Mexico Mexico Chiapas Ocosingo


$29,250 needed of $62,300

Implementing Organization

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)

Program Summary

The Mexican state of Chiapas has abundant natural wealth, but as a result of social and political factors, most rural families face extreme poverty. There are few opportunities for employment and farming is challenging. Most families do not have access to irrigation or training on agricultural techniques that are well suited to this drought prone region. This program is a continuation of the ongoing work of local partner, IESII, to strengthen farming techniques that promote sustainable food sovereignty practices in indigenous communities in the Central and High regions of Chiapas. The goals of the program include increasing and diversifying organic food production for family consumption, expansion of water management and access options, and improving soil health. The program focuses on practical workshops and intercommunity exchanges about rainwater harvesting systems, sanitation, homemade water filters, community agreements for management of water, planting vegetables, homemade composts and bio-insecticides, planting fruit trees, agroforestry systems, and poultry management.

Mexico Chiapas Ocosingo Program Update

Success Stories

The Future of Farming: Kids

Argelia is thrilled that local partner IESII (Institute of Intercultural Studies and Research) has included children in its instruction on sustainable farming. As she puts it, “I have been able to teach my children how to work in our vegetable garden. They now know all the steps necessary for plants to grow so we can eat better.”

IESII has made it clear that it’s important for the local children to understand the value of land in family nutrition. Most young people in communities are more committed to migrating to another state or country, since they see more economic future in migrating than in working the land. By involving youth in agriculture, the whole family benefits from better nutrition as they work toward a common goal. Success in farming gives young people a stronger sense of involvement in their communities and another choice as they contemplate the future. The family feels protected, supported not only in the work of family farming but also in the issues of human development.

Argelia says, “My children now help me in the work of the garden on their own initiative. They know how to sow the seeds we get, and also know the basics of seed saving. They start watering the vegetables and I no longer have to scold them to help me.”

She expressed gratitude for all the workshops and the visits from the technicians. The kids seem to thrive under the tutelage of people from outside the family and community. Says Argelia, “IESII knows how to make my family interested in working the garden. We’re all genuinely happy to see everything growing and know that we no longer have to buy vegetables thanks to the work we do.”

Mexico Chiapas Ocosingo Program
Led by Mennonite Central Committee and Local Partner Institute of Intercultural Studies and Research (IESII).