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Acorn’s Latest Progress in Latin America: Planting New Seeds

Building on an already robust network of mature projects, Acorn is taking its partnerships in Latin America to the next level with technological innovations. Maud Slippens, a partnership leader in our Latin American regions, recounts in this blog post a recent trip where she and her colleague Paola López Vargas garnered exciting updates on Acorn’s new partnership in the region with TechnoServe.

¡Saludos desde El Salvador! Paola and I are thrilled to reflect on a week in El Salvador packed with Acorn training for our Latin American partners. Over 35 field technicians from across the region delved into the intricacies of Acorn’s concept, our data collection tool (DCT), and farmer onboarding strategies during a full week Acorn workshop called cultivando carbono (carbon farming). It was energizing to be part of such a productive knowledge-sharing collaboration.

More farmers and more trees

As part of a new collaboration with TechnoServe, the world’s top poverty reduction nonprofit, we’ve made significant strides in some of our newest project areas. Through their partnership, we hope to welcome at least 19,000 coffee farmers into the Acorn fold across Peru, El Salvador, and Guatemala. TechnoServe aims to plant 420,000 trees in 2025 in collaboration with the onboarded farmers across these three countries. This will make a huge difference in bringing the proposed agroforestry designs to reality, bolstering the health and resilience of these sustainable landscapes.

To us, these aren’t just numbers; they represent livelihoods transformed and ecosystems nurtured. Getting to hear from these teams— and their experiences in the field working with smallholder coffee farmers — is always enlightening and rewarding, and we heard a lot of valuable feedback that will help us further improve and tailor all our programs for maximum efficacy moving forward.

Photo: Maud (left) leading a practical training on using Acorn’s Data Collection Tool (DCT) in the field.

Technological advances take Latin American agroforestry into the future

TechnoServe is also spearheading the use of tech innovations to support agroforestry in Latin America. For example, they aim to integrate a shade coverage app into their workflows. Used together with TechnoServe tools, this can be used to investigate how shade trees are enhancing coffee productivity and climate resilience. Tools like this can support coffee farmers by providing an easily accessible way for them to achieve optimal productivity using agroforestry techniques.

Communication is key, and TechnoServe is also coming on board with new messaging material to help connect farmers with the knowledge they need. From ‘training the trainer’ programs to farmer messaging and engagement, every initiative is a step towards empowerment. Conducting this weeklong training in person with all three country offices allowed us to align more effectively on strategies across the region and learn from each other's experiences, questions, and challenges.

Photo: A demo of the shade coverage calculation app

Looking forward to global impacts

These impacts aren’t confined by borders. A partnership agreement with TechnoServe, soon to be inked at their headquarters in the USA, will be the start for a new collaboration between Acorn and TechnoServe in Latin America and regions beyond. This ripple effect signifies that our actions in Latin America reverberate across continents, fostering a shared commitment to sustainable agriculture worldwide.

At the end of our trip, we convened with the National Coffee Institute and the Ministries of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs. Our aim? To make strides toward increasing the impact these programs, partnerships, and initiatives in El Salvador and beyond.

Photo: Acorn ’cultivando carbono' (carbon farming) workshop with the El Savador, Peru, and Guatemala TechnoServe country teams

Maud liaising with TechnoServe team members

About Acorn

We help support smallholder farmers in developing countries transition to agroforestry. Together with local partners, we facilitate the funding and training needed by farmers to start their agroforestry transition. Transforming the sequestered CO2 through agroforestry into Carbon Removal Units (CRUs), we offer carbon credits to responsible corporates to help them reach their climate goals. The growth of the trees is measured with satellite imagery, AI and LiDAR, and certified by ICROA-accredited Plan Vivo.

With 80% of the sales revenue going directly to the farmers, it creates an additional income stream and helps them adopt a more climate-resilient way of farming that improves food security, biodiversity, and financial independence.

Meet Our People

Maud SlippensAccount ManagerLinkedIn
Paola López VargasPartnership Lead South America, Centro America & the CaribbeanLinkedIn
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