Alier and Family

We Have Never Felt Stronger

There are times when it’s hard to feel strong.

Think of a time in your life when it seems like one challenge after another kept rising up, and it started to take an emotional toll. Sometimes, it’s not just a calamity that can leave you discouraged, but a constant stream of challenges and bad news.

This is something so many of Plant With Purpose’s participants have experienced at one point or another.

When an area’s environment begins to suffer, its people suffer as well. This happens in places like Oaxaca, Mexico. In Mexico’s poorer communities, drought and deforestation have left farming families with limited harvests. This creates a sense of desperation.

This often happens in communities that are already marginalized. Indigenous communities in Southern Mexico are disproportionately likely to face environmental issues that worsen matters of poverty.

Alier is one of our friends who has lived through this experience.

He lived in the village in Loma Chimedia with his new wife, Isabel. But not all was well. The land he farmed was exhausted, and the small amounts of corn and beans they grew were not enough for everybody.

For many in the Oaxaca region, Including Alier, providing for ones family often means choosing between staying close to home and struggling to farm or migrating far from home to find work in the city.
For many in the Oaxaca region, Including Alier, providing for ones family often means choosing between staying close to home and struggling to farm, or migrating long distances to find work in the city.

With insufficient harvests, Alier began to look for other options.

After months and months of reaping small harvests, Alier knew he had to do something different.

He saw only one viable option, and that was leaving behind Isabel–his new wife, along with his mom, and even his native language, and migrating in search of better work opportunities. For two whole years, he would travel to the city during the week, returning home only on weekends.

He couldn’t do this forever, however. Neglect took a toll on Alier’s farmland and family. For a second time, he recognized that what he was doing was not sustainable.

Alier decided to take a leap of faith. He quit his job in the city and went back home. He knew he needed to be nearer to his family, even though there was no guarantee that they would be able to make ends meet.

During the time that Alier was away, Plant With Purpose had established a few empowerment groups in Loma Chimedia, helping groups of farmers improve their land and save their financial resources to invest in the future.

Upon his return, Alier joined a Plant With Purpose empowerment group, and he soon saw the results.

 

Alier has come a long way from his early farming struggles. With the help of Plant With Purpose, he has turned his land into a profitable source of income that provides for his family, all the while being able to stay close to them.

Alier saw his land and livelihood flourish.

By investing in sustainable farming and planting trees, Alier started to see his surrounding ecosystem improve. By improving his environment, Alier started to see his crop yields grow more abundant.

Because Plant With Purpose’s program worked not just on Alier’s farm, but with his entire community, he saw this change happen across the landscape as a whole. The entire area grew healthier, and the people saw their lives improve as a result.

The farmland began to wake up, and as the land flourished, so did Alier and Isabel. They produced vegetables, raised chickens, sold eggs at market, planted fruit trees, and reforested the steep hillsides that tower above their farm. The diverse and healthy landscape gave them security by producing a variety of crops and new sources of income

Alier no longer had to look elsewhere to provide for his family.

Furthermore, Alier has gained confidence in his community’s ability to improve their own situation.

“God has made us to work and be productive, to be creative, and develop our talents. As people gain confidence, they are willing to try new things and take risks.”

You can help create change for a farmer like Alier for just $22 a month. Learn more about how to become a Purpose Partner.

Josh Ortega

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