Erika Vohman

Erika Vohman

Erika Vohman's picture
Name: Erika Vohman
Organization: Maya Nut Institute
Title: Executive Director
Maya Nut Institute is dedicated to rescuing lost indigenous knowledge about the Maya Nut (Brosimum alicastrum) for food and income for rural women and girls.

Challenge Entries

Maya Nut is a natural, native and nutritious rainforest tree food which has potential to motivate rainforest conservation, improve health and nutrition in rural communities and stimulate local economies. Market-driven conservation can be achieved by Maya Nut marketing and sales.

Chronic child malnutrition in rural Central America is >50%. This has a large negative impact (>30% according to a recent UN study) on national GDP, children's performance in school, resistance to disease, size and overall wellbeing. The Maya Nut is a massive rainforest tree which produces an easy to harvest, native, nutritious and delicious seed which can be easily harvested and processed by rural women to incorporate into the rural school lunch programs, thereby increasing income for rural women and the nutritional quality of school lunches.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Forests is a new development paradigm which incorporates Maya Nut, a native rainforest food into school lunch programs in Central America. By positioning this locally sourced rainforest superfood in the school lunch market, HKHF improves children’s health, women’s incomes, local economies and rainforest conservation

Healthy Kids, Healthy Forests is an innovative market-driven rainforest restoration program which motivates communities to reforest with Maya Nut, a native, nutritious, delicious rainforest tree seed. By targeting schools as the market, HKHF ensures a consistent and reliable local market for Maya Nut products from rural women’s cooperatives.