Grow Clean Food & Harvest Water in Rural Oaxaca

 
$6,007
$120,093
Raised
Remaining

The amounts donated by GlobalGiving was used to cover the cost of material and installation of 2 dry compost toilet seats, and rooftops of the compost toilets of Don Tino and Doña Juanita from EJUTLA, Oaxaca.

The rest of the project to now was financed by other donors, to help cover the materials for the earth/recycled (or UPcycled) walls and interiors. We used glass soda bottles, and plastic soda containers, local earth, hay and stones as well as cactus ferment and calcium.

Participatory diagnosis visits with local families
Participatory diagnosis visits with local families

As part of our methodology of valuing felt needs as opposed to mere charity, we have undertaken an extensive participatory diagnosis of the local community surrounding the Tonantzin Tlalli Insitute in Ejutla, Oaxaca. The purpose of this action is to evaluate the needs, living conditions, capacities, and natural resources existing within the households of 10 local families. These families live in poor to extremely poor conditions, yet because of their closeness to the ITT and the personal relationships we share with many of them, we consider this step as an essential approach to sustainable community development. The participatory diagnosis revealed the main concerns of the local community: access to clean water, equipment for cultivating their "milpas" (three sisters maize cropping design), water pumps, areas for planting fruit trees and edible plants, and livestock management. Highest on the list of needs was the lack or insufficient availability of electrical energy. In response to this concern, we are taking actions to promote solar energy appropriate technologies such as solar cookers, dehydrators, solar water heaters and bicycle energy. We have an upcoming workshop on building wind turbines that can combine with solar energy to provide electricity in the area. This workshop will be in facilitated in conjunction with engineers from the Tecnológico de Monterrey and will unite small farmers, students, engineers, and local community members in a one of a kind hands on workshop to strengthen the communities selfsufficiency in energy needs. This workshop requires much preparation and gathering of materials. We have received a grant to cover most costs, however we are looking for addition funds to offer scholarships. Donations are a direct way of providing an opportunity for a small farmer to participate in this workshop, and ultimately, that is our goal - to create living and learning opportunities for the most underpriviledged communities to gain selfsufficiency, not only in energy neds, but also in water, food, and shelter. We would be happy to connect you with the individual who receives your donation to participate in the workshop. GRACIAS for your continued support of our programs that regenerate the Oaxacan landscape and restore dignity to small farming communities.

Materials for building composting toilets
Materials for building composting toilets
Composting toilets out of upcycled materials
Composting toilets out of upcycled materials
Doña Juana participating in a hands on workshop to build her fam
Doña Juana participating in a hands on workshop to build her fam

Indigenous and small farming communities in Ejutla, Oaxaca, face daily challenges of satisfying their most basic needs of access to clean water, healthy food and sustainable energy sources. Although Oaxaca has the highest biodiversity of any state in Mexico, the extreme poverty rates are among the highest in the nation. Thus, the challenge GRUPEDSAC faces is teaching communities how to become self-sufficient while showing earth stewardship with long term sustainability in mind.

Sustainable community development initiatives at the Instituto Tonantzin Tlalli have benefited 10 families in Ejutla through hands-on workshops to install rainwater catchment systems, biointensive gardens, and fuel efficient stoves in their homes. Each family is required to have at least 5 family members participate in the hands-on training, with the understanding that they in turn will train other community members.

The improvements in quality of life have been enormous – women burn 50% less wood and get 75% better fuel efficiency with their new stoves, 6 of the 10 families will now have a secure water source for the 8 dry months of the year (the glory of rainwater!), and the organic cultivation of local, highly nutritious crops will improve the diets of women and children suffering from malnutrition.

We greatly appreciate your feedback and look forward to sharing your enthusiasm with the communities directly benefited from your generosity and belief in the power of sustainable solutions. Gracias!

Thanks to the rainwater cistern we built last year, Don Tino has
Thanks to the rainwater cistern we built last year, Don Tino has
A woman participates in the construction of a fuel efficient sto
A woman participates in the construction of a fuel efficient sto
Cistern under construction
Cistern under construction

We have completed the construction of a fourth rainwater storage cistern to benefit the Aragón Ríos family in rural Oaxaca. The entire family participated in the construction process, thereby acquiring the skills to teach their neighbors and replicate the technology in their community. Our goal is to complete the construction of a total of 10 cisterns in the community of Guelaxico, Oaxaca, within the next few months. Thank you for your donation to help us provide clean water to families!

Guadalupe working on the cover for the cistern
Guadalupe working on the cover for the cistern
The Aragon Rios family proudly standing next to the completed ci
The Aragon Rios family proudly standing next to the completed ci
Jorge and his family proudly standing by the new rainwater stora
Jorge and his family proudly standing by the new rainwater stora

Thanks to donor contributions and many volunteer hands, we have completed the construction of a second 10,000 liter rainwater storage tank, just in time for the cistern to fill up with this season’s bountiful rain. Jorge and his family now have access to clean water on a regular basis. Volunteers, community members, and particularly women, participated in the construction process and learned the “ferrocement” construction technique along the way. Thank you for contributing to bringing back water in a dry landscape!

Also in recent news, last month we celebrated the first round for distributing solar energy cookers to rural families in Oaxaca. Over 40 women and their families gathered at the Instituto Tonantzin Tlalli (ITT), our education center in Oaxaca, to participate in a training session on how to use the solar energy cookers. Each family was given one solar energy cooker to take back to their rural communities. This solar energy project is designed to reduce the devastating deforestation rates in Oaxaca, where wood provides the most common cooking fuel, and to improve family diets by also incorporating healthy cooking habits into the training sessions. Our goal is to distribute 200 solar ovens, hosting at least one solar cooking training workshop at the ITT each month. Your contributions have helped bring solar energy and healthy cooking alternatives to a landscape where sun is plentiful, but environmental degradation and malnutrition are also in abundance. Gracias!

Women learning how to set up the solar energy cooker
Women learning how to set up the solar energy cooker
Children are especially excited about the solar cooker
Children are especially excited about the solar cooker

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Project Leader

Carolina Lukac

Outreach and Workshop Coordinator
Naucalpan, Estado de Mexico Mexico

Where is this project located?

Map of Grow Clean Food & Harvest Water in Rural Oaxaca