Oaxaca and Chiapas are two of the three poorest states in Mexico, and more than 75% of the indigenous families—mostly smallholder farming families—live in extreme poverty (source: IFAD). Indigenous communities are marginalized within mainstream Mexican culture, making them more vulnerable.
The extreme poverty has also resulted in an extremely high rate of migration as farmers head north to the United States or other parts of Mexico to seek whatever work they can find to provide for their families. Women are often left behind to take care of children and household needs on their own.
In response, Plant With Purpose teaches families in rural communities to plant vegetable gardens that will increase their food production and incomes, allowing parents to put nutritious meals on the table and use money earned through the sale of surplus produce to send children to school, provide for health care, and cover the costs of household necessities. Families are also learning to create a financial safety net through Village Savings and Loan Associations. And church mobilization programs are equipping local congregations to lead the way in community change.
Ezekiel and Magdalene are newlyweds living in the tiny village of Chepegenio in Oaxaca, Mexico. They’ve only been married a year and do not have children yet, but Ezekiel smiles when he says, “We would love to raise a family here and to have a sense of purpose. … We don’t have anything—but little by little we will.”
This sense of hope in the future is rare in an area where desperation sends most men away from their families and communities for years on end to seek work as day laborers in the United States or other regions of Mexico.
Abundio and Alejandra Ruiz pastor the church where Ezekiel and Magdalene are members. Abundio explains, “Before, there was a lot of emigration. Now people are staying. … When there are trees, there is life and hope. … One day the rains will come.” He adds, “We believe in a living God. …. God is providing for things we need.”
It is trees are providing hope and sustainable farming technics are changing the future for families in Chepegenio. Plant With Purpose sees families staying together and lives such as Ezekiel and Magdalene’s being transformed.
Sponsor A Village
By sponsoring a village for as little as $1 a day, you can make a lasting impact on an entire community as they are given the tools and training to lift themselves out of poverty. Sponsor A Village in Mexico today and change the future for people like Ezekiel and Magdalene.