From Darkness and Despair…

Written by Plant With Purpose on December 29, 2015 in General


The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
John 1:5

This week on the blog we will be sharing Juana’s story. It is one that signifies the many families that Plant With Purpose walks alongside. It is a story that moves from despair to hope, from darkness to light as Plant With Purpose equips the rural poor to lift themselves out of poverty. Join us.


Plant With Purpose works at the intersection of poverty and the environment in seven developing countries. For the rural poor, their greatest resources are their land and water. They are often left with the most degraded pieces of property; soil that barely produces and water sources that are unreliable. Drastic decisions are made daily and it is a struggle just to survive.


One of Juana’s sweet daughters standing in Poblete’s community garden.

In remote communities of southern Mexico, families are fighting for their futures. Juana used to carry this burden, the feeling of hopelessness and questioning what was ahead for her children.

Juana lives in the small Oaxacan community of Poblete, Mexico. For many years this community was sinking deeper into poverty and despair. Farming is the main source of income and families are closely tied to the land. A century ago, the hills were covered in forest and the land was fertile, but the trees were gradually cut and not replaced. This left the land less productive, and economic opportunities dried up. Because of this, it is not unusual for people from this region to migrate to other states—or the Untied States—to look for work.

Tension and crime were on the rise in Poblete as lack of opportunity led people to turn to drugs and violence. Darkness seemed to be winning. This darkness turned personal for Juana when her husband was tragically killed. Juana, at 20 years old, was left to raise her three children on her own.

To be continued…

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