Finding our roots and growing our branches in Antigua: Selva Ventures’ first days in Guatemala

6/16/17 – Selva Ventures is a GSSE MBA venture team working to understand the problem of deforestation in Guatemala. We are working with two organizations: Fort Collins based Trees, Water & People and a Guatemalan organization called Utz Ché

1.6 billion people around the world rely on forests for food, fresh water, clothing, shelter, traditional medicines, and oxygen. Additionally, forests are absolutely integral to maintaining atmospheric and ecological stability. Unfortunately, forests are being lost at a rate of 50 thousand square miles per year; equivalent to 48 football field per minute.

Yes, you read that correctly. Our global forests are being lost at a rate of 48 football fields each and every minute!

Not only is this completely unacceptable, it is also avoidable. And because we need forests to breathe (minor details, right?), Selva Ventures will be conducting ethnographic research in five rural Guatemalan communities this summer to investigate sustainable solutions to this problem.

Right now, Megan and Lindsey are brushing up on Spanish by taking classes and living with a host family for full-on Spanish immersion. Claudio is keeping himself busy networking and searching for an interpreter to accompany us to these communities this summer. Michelle Sultan, a GSSE alum has also taken us under her wing by showing us around Antigua and introducing us to some very special parts of the city– especially those where you can find healthy farm to table food. Click here to read about what Michelle worked on during her practicum work in Guatemala a few years ago.

We are very excited to hit the road and head into the communities in a few days. After Spanish lessons finish up, we have meetings scheduled with Utz Ché to kick off our research. The first community we will visit is La Bendición in Escuintla. We will provide updates as we continue our research. We are looking forward to an adventurous and exploratory summer.

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