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She won’t be kept down

December 19, 2018

Twelve years ago, the village of San Isidro Trementina was devastated

The small, rural community in Mexico was made up of farmers. When the land was well, the crops grew and the people were well. When the land suffered, so did the crops and the people in the village.

Then, the community faced one of the worst disasters that it had ever seen.

In the late summer, a devastating wildfire swept through Southern Mexico, and San Isidro Trementina was right in its path. The fire scorched up many trees, crops, and grass.

Shortly afterwards, the village again saw destruction. This time it came in the form of insects. Swarms of pests came to devour the little growth that remained. When they left, the land was barren and unproductive. There was little hope for the community.

The men of the village began to make plans to leave for work. They eyed other areas of Mexico, north of where they lived. Some even looked as far as the U.S. border.

Trees were key to Mexico's recovery.

Trees were key to Mexico's recovery.

Recovery happened one tree at a time

Some of the people who decided to stay knew that trees were key for the land’s recovery. Plant With Purpose organized communities to invest in tree nurseries and reforestation efforts. The trees held the potential to restore the soil that had been depleted during the fire and insect invasion.

Feliciana’s husband, Teogenes, was one of these early planters. He began by introducing 40 trees on their land. Feliciana was skeptical.

“My mind was closed,” she admitted. But she couldn’t deny that progress was happening. Only a few years afterwards, she remarked: “the trees we sow are already growing. There are no more landslides. Where there are trees there is more water and the forest looks beautiful.”

Feliciana began to invest in her vegetable garden. She cultivated a greater variety of crops and supplemented the income by selling handicrafts.

Feliciana's Empowerment Group of women

Feliciana's Empowerment Group of women

An even greater transformation is now taking place

Hope returned to San Isidro Trementina, and with it came a great wave of spiritual renewal.

Churches in the area partnered with Plant With Purpose to begin hosting workshops on stewardship. People who came learned that everything they had was a gift from God to be well-taken care of. This included their land, their farms, their finances, their relationships, and their talents. People who had never thought of their lives as important began to see themselves as caretakers of sacred creation.

“I learned to be more understanding with people,” reflected Feliciana.

She now seeks to grow in her faith, aims to visit her brothers, and continues to encourage her family to be unified. “God is first in our community,” she says. “We are united because of Him.”

Plant With Purpose believes that a better world is possible when we invest in communities like San Isidro Trementina and women like Feliciana. To support partners like her for $22 a month, sign up to become a Purpose Partner!

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