s boundaries and often enlarge their fields, encroaching onto this land. We will install a stable fence to establish a clear boundary and prevent further damages. We will also reforest 0.5 hectare (1 acre).
Forest of Interbeing member Christoph with representatives of the local community in front of area F
These reforestation areas are just the beginning- with increased funding, we will continue to expand our efforts to other areas in the region. The need for reforestation in Los Tuxtlas is vast. All of your contributions go directly toward restoring our Mother Earth to her healthy and natural state, providing homes and joy to many living beings.
Volunteers from Chiapas
Wake Up New York Jam Session for music download
As a thank you for your support of Forest of Interbeing, we are happy to offer you the following perks:
- An email with a photo of a beautiful tree you helped plant
- A digital download of music created by young mindfulness practitioners (sponsored by Wake Up New York). You'll receive a full album of uplifting songs, such as "All In My Heart," which you can listen to here. Here's a sneak preview of Wake Up New York joyfully practicing"My Roots Go Down".
- Handmade calligraphy postcards lovingly created by a WakeUp NY sangha member
- A tree hand-tagged with your name or the name of a loved one (we'll send a photo!)
- NEW: Hand-drawn traditional calligraphy of the Chinese character for mindfulness (念) by a sangha family member. In his book "Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life," Thich Nhat Hanh explains, "The Chinese character for mindfulness is "nian." It is a combination of two separate characters, each with its own meaning. The top part of the character means "now," and the bottom part of the character means "heart" or "mind." Literally the combined character means the act of experiencing the present moment with your heart."
- NEW: An original drawing of a rainforest creature by a Forest of Interbeing participant
- NEW: Make a greater impact by planting a group of 5, 10 or 20 trees. We will mark them with a sign featuring your name or the name of a loved one.
Toucan Charcoal drawing by Christoph
Other Ways You Can Help
If you are eager to help Forest of Interbeing's reforestation efforts but cannot contribute financially at this time, you can still support the project in these ways: