Fundación Agroecológica Iguazú (FAI), is an non-profit organization established in 2010.
OUR PRIMARY OBJECTIVE AT FAI IS: to regenerate life for a healthy planet.
We carry out our work in four interconnected and interdependent domains, just like all things are connected in nature. These four domains are:
do, educate, research, connect.
Immersed in the heart of the Atlantic Forest, on the Andresito Peninsula (Misiones province), Argentina, our reserve is adjacent to Iguazú National Park (Argentina) and Iguaçu National Park (Brazil), on the other side of the Iguazú river. We have forged our path through the production of shade-grown yerba mate, choosing agroecological systems and the regeneration of the Atlantic Rainforest.
We implement agroecological practices to regenerate the Atlantic Rainforest and promote regenerative farming for a healthy planet, aiming to become a reference site for the promotion of these practices in the region.
We have 115 protected hectares of land: 22 hectares of shade grown yerba mate,
5 hectares of refugio and gardens, 88 hectares of Atlantic Rainforest.
We are dedicated to learn together with the community about regenerative agroecological systems in our region, with the goal of promoting regenerative agricultural practices through our “Nature-Based Education” project. We offer authentic and profound learning experiences to children, schools, and universities. Our mission is to enhance the voice of nature by creating immersive experiences that incorporate art, storytelling, and play, all complemented by our unique visual materials.
In 12 years, we have reached over 2,500 students through our workshops and visits to the Reserve, where we host
16 local schools annually and conduct more than
12 meetings with NGOs, universities, and international regeneration programs.
We conduct research and support others in their research on agroecological regenerative systems.
Our wildlife monitoring program has identified
28 mammals in our reserve, including 2 yaguaretés,a critically endangered species.
We connect with other institutions and actors to expand our regenerative systems approach at the local, regional and global levels. These include forging collaborative framework agreements with other institutions, welcoming volunteers to engage with our foundation, to expand the regeneration network.
We have received
20 volunteers, worked with 2 NGOs: CeiBA and Proyecto Yaguareté and 2 government agencies: INYM, Inta, and have
5 research projects currently in progress.
Our domains today
Shade grown yerba mate plantations are regenerative production systems enriched with native plants that provide adequate shade for growing the yerba mate, a regenerative method of production with positive social and environmental collateral benefits.
Native plants are species indigenous to a country or region before human intervention ever happened and are an integral piece of the local ecosystem. We are multiplying yerba mate and other native tree species in our nursery with our sights set on reforesting and restoring balance to the Atlantic Rainforest region.
An agroecological garden is a plot of land designed for environmentally sustainable production of different crops. The garden produces healthy food regeneratively, managing resources rationally and naturally.
Biopreparations are products made from organic vegetable, mineral or animal matter used to improve crop development or soil health regeneratively.
Different certifications with an on-site audit carried out by independent control agencies, allow us to verify and guarantee that our production systems follow the established requirements for organic products and fair trade practices, biodynamic agriculture and organic regeneration.
We arrange visits from community schools to FAI to teach them about agroecological systems and generate more awareness and visibility about shade grown yerba mate through their lived experience at the reserve.
We visit community schools to raise awareness about agroecological production and the regeneration of life for a healthy planet and to spread the word about shade grown yerba mate and forge relationships with key community stakeholders.
We generate innovative content on the Atlantic Rainforest biome, the yerba mate productive cycle, green corridors and biodiversity that we use during visits and workshops and put on our website for educators from anywhere in the world to use.
If you are interested in this material, click here.
We provide spaces for discussion, participate in events organized by other institutions and offer our facilities to promote and enrich dialogue related to regenerative agroecological production systems.
We offer our foundation’s territory and facilities to institutions and researchers, conduct our own research projects and spread our knowledge about regenerative agroecological practices.
We monitor the fauna inside the reserve to check on how they coexist with the shade grown yerba mate production and to contribute to and disseminate knowledge about Atlantic Rainforest fauna.
The Cerevi provides a captivating rainforest encounter via a spiraling ramp that allows visitors to observe the diverse layers of the jungle. This innovative space serves as both an educational hub for rainforest exploration and regeneration, as well as a versatile activity center capable of hosting workshops and events focused on the theme of regeneration.
In our Cerevi, Life Regeneration Center we bring people together from diverse disciplines and contexts to explore and encourage conversations in search of concrete regenerative actions that may have a positive impact on the environment and the community.
We have established collaboration framework agreements with other local, regional and global institutions to collaborate on issues related to shade grown yerba mate systems, agroecological farming and the regeneration of natural environments.
Our volunteer program opens the reserve to anyone wanting to live in the Misiones rainforest for two weeks. The program aims to spread the experience of agroecological farming and regenerative systems and expand our own learning through the experiences of volunteers.
If you are interested in this program: click here.
The foundation’s reserve is open to people interested in learning about shade grown yerba mate production, agroecology and regeneration. We offer tours through our programs and an introduction to the rainforest.
We share content and experiences on our social media and other media aiming to educate people about agroecology, our activities and regeneration, and with a deep and respectful view of nature and our role in it.
On a wooden walkway that ascends through the jungle, traversing its various strata, access is provided to the different yurts, low-impact tents with various amenities that allow you to connect with nature in a secure and comfortable manner.
Navigating this spiral-shaped trail encourages a shift in perspective, enhances our observation capabilities, and alters our perception. It's a hands-on experience that's challenging to put into words.
Cereví is a space within the Atlantic forest that offers our visitors an immersion into the jungle and the concept of regeneration. It's a place to connect with nature, with others, and with ourselves, as well as with the idea of regeneration. It fosters collaborative projects focused on education, research, and the implementation of regenerative systems.
Cereví comes to bring us questions and, throughout the time we travel, will bring us answers or more questions.
Shade grown plantations of yerba mate
The spirit of the yerba mate plant serves as a conduit for learning from nature and from one another as a community.
Over the past 200 years, the applied yerba mate production practices (mainly monoculture) have led to a disconnection of the plant from its natural rainforest environment.
It's common to witness vast expanses of monocultures, or as we refer to them, sun-grown plantations. At FAI, we advocate for shade-grown plantations, in other words, returning the sacred Yerba Mate plant to its rainforest habitat.
For twelve years we have been experimenting with three regenerative system schemes to grow yerba mate under the shade of native tree species.
Plantations in transition to shade grown
In eight plots originally exposed to full sun, we initiated a process of regeneration five years ago, planting native tree species to produce the necessary conditions for a shade grown plantation.
Forest grown plantations in RAIz 1
We incorporated yerba mate (ilex paraguariensis), plants in four plots, generating forest grown plantations.
Shade-grown and under-forest yerba mate systems offer socio-environmental benefits such as biodiversity preservation, carbon capture, and favorable, dignified working conditions.
Publications and download material
Sharing our posts is a way to continue spreading our learnings and our progress in regenerating life and the health of the planet.
If there's something we enjoy sharing, aside from mate, it's images of our beloved FAI. Take a little journey with this selection and be amazed by the magic of nature.