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Antonio, Mexico: “I am inspired. I am a leader in my family and community."

Can environmental restoration bring together a disjointed community? For Antonio and his neighbors in Mixteca Alta, Mexico, the answer is a solid yes.

When the environment suffers, the whole community struggles. This is intensified by the fact that everybody relies upon agriculture for their survival. Many community members face the same challenges with drought and limited crop production. But for many, it feels like an individual struggle, which can be isolating.

Purpose Groups bring community members together to solve environmental problems. Relationships between neighbors are strengthened as the relationship between people and their environment is repaired.

“Before we had Purpose Groups, there was a lot of separation between the families here. The Mexico Purpose Groups have brought our communities together. We are close to our neighbors and live alongside each other,” shares Antonio. “Before, we had no initiative to protect the trees in our community, but today that has changed.”

“In the Purpose Group, I was able to attend a workshop on watershed management, which moved me to take more care of the environment. I am now more conscious about taking care of our natural resources.”

Mixteca Alta, located in the highlands of Southern Mexico, is in a region that is especially prone to drought. Climate change has made rainfall even less predictable.

In addition to environmental training, Mexico Purpose Groups also help members like Antonio with financial services, like access to loans and opportunities to save money.

“I have yet to take out a loan,” Antonio notes, “but i have used my savings to invest in livestock. We have purchased pigs and sheep.”

“I am inspired. I am a leader in my family and community, and I must fight for our well-being. I have been working together with my neighbors. We perform a service that is good for our community.”

“Reforesting the land that we share together helps us to take care of the environment.”

“We recently conducted some reforestation activities and we are hoping to see changes as a result. We believe this will improve our environment.”

Part of this training includes water management, which is an extremely important concern in the area.

“We have also been trained in hydrology, so we are aiming to start projects that will help us retain water,” Antonio elaborates. “So far, we already have access to enough water to work in the fields. We also have a water distribution center, so the clinic and all families have access. My current projects include building a rainwater storage tank, constructing an eco-friendly toilet, growing fruit, as well as plant and vegetable production.”

Antonio concludes by sharing: “These are my prayers: for health, for our daily bread, and for rain. I pray that our community remains peaceful and quiet.”

About the Author

Plant With Purpose seeks to restore hope by reversing two of the world’s greatest challenges: global poverty and environmental damage. These problems are interconnected.

Our goal is to see creation’s life-giving regenerative cycles restored and people renewed through their relationship to God, living in healthy sufficiency and empowered to dream.

We operate in eight countries around the world. Our international work is 100% locally-led, with global offices operating both as independent agencies within their country, and alliance partners with Plant With Purpose U.S., which supports their ongoing work.

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