Before, I used to grow corn and beans, but the land stopped producing, the price of corn is very poor and it does not work for me anymore. When the Scolel'te Program arrived to my community, I resgistered, and I started to plant the trees. Because they came with support to plant and maintain them. And then I realized that the plot was getting pretty and I began to plant other things, already on my own and so I started planting, oranges, lemons, mango, cocoa, coffee and chapaya palm. WIth the chapaya, I realized that it sells well here in my region, and I started selling a few pods I already had. Then I started to plant the palm here on my plot and now I have several bushes and I still sell them well. With the collecting season, I pack 2 to 3 pods per plant, which I then sell up to 3 or 5 pesos per pod. I also sell cocoa with people from Tabasco, lemons and oranges, I sell everything I can sell it. With these products I already have more incomes.
My name is Federico Guss and I am doing an internship at AMBIO. I am studying a degree in Economics with a focus on Conservation at the Quest University in Canada, and I have been working for two in San Cristóbal. I came to Chiapas to work with AMBIO because it caught my attention, both the pioneering work in the implementation of Payments for Environmental Services (PSA), as well as their experience of more than twenty years in this field. My goal for this stay is to understand a little more about these programs and try to contribute a little to a better implementation.
During my stay,I am doing an investigation on the determinants of the permanence of the trees in the Scolel'te plots, after the finalization of payments, since this parameter is extremely important to evaluate the impact of the PES programs. So far, it seems that there are very important Scolel'te lessons for other PES programs that seek to keep their trees up and continue to provide a service, even in the conclusion of payments.
I was researching for my Thesis on Storage of Carbon in Air Biomass, and I read about the AMBIO Cooperative, I delved into its lines of action, and the more I read, the more I was interested. I graduated as an Environmental Technology Engineer and decided to pursue a Masters in Forest Governance, it was just when I realized that I needed to learn from them.
Today, I collaborate with the AMBIO Cooperative, within the Scolel'te Program. I participate in the management of Planes Vivos, small land use projects in the Zona Zoque, Sierra Madre de Chiapas, Lacandona and Tzeltal, which will help the implementation of agroforestry systems in the field.