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United Way Blog

Volunteering for the Planet in Honduras

‘Today I left a mark with the tree I planted. This means that in a few years when I am walking around here with my children, I can show them my mark and tell them that I planted the tree.’ Jessy, a volunteer at Citi's Global Community Day, believes it is important for each of us to play our part environmental restoration. Her personal story about planting a tree as a legacy for future generations, is echoed by other volunteers who participated in Citi's Global Community Day alongside United Way Honduras.

This year, the Forest Conservation Institute (ICF) recorded over 760 forest fires in Honduras, devastating around 26,000 hectares of forest and 4,000 hectares of other vegetation. Annually, Honduras typically loses 60,000 to 80,000 hectares of forest to fires. Gatherings like Citi's Global Community Day are an essential in responding to the ravages of environmental hazard events.

In April, a significant fire ravaged over 400 hectares of forest in Cerro Juana Laínez, a key water source for the capital. Cerro Juana Laínez, a crucial green area in the Central District near the National Stadium Tiburcio Carías Andino, provides a stunning view of Tegucigalpa and Comayagüela. It's also home to the Peace Monument, a symbol of unity in Central America since 1996. This incident underscores the need for collaborative efforts to restore this vital natural area. 

Every year, where thousands of hectares of forests are lost, endangering the life of the biodiversity that inhabits them, limiting access to water and generating a layer of dense smoke that covers the city and affects the health of its inhabitants, it is essential to join efforts to advance climate justice, conserving our territories and their biodiversity.

In response, the Tegucigalpa Ecological Foundation focuses on preserving, maintaining, and reforesting green areas, parks, and monuments. It aligns with United Way's mission to foster resilient communities and healthy public spaces. With the ongoing loss of forest areas, which threatens biodiversity, water access, and public health due to smoke pollution, collective action for climate justice and conservation is crucial. If you are interested in learning more about the work United Way is doing to protect the environment, reach out to your local United Way to find out more. 

Special gratitude to United Way Honduras' Ana Rivera for contributing to this story.