In 2021, some camps are organising camp experiences for you to participate in. We are hopeful that they will be able to go ahead. Camps will follow the local conditions closely, and may have to cancel activities if the local COVID-19 situation forces them to do so. If you have already signed up for a camp-activity you will be informed when this happens. We will update the website also, when such decisions are taken. Please check your own local authority travel advisory to see if you can travel to or return from the camp after the activity. At all times, when at camps, please observe it’s COVID-19 policy (such as wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, etc).
Since 2018, Camp Contour Lines has been working to restore and rehabilitate 1000 kilometres of land that was once tropical rainforest throughout the Greater Livingston Area, on Guatemala’s Caribbean Coast.
Camp Contour Lines plants tropical agro-forests mainly in Q’echi (mayan) villages, and has set up over 608 project sites on more than 237 acres to date, restoring land that has been degraded by slash-and-burn chemical corn farming. Since they started, 124,000 new fruit, legume, and hardwood trees have been planted, along 113km of contour lines. This has benefited more than 602 families in 39 villages!
Accommodations are a homestay with a local family in one of the villages where we work. Support a local family while taking on projects to help the community. Private cabin, with outlying bathroom, electricity and shared shower. Costs are $26 per day for board and three meals per day.
Internship positions are limited and based on needed skills
The Greater Livingston Area (GLA) includes the town proper and 100 villages in the surrounding jungles, with approx 20,000 residents of Garifuna, Qechi, and Ladino cultures. Of the GLA’s 1000 km sq of former rainforest, over 70% is in rotation of slash-and-burn corn subsistence or cow pasture, both with low income and high ecological degradation here in these high-rainfall (i.e. high erosion) tropics. Poor roads and land divisions isolate many of the villages, which suffer from unemployment, malnutrition and illiteracy.
Transitioning their lands to regenerative use empowers these communities to resolve such local issues, while contributing to global reforestation initiatives for carbon sequestration, erosion control, preservation of biodiversity and development of sustainable economies. Contour lines as an agro-reforestation method form the backbone of this regenerative transition. They stop erosion, build soil fertility and encourage organic and polyculture methods, planted with trees that both generate economic wealth and restore ecosystem health.
Camp Contour Lines believes in hard work, not merely preaching and wasting time. We directly provide training, trees and funds to local communities to plant their own projects, on their own lands, to help enable their regenerative transition.
Camp Contour Lines aims to regenerate 100 sq km of GLA in 5 years, transitioning cornfields pasture to both agroforestry systems and restored rainforests.
While we teach many regenerative agriculture methods—cover-cropping, planting polycultures and legumes, mulching, rotational grazing—by focusing on one and applying it (planting on contour), we adopt a hands-on, project-oriented approach, one measurable in meters of progress. Contour lines form the backbone of a regenerative landscape. Terraces of fertility form over time. Once woven with the curves of contour, rural communities will continue farming regeneratively long after our work is done.
And while Camp Contour Lines focuses on land use, our projects form the roots of a greater cultural transition. Processing and marketing of regenerative products, eco-tourism and reforestation incentives all provide sustainable income to communities. It reverses the region’s trade deficit, from importing the garbage of foreign corporations to exporting healthy, organic produce from local campesinos. The resulting improvements in diet, employment, education and reduction of migration all inspire a cultural regeneration.
Ultimately our goal is change in mindset, one that unites humans with nature, farms with forests, the economic with the ecological—one that restores the ecosystems of the Greater Livingston Area while empowering and enriching it’s people. In this sense Contour Lines are the vanguard of a regenerative society.
Contour Lines Corp
APROSARSTUN (local nonprofit)
Frutas del Mundo (tree nursery)
AMMUNDIS (multicultural women’s association)
Ak-tenamit (alternative school)
Casa Guatemala (children’s school),
Gamgadewale (Garifuna farm)
Municipality of Livingston, Guatemala
COCODE (community council) of several rural villages
Homestay with locals
Sanitation – medium
Restoration of livelihoods
Once you have submitted this form to inform us of your intention to join the course, please click on the blue button on the right to pay for your place.
Your safety is very important to us. Most camps are in locations that are completely safe for you to travel to. Some camps are in locations where there is civil unrest, higher levels of crime, or in areas where there could be severe nature events (earthquakes, tornados, vulcanic eruptions). We strongly advise you to check with your national authority’s travel advisory service to see if there are specific travel advisories for the region you are travelling to. We strongly advise you to comply with that travel advisory. If there is a negative travel advisory for the area you plan to go to, we want to impress on you that it is your decision to not heed the warnings and go. ERC can then not be liable in that situation if something happens to you.
Work at camps is usually safe. The camp coordinators make your safety their highest priority too. But you will be working with tools and sometimes even (heavy) machinery. Sometimes the terrain can be slightly treacherous. Heat or cold can become a problem for people at work that do not take the necessary measures to prevent injury from weather conditions. Especially in remote locations, all people at an Ecosystem Restoration Camp will need to watch out for eachother’s safety. For this reason we ask you to also sign our Code of Conduct, through which you commit to contributing to a safe environment at camps for all that are there with you. Take yours and all other camper’s safety seriously! Together, while watching over eachother, we can restore our ecosystems safely and successfully.
Stichting Ecosystem Restoration Foundation /
Ecosystem Restoration Camps 2020