The St Andrews Prize for the Environment

University of St Andrews


23 October 2018



Erika Vohman is passionate about the Maya tree! Through the Maya Nut Programme, Erika teaches communities about Maya seeds and fruit, showing them how this important food source can be harvested.  

This outstanding work brought Erika to present the project to our Board of Trustees in 2006.

“I was beyond honored because the competition is very stiff. There were a lot of great projects and the fact that I was chosen was such a big honor for me. I was very humbled.”

The good news kept coming for Erika when she found out that the Maya Nut Programme was the winner of the Prize for 2006.

“It felt amazing. It was incredible. The Trustees are such brilliant minds, and the fact that my project impressed them was really an honor.

“Personally, it was a great boost to my self-esteem and my drive to work harder. Financially, it helped boost our impacts a lot.”

Erika used the funding she gained from winning the Prize to broaden the reach of the project even further.

“We now purchase more than 30,000lb of Maya seed from over 1,000 rural women producers every year. We have a separate for-profit now,, that sells our products and we are really impacting the forests because so many rural communities all over the world want to plant Maya trees because they realize these forests can be profitable.

“We have just developed a new product - Maya Gut Better. It is a pre-biotic supplement for gut health. Maya seed is really high in prebiotic fiber and antioxidants and has huge potential to cure various health issues.”

Find out more about the Maya Nut Programme through their Finalist Page