In Central America, one of the major changes in land use is the conversion of natural vegetation to crops (mainly to grazing lands). The practice of slash and burn agriculture has led to a decline in soil quality through nutrients depletion, organic matter reduction and soil erosion. Land degradation problems and desertification have increased with climate variability. Climate change represents an additional threat that could affect a country"s ability to meet urgent demands for rural development--food security included. Currently, there is great interest in enhancing carbon sinks in agricultural systems as a climate change mitigation strategy. Similarly, there has been great emphasis on improving farm systems productivity, highlighting agroforestry as a mechanism for reconciling the mitigation and adaptation objectives to climate change. In this article, the Quesungual agroforestry system is described as implemented in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. These experiences have shown that high levels of performance can be achieved that are comparable to conventional farming systems but with less fluctuations due to natural disasters.