Maya Nut Reforestation

Maya Nut Reforestation


Maya Nut is an NGO that seeks to find balance between people, forests, and food. While they do not run a reforestation program directly, they do work closely with communities to reforest degraded lands throughout Latin America. The mission of the program is to conserve the Maya nut tree, Brosimum alicastrum, by planting trees and teaching rural and indigenous women to harvest and process the seed for food and income.

Goals & Approach

The program's goals are for the restoration of Maya nut forest and its use in households to help reduce food scarcity and increase the income of local peoples from the sale of Maya nut and Maya nut byproducts (nutritional supplements, coffee substitutes, pancake and drink mixes, flour, etc). The program encourages the planting of Maya nut in silvopastoral systems because of the high protein content of the forage that the tree produces.

Reported Takeaways

Since the project began in 2001,15,000 women from 900 communities have been trained, over 1.5 million trees planted, and 22 women’s Maya nut producer groups established. Future plans include increasing the impact of the project, generating more interest from the government of Guatemala, getting the Maya nut approved by the world food program for school lunches and food aid, and expanding the program to the parts of South America where the Maya nut is also native. So far, projects have been conducted in Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua.



Maya Nut Institute. n.d. "Reforestation For Future Maya Nut Harvests" Accessed: June 2020