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Justina Gutiérrez Muños is a 59-year-old resident of Mansico, near the town of Somoto in northwestern Nicaragua. She has lived in Mansico her entire life, has been farming since she was 12, and lives on her family’s farm with her brothers, mother, and her mother’s grandchildren.
Her family grows corn, beans, and sorghum as well as raises chickens. When the harvest is good the family earns income from the surplus crops, but when harvests are bad they’re only able to feed themselves and collect seeds for the following season.
On a typical day, Justina wakes up early to oversee crops’ progress and to manage field workers. She likes to be on the farm on the weekend too because it is a nice atmosphere with all of the trees, especially if it’s a beautiful day.
Justina learned about Taking Root’s CommuniTree project from her neighbor Aura Estela. She was extremely motivated to participate, because she has always liked to work with plants. During the 2019 season, her family planted 5,000 trees!
The newly-planted tree species on her farm provide many benefits and comprise Genizaro, Mandagual, Pochote, Madero Negro y la caoba. These trees help to preserve water not only for her family, but also for their neighbors and wider community. The trees improve the temperature of the farm (and the planet as well!). They provide wood, shade, better soil, and protection against erosion. For these reasons, and simply because she appreciates the trees’ beauty, Justina wants to plant even more next year. She’s also proud and competitive about her reforestation plots, and wants hers to be one of the best.
Justina and her family use their earnings – which come from the CommuniTree project’s substantial and direct sharing of carbon offset revenues -– for both planting and caring for the trees and for making farm improvements such as irrigation. In this way, their carbon income supports many activities that improve their farm and hence their livelihoods and resilience!
Learn more about the CommuniTree project at https://COTAP.org/Nicaragua and offset your CO2 emissions through this project here: