Before Plant With Purpose, I used to make tortillas kneeling down; which made my knees hurt. For water we used to go with the donkey to bring it out of a hole.
My situation was difficult before I found Plant With Purpose.
Once, I had a problem in my hand, one finger felt bad, I couldn't grip nor did I have the strength in it. I had to tell a collective I was a part of in San Isidro Trementina with a lump in my throat that: “I can't continue anymore, I'll leave the group because I can't anymore, why am I going to be there if I don't participate?"
Then I also told my children that I felt bad. They took me to the doctor, and they bought the medicines that were prescribed for me. I started taking them and I gradually recovered.
When we started participating in a Plant With Purpose Group, everything improved.
I put a lot of effort into making my crafts again. I have some handicrafts, when someone asks if I have them, I sell them; lately my hand feels tired. It doesn't hurt, but it's hard for me to pull the thread. I'm always try to make 2 or 3 more crafts than what has been ordered, because I need money.
All the Mexican artisan projects I have participated in are good. I like them all, but the one I liked the most is the crafts project. That's why I continue to participate until now, I also really like making crafts. Our crafts are becoming known in other places. Plant With Purpose taught us to work with pine leaves. We used to step on the leaves because we did not know their value, or that they could be useful. When Plant With Purpose arrived in our community we knew that we could do very interesting things instead of destroying them.
I have invited other people from the community to learn how to make handicrafts as Mexican artisans.
It's hard to learn, at first I was desperate, but little by little I was learning. An artisan from a
nearby community came to teach us, she said not to despair. We would do the crafts well, after doing it many times they started to turn out well.
I have always had the support of the Plant With Purpose staff. They are my family, they always come to give me a word of encouragement that relaxes me, they supported me when I thought I could not continue. Noé, Neftalí and Judith encouraged me to continue, they said that they would not leave me alone. Those words made me feel alive. They said
that I am one of the first Mexican artisans. That makes me feel joy.
I have motivation, thanks to them. They are my family and it makes me feel better.
I also like the greenhouse a lot. I have worked on it, and now it is ready to plant onions. I have the seedlings ready. The wood-saving stove is very important to me, with the tank I have water and everything I need to live well.
I like to have fruit trees, like peach trees, as well as other trees to plant, so that it looks beautiful and green. I have several plants. I want to have shade and fresh air. The pine trees that I planted are now big. I get leaves from them to make handicrafts. I used to buy pine leaves, now I sell leaves to those who buy them, so I have extra income.
All of us in Mexico who have received the support of Plant With Purpose get ahead individually, as a
family and as a community. We learned that we must take care of the environment, the plants.
Trees give us shade. The pine needles benefit us artisans, and we can collect them without
harming the trees. I’ve learned not to tie the animals to them, so as not to hurt them.
The Artist Group helped me learn how to save money. Before I didn't know how to do it, we
spent the money on things that weren't necessary. Now I don't have a lot of money, but what I have I plan how to spend it, on something necessary. I had a refrigerator that broke down and with my savings I bought a new one. When I sell handicrafts I already have another income.
Since I started working with Plant With Purpose I have seen a change. Before we worked, but
we didn't have as much income as now with projects like the greenhouse, when I sold tomatoes, from there I saved that money and bought a mill. Now it is not necessary that there is light to be able to grind because I already have a place to do it.
My neighbors come to buy tomatoes, I also sell in local markets, I sell boxes of tomatoes, that's how I get income.