Tito López Hernández, El Oro Nuxaá Nochistlan, Oaxaca

Tito López Hernández, El Oro Nuxaá Nochistlan, Oaxaca

Mexico encompasses a diverse mix of countries, ancestries, ethnic groups, and races. Many of Mexico’s poorest groups are rural, indigenous communities who often don’t speak Spanish. These marginalized farmers are largely dependent on agriculture as a means of subsistence, and when that fails, any revenue they can get is from selling cut trees as fuel wood. Rampant tree cutting has left entire hillsides desolate and barren. Subsequent erosion and loss of soil fertility has further entrenched farmers in a vicious cycle of poverty and deforestation.

Oaxaca is an area rich in cultural history, with more indigenous languages than any other Mexican state. But Oaxaca also has the greatest emigration rate in all of Mexico, and a vast 76.9% of the population suffers from malnutrition. Working in collaboration with 58 Mixtec communities, an organization, Plant with Purpose, an integrated Oaxacan program uses a variety of environmentally sustainable, income-generating activities to train farmers to work with, not against, the land.

One innovative and successful project is handicraft training such as making pine needle baskets that supplement their income and provide for their families.

El Oro Nuxaá Nochistlan, Oaxaca

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