After a tremendous effort from World Land Trust (WLT) supporters, £625,000 has now been raised for the Treasure Chest Appeal to save 2,500 acres of tropical rainforest in the mountains of Sierra Santa Cruz, Guatemala.
Getting off to a flying start, the appeal raised £100,000 in the first week of Big Match Fortnight, and there followed a magnificent surge of donations from supporters far and wide.
A wave of support
The wild treasures of Guatemala motivated all sorts of different people to take on a fundraising challenge. A young supporter was eight year old Amie Frederick, who completed a mini-triathlon and tripled her £100 fundraising target to help save rainforest. She said “WLT buys land for animals to run freely again. I want to be a conservationist when I grow up to help animals. Animal’s habitats are precious without them the animals will become endangered or extinct.”
WLT’s auctions are always popular and artists were very generous with pieces for the Christmas Art Auction, donating artwork inspired by Guatemala’s wildlife. These included a specially commissioned Chinamococh Stream Frog (a Critically Endangered species that can only be found in Sierra Santa Cruz) ornament by Jess Smith, an oil painting of Scarlet Macaws by Glyn Macey and a watercolour portrait of a Blackburnian Warbler by WLT’s Director of Communications and Development, Dan Bradbury, who visited the project in 2016.
The Treasure Chest Appeal also received significant contributions from cosmetic and beauty company The Body Shop and video game retailer Humble Bundle, both prominent corporate supporters of World Land Trust.
The next stage
Now that the target figure has been raised, it will be sent to WLT’s local partner in Guatemala, the Foundation for Ecodevelopment and Conservation (FUNDAECO), who will begin the process of purchasing the land and protecting it to conserve the rich wildlife living in the mountains of Sierra Santa Cruz.
Marco Cerezo, General Director of FUNDAECO, thanks the WLT supporters who made this possible, saying “We sincerely appreciate the support shown by individuals and companies who have made this possible. They have ensured that the unique biodiversity in Sierra Santa Cruz will be protected, and this represents a great achievement for tropical rainforest conservation in the landscape of Caribbean Guatemala.”
John Burton, WLT Founder CEO, adds “We are grateful to individual and company supporters alike who donated and raised funds and awareness of the urgent need to save and protect the fabulous forests in Sierra Santa Cruz. WLT have partnered with FUNDAECO for ten years now, and all the projects we have worked on together to protect the rich habitats of Guatemala have been a huge success for local wildlife and the neighbouring communities. Thank you to everyone who helped us reach the £625,000 target.”