WHAT WE DO
- »Making a Difference
- »Recent CATIE projects
"I am very proud to be dean of CATIE's Graduate School. For more than 60 years, CATIE has brought together bright, highly motivated professionals with a strong interest in contributing to rural well-being through innovative and environmentally friendly agricultural practices and the wise use of natural resources. Students pursuing graduate education at CATIE are key participants in one of the most dynamic and productive research programs in Latin America devoted to these topics.
The combination of academic quality, exciting research opportunities and immersion into a highly international environment results in many of our graduates taking on leadership roles in their respective countries. Indeed, our graduates often indicate how their experience at CATIE dramatically changed their lives and opened the door to a productive and successful future."
Glenn Galloway, Ph.D.
Director Programa Educación
"CATIE is the most important international institution geared to solving the problems in natural resources and productivity in the tropical regions of Latin America."
Dr. Florencia Montagnini, Professor of Forestry, Yale
University and former CATIE employee
"The vision of research and of rural extension under the focus of production systems developed at CATIE constitutes a key element in the modernization of research and rural development plans and programs in the National Research Institutes in Latin America and the Caribbean."
Miguel Campos, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock,
Fisheries and Food, Argentina, and CATIE Alumnus
"After I graduate, I want to help better conditions for indigenous women in Guatemala and their children. I have seen their needs–they are abandoned, neglected. The indigenous woman is very tied to the land, to agriculture. I think that is an area where I can help."
Delia Núñez of Guatemala, a master's student in Environmental Socioeconomics and a single parent responsible for supporting two children and her mother while studying full time
"Working at CATIE has been one of my most valuable experiences. I believe that for all of us, it is a point of pride that CATIE has given us the opportunity to develop both professionally and as human beings in such a quality environment. I love this institution, just as I love its gardens, its landscapes, the mountains that surround it and the perfume of its beautiful flowers. I thank God for having given me such an important opportunity."
Nelly Vásquez Morera of Costa Rica, a research professor in the Biotechnology Laboratory who has worked at CATIE for 15 years, holds a master's degree in agricultural science and natural resources from the University of Costa Rica, and is finishing her doctoral dissertation.
"Cacao is produced in Latin America by indigenous groups and very small farmers in remote areas, most times surrounding nationally and internationally important conservation areas. The work of CATIE on cacao, targets the poorest farmers in the region and is likely to have important positive effects on both farm household economy and conservation of the environment."
Eduardo Somarriba of Nicaragua, a research professor with a doctorate from the University of Michigan who heads up CATIE's cacao thematic group. Last year he received the Commitment to Sustainable Cocoa Production for Latin America Award from the World Cocoa Foundation for his dedication to improving the lives of cocoa farmers while protecting the environment in which they work.
"You can trust this program. It offers opportunities so that we young people can participate in developing our community and our municipality. It also offers equal opportunity to men and women, which is good because especially young people and women are often marginalized from development processes. The Focuencas II program offers this possibility. I am now the vice president of the Valle de Ángeles Watershed Council and this motivates me to continue working for my community"
Adela Midence, youth representative and vice president of the Valle de Ángeles Watershed Council, Honduras.
"My vision was to see my farm transformed in every way, so I used everything I learned in PAES [Environmental Project in El Salvador] and now you can see the difference. It isn't just a dream. It's a reality! Now my farm is a demonstration farm, and farmers keep coming to see the progress on my piece of land. They can observe soil conservation and diversification. I am happy about this since it means that my farm is a school for them and they leave committed to using these practices on their small farms."
Feliciano Trinidad Mendoza, community extensionist and recipient of second honorable mention in the farming category for the National Environmental Award, 2004, El Salvador.
"I have six children and five grandchildren and taking care of them is hard work–as hard as working the land, which is usually seen as men's work. Here, we all work since we have been highly motivated. Look, the land here is not fertile–you have to work to make it fertile. The project has helped us, but I'll tell you something, you really have to work at it. Without work for everyone, you will not get ahead. Sitting around does nothing."
Juana Francisca Umaña, project participant, Nicaragua
"We were scared at the beginning. We are poor people and abandoning the cornfield to make a pig farm was difficult. But we work with enthusiasm here and we finished the barn we wanted. We got the pigs in April 2004. .... The most impressive thing was that we started to have earnings very quickly. We didn't have any experience, but the program has helped us a lot and we have been learning. My class was right here. Now I know everything!"
Carlos Calito Pacheco, producer participating in the Diversified Pig Farm Project in the municipality of Dolores, Guatemala
"I found out what the project does through my brother Rigo since the training is done at his home. He was lucky in that his employer allowed three rooms in the chicken house to be converted into classrooms for all the people in the community. My daughters attend these courses, and you can't imagine how much they've learned about the environment. Rigo, who only completed first grade, now knows so much, thanks to the project and is even considered to be a leader here in the community."
Teresa del Milagro Rodríguez, community member, El Salvador.
"...CATIE was one of the first institutions that conducted studies demonstrating the importance of the forestry sector in our country. We have been partners with CATIE since 1980, but we increased our collaboration in 1997, and today the work we carry out together in vital."
Luís Ernesto Barrera Garabito, National Forest Institute manager, Guatemala.