Overcoming Obstacles in Mexico
Written by Plant With Purpose on June 27, 2016 in Annual Report, Overcoming Obstacles
Plant With Purpose partnering families are overcoming some tremendous obstacles. From imposing politics, ethnic tensions, limited resources, lack of services, and feeling emotionally defeated, roadblocks to brighter futures present themselves at every turn.
Yet, as Plant With Purpose walks alongside vulnerable families, reality is changing. Despite the obstacles, hope is breaking through as lives and land are transformed.
Obstacles in Mexico
Being the two poorest states in Mexico, Oaxaca and Chiapas face enormous challenges as its people struggle to acquire the basic needs for survival. Chiapas ranks number one in poverty with a poverty rate of 75 percent, while Oaxaca has a poverty rate of 62 percent. These devastating statistics are partly due to the high indigenous populations in the region, a population whose poverty levels are four times higher than the national average. With a diverse ethnic and linguistic population, these states give Mexico a rich and invaluable culture. Yet, the high levels of monolinguals and the lack of integration to the modern economy and society has taken a toll on the population.
With three major mountain ranges running through the states, communication between rural indigenous populations and the modern economy has become an extremely expensive project the government is not willing to invest on. Most recently, Oaxaca has been in the news because of education reform, something we have been praying about for months.
Though corruption and the lack of opportunities predominate the life changes of Oaxaca and Chiapa’s people, Plant With Purpose partnering communities are generating hope.
Increasing Family Nutrition
Hunger is a daily reality for families in rural Mexico. UNICEF states that 1.5 million children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition. That number increases to one out of three children in remote areas.
Basilia Ramos Diaz, a young mother and partnering farmer, shares that many of the vegetables they planted were unfamiliar. “We never ate vegetables like this before because we couldn’t afford them. Plant With Purpose showed us how to prepare salads and cook vegetable soup using zucchinis from our garden.” Not only is nutrition improving, but household resilience is increasing as families harvest seeds and reduce the need to purchase commercially produced seeds.
In addition to her garden, Basilia (pictured) built a chicken coop and can attest to how the chickens are improving her daughter’s diet. Plant With Purpose provided instruction for 107 chicken projects including the construction of coops and care for the animals.
Families in Poblete are now thriving. A group member shares, “We have heard of other programs like this but none of them would equip us so well.”
Partnering churches in Mexico hosted 85 festivals and workshops that invest in community member’s faith. Deepening relationships between neighbors as they work together to improve their lives is a piece of the spiritual fruit Plant With Purpose sees. Pastor Diogenes Morales from San Isidro Trementina celebrates Psalms 133:1, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” Feliciana, a woman from Pastor Morales’ congregation shares, “God is first in our community. We are united because of Him.”
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The Reversing Deforestation and Redemptive Agriculture sections originally appeared in the 2015 Annual Report. View the complete report here.