Tree-Land Foundation Inc.

Helping young people learn to grow by creating hands-on, local and international environmental education programs that benefit the earth and its inhabitants and foster an “attitude of gratitude” among participants.

        Tree-Land Foundation's 

        ONE AMERICA Program

        One evening several years ago, ONE AMERICA Program creator Bob Martin was talking with a Mayan friend named Umberto in the village of Piste, Mexico.  They were discussing various cultural differences between the United States and Mexico.  Martin stated, “Well…in America, we do that THIS way!”  Umberto smiled, gestured to the area around him, and gently stated, “THIS is America too, my friend. In fact it’s NORTH America!”  That incident inspired the naming of the ONE AMERICA Program, emphasizing the common hemispheric heritage of all Americans.

ONE AMERICA was created by the not-for-profit Tree-Land Foundation, Inc. in 1998, to expand Tree-Land’s environmental education and conservation program in Maryland to Mexico.*  The goal was to bring young people from different American cultures together to provide them with international learning opportunities through interaction and cooperation.  Youth groups travel to the small Maya village of Yaxunah (yah-shoo-NAH) on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. 

There, participants live and work together on volunteer environmental, health, cultural and historical work-service projects.  They gain leadership skills, learn the importance of tolerance, responsibility, teamwork, gratitude, and cultural acceptance and understanding.  They also learn that Americans don't only live in the U.S.!  The lessons they learn there apply worldwide.  Events of September 11, 2001, make the ONE AMERICA Program’s values and goals more important and necessary than ever.

            Recent archaeological discoveries in Yaxunah are expected to turn this quiet 4000 year old, mostly agrarian village into a tourist destination.   ONE AMERICA participants work with U.S. and Mexican anthropologists, environmentalists, the Yucatan Cultural Foundation, the Yucatan government, and the 600 indigenous Maya of Yaxunah on work-service projects.  Projects are chosen for their environmental, ecological, educational, health-related, cultural, or historical benefits in an effort to acclimate villagers to the social and economic changes tourism will bring.    

Bob Martin &   Indiana Jane,” renowned archeologist Merle Greene Robertson in Chichen Viejo, Chichen Itza



* The inspiration for creating the ONE AMERICA Program came from long-time Tree-Land Foundation friend and supporter Maurice Gunter.  From its beginning, Maurice was involved in the Foundation's work and knew of its founders' interest and love for the people and history of Mexico's Yucatan.  In late 1997, he wondered aloud, "Why couldn't you take young people from the States to do the same thing down there that you do here?"  Less than 3 months later, meetings were held in Mexico with a variety of environmental organizations to identify projects, and the ONE AMERICA Program was begun.  This Program is a memorial to Maurice.  In his all too-short time, he touched many peoples' lives and gave more joy and friendship to more people than he ever realized.


Bob Martin with Yaxunah friend Gabriela




ONE AMERICA - General Information

ONE AMERICA - Activities and Accomplishments

ONE AMERICA - Program Age Groups

ONE AMERICA - Why Yucatan?

ONE AMERICA - Project Partners

  ONE AMERICA - Goals and Objectives  

ONE AMERICA - Customized College Program


                    Our Philosophy - R. Martin

                                "If you want to touch the past... touch a stone.

                                   If you want to touch the present... touch a tree.

                                            If you want to touch the future... touch a child."



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© 2003 Tree-Land Foundation, Inc.

    Email:     Tel.:  ( 301) 471- 9998     P. O. Box 535 , Myersville, MD 21773 USA  

WITH GREAT APPRECIATIONThis website was designed and created for Tree-Land Foundation by the delightful Beatriz Wallace, an intelligent, very talented and lovely woman who's a student at Amherst College, Amherst, Mass.  Thank you, Bea!
                                                                                                                                                                             Last modified: August 05, 2005