Load of Wood Fuel

Load of Wood Fuel

Last year on May 25th, I showed you hugh stacks of wood logs to be use as fuels. Back then I told you that Guatemala’s name means land of forest (check the entry for the whole story behind the etymology). This a fact that is changing very rapidly because many people cut down the trees to use as fuel for their comal stove.

Recently while reading the National Geographic en español, I learnt that not all instances of the use of wood as fuel are bad. According the article about barbecuing; wood and charcoal do indeed pollute the atmosphere with smoke and ashes, but it is a recycled-type of energy when compared to other energy sources like gas or electricity.

In La Antigua Guatemala, wood can be used as fuel as a by-product of the coffee industry. Let me explain, if you recalled the photo about Coffee bushes and Gravileas trees, you would remember that gravileas trees (the large trees on the photo) are used as shadow trees for the coffee bushes. Well, after a while the gravileas trees get to be so big and they need to be trimmed. The trimmed branches and old trees can provide the necessary wood to be used as fuel. Now if there was a system such that the trimmed gravileas trees end with the people that still use wood as fuel, we could get somewhere; don’t get me wrong some of these wood does indeed get used, but it would be much better if all the trim from the gravileas trees was used. This would prevent the cutting down of the trees on the rolling hills. These trees provide the much-needed root system which prevents landslides.

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