Rio Garza once suffered from the environmental conditions that plague many rural communities around the world.
Problems like deforestation, poverty, and soil erosion create difficult lives for people living in rural areas around the world. This is the reason why rural poverty remains a challenge to eradicate, even though the overall number of those living in poverty has drastically shrunk over the past thirty years.
The relationship between these issues is an important one to understand. Deforestation and other environmental toils rid land of natural nutrients that allow for healthy soil. This soil is extremely important for rural populations, as most live agriculture-based lifestyles and rely on good crop production for food and income. When these are insufficient, poverty often forces actions that result in even more environmental distress.
This was the case in Rio Garza, Mexico, where Brigida lived. With six kids and little financial opportunity, these conditions made her life very difficult.
Brigida’s kids are now eating better and living healthier.
A few years ago, Brigida began her partnership with Plant With Purpose. She decided she wanted to be part of a local movement that was reshaping the way the people of Rio Garza considered their natural resources.
“My thinking is different now,” she shares. “Before, we talked about the environment but didn’t understand much. Now we have learned about not littering and conserving water.”
With this new knowledge, she established a vegetable garden near her home. This garden enables her to grow food for her family and to sell it at a market.
Brígida was also able to acquire chickens through Plant With Purpose. She received training on how to care for them. The chickens fertilize her vegetable beds, eat unwanted pests, and provide protein for her growing family to eat.
The trees, animals, and economy have all benefited as well.
Brígida says, “We’re glad to see that our chickens are getting big.The project has helped us feed our children with eggs. We are very grateful to Plant With Purpose for their support.”
Reforestation efforts have also replenished the soil of Rio Garza.
The farmers of the area are able to farm in a cooler, protected climate that shows a greater resilience against drought.
As Rio Garza's outlook improves, Brigida and her neighbors have been able to focus on other opportunities.
She wants to save money for the future. As a member of the village savings and loan association and a women’s handicraft group, she has been able to earn and invest her own money.
“These programs support people if they have an illness or need,” she says.
“I like to support them and understand them. God has helped me change myself for the better.”
Rio Garza continues to grow in unity as community members work together to reforest land, develop a culture of savings, and support one another. Want to support other community members like Brigida? Learn about becoming a Purpose Partner!