Country Proverb: Mexico

Written by Plant With Purpose on May 7, 2015 in Proverb

By Sierra Robbins


“Poco a poco se anda lejos”

Translation: “Little by little one walks far”



Almost every language has its own variant of this proverb, and its meaning holds true for every walk of life. Students study vigorously for exams, each of which represents a small stride toward a degree. Farmers sow tiny seeds that bloom into a great harvest. Mothers who partner with Plant With Purpose attend trainings to increase income, crops, health, and dignity. Though the fruits of such steady efforts may not be immediately visible, small steps can carry us miles.


Juana and one of her daughters in their garden in Oaxaca.

Each movement we take toward completing a goal, no matter who we are or where we come from, demands a considerable amount of faith. It is easy to deem a situation hopeless when looking at it head-on. The real heroism lies in seeing an obstacle and working steadily to overcome, despite how futile it might seem in the moment. This patient steadfastness is often manifested in small, faithful steps. Juana, a young mother of three living in the village of Poblete, Mexico, can attest to the importance of perseverance in transforming one’s life.

Before Plant With Purpose partnered with her community, Poblete was sinking deeper into poverty and despair. Lack of opportunities led to violence, and this violence led to tragedy when Juana’s husband was killed. In the face of immense heartache and difficulty, Juana has tenaciously pushed on. Today she serves as the president of Poblete’s Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) and is an influential leader in the community. Her backyard garden bursts with produce and her three children eat balanced meals each day.

Juana did not reach self-sufficiency overnight. Rather, as the proverb goes, little by little she traveled far. She joined the Poblete Family Garden Group and received trainings on garden care and cultivation. The group now hosts 12 families, each with their own garden. Members have learned to create their own compost and irrigation systems, and the organic fruits and vegetables produced are improving families’ nutrition and income. The recent formation of a community VSLA equipped Juana to save income earned from selling produce and invest back into her garden.


Juana overseeing their VSLA meeting.

Though Juana faces more challenges than many women will, she is not alone in her desire to provide a bright future for herself and her children. Mothers everywhere work day by day to ensure that their children travel far. Our wish for this Mother’s Day is that female farmers and rural mothers around the world will be empowered to better provide for their families. Support a Female Farmer in honor of your mother this holiday weekend will provide mothers like Juana with more chances to improve their livelihoods and increase opportunities of their children. We invite you to take part in se anda lejos with these women, by providing them with what they need to poco a poco.

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