We're a registered non-profit restoration project at the edge of the Guatemalan Maya Biosphere.
Towards a resilient future for our natural ecosystems, rural communities and displaced peoples.

About Sol y Verde

Our Ecological Education Center

Work with us


We are currently crowdfunding for the construction of our education center, the first in the region of Petén. 
Please consider donating by clicking here ︎︎︎ or directly to our Paypal by clicking here.

About Sol y Verde

Organización Ecológica Sol y Verde is a rural grassroots project and registered non-profit focused on serving the vulnerable communities of rural Guatemala through permaculture and bioconstruction practices. We serve women, children, migrants and other groups affected by eco-political tensions in Central America & the effects of Climate Change.

At the frontlines

In the last two decades, climate change has disproportionally impacted the Global South. One of the countries at the frontline of this is Guatemala, situated in the middle of the Dry Corridor, a large region spanning across Central America where over 90% of the population is rural and agricultural.

Increasingly extreme weather events, particularly hurricanes and droughts, have destroyed infrastructure and subsistence crops, exacerbated soil erosion, and caused desertification and landslides. Traditional knowledge of seasonal agricultural patterns is becoming irrelevant as climate unpredictability increases (the 2023 El Niño extended the dry season by six weeks in Petén). Land workers, particularly campesinos and indigenous Mayan families, are facing widespread resource scarcity, putting their livelihoods in danger and driving them into extreme poverty.

Unsustainable agricultural practices, such as slash and burn, monocultures, heavy agrochemical application, and deforestation for cattle ranching are increasingly common, driven by corporate campaigns and targeted government subsidies. Farmers are already suffering from the long term impacts, such as soil infertility and drought. Natural ecosystems are heavily impacted, with a net loss of wildlife, an increasing number of endangered species, and drastic loss of tropical rainforest coverage.

Restoration and Innovation as a response

To reclaim self-sustainability, connection to ancestral traditions and secure a future for the forest landscape, there is an urgent need to grow resilience and regenerative capacity, by transforming how the land is used by the people who depend on it.

From its inception, Baltazar always envisaged Sol y Verde as a way of peacefully co-existing and interacting with the forest, not just a project. From this vision, we root our work in holistic systems design and the permaculture way of life. 

Our organisation and programmes integrate permaculture ethics, principles and technical practices with ancestral Maya wisdom and customs to create innovative solutions that restore both the forest landscape and indigenous cultural heritage.

Our guiding commitment is to ensure that these solutions are locally sustainable, affordable, culturally sensitive and are designed to be accessible and replicable for local community members, who are too often living in poverty and with low literacy levels.

Practical demonstration and participatory learning is our key to impact against climate change, together as a community.

Our Guiding Principles

Our Three Key Actions

Placemaking through Bioconstruction

We build with our local community in ways that are accessible, sustainable, and equipped to face ecological and economic challenges through materials that are sourced regeneratively and directly from our land.

Reforestation and Agroecology 

We reforest our jungle landscape, propagate endangered plant species, and support local farmers to transition to regenerative practices. We are establishing an agroforestry farm, with organic fruits and vegetables, using permaculture practices.

Community Support and Education

We believe that collaboration and education are pillars to resilient communities. We provide a a safe and supportive space for locals and vulnerable individuals. Our female-led group, Fronteras Entretejidas, empowers local women through crafts, planting, constrtuction and companionship.

Our Ecological Education Center

After completing a 2 year pilot food forest and education project in El Remate, Petén, we were granted several acres of land in the community of Paxcaman mid 2022, to establish our organisation and create the region’s first ecological educational centre.

We are building our department’s first
agroecology and bioconstruction community educational centre,
at the edge of the Mayan Biosphere.

↗ See our funding deck

Collective Building for community gathering

Our centre is being built in collaboration with our local women’s group, local artisans and builders, and dozens of international volunteers - driven by local skills and desires for learning.

Safety and Exchange for the vulnerable

Our education center primarily serves our local rural community, indigenous women and children, and migrants groups travelling through Guatemala.

A Local Precedent for Bioconstruction

89% of our materials are sourced on site or within a 30km range from us. We are building with clay, straw, wood and lime in a mix of ancestral and emerging technique.

We want to show our local communities that the food we grow and the soil we regenerate doesn’t have to only be used for
farming - it can also be used for building. From hay, clay, corn husks to lime from the mountains, everything can be a building material.

Our Timeline


Prepping our land, restoring its forest, connecting water to the site, gathering funds, creating partnerships with local artisans.
(NOV 2022-FEB 2023)

Experimenting with existing materials, designing of the project, workshops with local community users.
(JUNE 2023-JAN 2024)

Beginning of the build in phases, each pavilion of the school built one by one with local builders, team members, locals and volunteers.
(FEB 2024 -)

Completion of works, opening of local and international workshops, partnerships with national groups.

In the past year, our team has worked incredibly hard to:

• Secure a piece of (protected!) land in the buffer zone of the Maya Biosphere
• Raise just under $20,000 (over Q150,000!) through grants, public and private donations
• Create a 100+ people network of youth, women and artisans across 4 different local villages in order to create a construction and artisanal training programme

Some facts about the project:

• This centre will be the first of its kind in the whole of Petén, Guatemala's largest department
• It has been designed in close collaboration with its users and our local community, and will be partially built by them
• We are training over 50 local children, teenagers, and women, passing on building skills across carpentry and bamboo work to earthen plasters through our construction process, many of whom come from indigenous and/or migrant backgrounds
• We are employing local workforce, focusing on artisanal skills and sourcing all of our building materials within a 30km range to our site
• Our building will be 100% made of biodegradable materials, and draw on ancestral Mayan techniques, like wattle and daub and thatched palm roofs

Want to help?


Work With Us

Contribute to the project through donations

As a grassroots, non-profit organisation, we are always looking for financial support or material donations. If you’d like to support our work and the construction of our school, click on one of the links below.

↗ Paypal
↗ Direct Transfers
↗ School Crowdfunding

Volunteer with us through work exchange

We have hosted over 150 international volunteers in the past 3 years. Together, we seed, grow, teach, and develop Sol y Verde’s outreach and impact. We offer work exchange programmes, offering a unique insight into local campesino life in Petén.


About Us

 Our Managing Crew

Baltazar Giron

After decades of forced migration away from his home country of Honduras, Baltazar settled in Guatemala with the vision of catering to vulnerable communities through his accumulated permaculture knowledge. He founded Sol y Verde in 2019 after 10 years of community work in Petén and is its director. He leads the project's educational and community-oriented projects.

Emanuel Giron

Born and raised in Petén, Emanuel specialises in training local families in contour-planting and permaculture practices. His focus is on outreach and community development. He is co-director of Sol y Verde with his father Baltazar and leads its permaculture projects.

Jasmine Ward

Born in the UK and living in Péten, Jasmine is a forest engineer and permaculture specialist. She works across multiple NGOs in the region, helping reforestation and soil restoration efforts. She helps lead the project's agroforestry projects.

Lou Elena Bouey

Born in France and living between England and Guatemala, Lou is a systems designer and researcher who focuses on creating resilient, creative and community-driven spaces. She helps lead the project's construction projects, in particular our Educational Centre. 

Our Board of Directors (Local Committee)

Baltazar Giron

Baltazar represents our organisation, oversees its main activities, teaches and expands our local network. He is the founder of the project.

Emanuel Giron

Emanuel co-leads the project with his father, and is a trained planting technician. His focus is on project development.

Yesenia Coronado

Yesi, who’s known Baltazar and Emanuel since she was little, runs our local harware store and has led many of our village’s public realm improvements.

Jasmine Ward
Secretary & Forestry

A forest engineer by trade, Jasmine works on the managing team of the project, and coordinates our meetings and project deliverables.  
Carlos Soto
Community Restoration

Carlos runs one of our region’s largest sustainable milling workshop and is passionate about forest restoration and community support.
Maria Perez
Public Relations & Aquaculture

Maria works at the Ministry of Agriculture and specialises in aquaculture, particularly tilapias. She’s been essential in getting our non-profit status at Sol y Verde.

Andrea Valiente

Education and Youth Programme

Andrea has a background in earth science, leads ecotourism tours all around the country, and runs our educational programme with local schools in the area. 

José David Ocheata

Public Relations & Apiculture

José works at the Ministry of Agriculture and specialises in bee-keeping. He’s an expert at understanding ecosystems and caring for insects.

Additional members:

Lou Elena Bouey
International Partnerships

Kalin Steen 
Photography and Videography

Fronteras Entretejidas (Women's Group)


The Sol y Verde Women’s group

The Organisation has put its focus on women and children since its inception. Our goals are to support, elevate and empower the voices, needs and skills of these two core groups, through our teachings, community events and fundraisers. But we also believe that local needs require hyper-local action: this is why we have created Frontejas Entretejidas (Interwoven Borders), a female-founded, female-led group which focuses on craft, entrepreneurship, child-care and child education. Our members come from many villages around the Flores area: Santa Elena, Santa Ana, Paxcaman, El Remate and more. They are chefs, weavers, artists - women who hold decades of generational craft and too often struggle in the face of difficult economies, households to upkeep, local violence particularly targeted at them, and a general lack of investment into their time and crafts. Sol y Verde creates a safe space that they feel ownership of and aims to provide them with better tools to practice their craft.

Every Sunday, at 2pm, we hold talk sessions, childcare support, artisan/craft lessons, and more. In 202’, we hope to share their craft and knowledge to the rest of the world through digital commerce and yearly workshops open to the international public. If you’d like to know more, participate or give donations specifically to our women’s group, please send us an email at ︎︎︎ organizacionsolyverde@gmail.com.

Partnering Organisations

Are you an NGO, community-interest company, academic institution or other organisation wishing to collaborate or support us? Email us at ︎︎︎ organizacionsolyverde@gmail.com .


Contact Us

Organizacion Ecologica Sol y Verde Paxcaman, Flores Peten, Guatemala

The nearest city is Santa Elena, next to the island of Flores, which has an airport and receives most buses from Belize, Mexico and Guatemala City. We are located a 15min walk from the main street of Paxcaman.

↗ How to get to us
↗ Volunteer with us
↗ Read our impact report

↗ Instagram
↗ Facebook
↗ Email