Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca

by Instituto de la Naturaleza y la Sociedad de Oaxaca, A.C.
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Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
Regenerate the social & natural fabric in Oaxaca
El Pedregal, an oasis of regeneration
El Pedregal, an oasis of regeneration

With the warmth and rains of the summer comes a special period in the activities of our project; not only is the season for harvesting the milpa and other crops in the permaculture center, it is the time for enhancement of slow water techniques. The first way to stop water, of great importance, is revegetation, which is much more than simply planting trees. Reforestation is, in fact, a basic activity, but it is also necessary to take care of trees and other planted plants (preferably of different native species), enrich the soil, encourage growth of natural vegetation, avoid and control fires and pests, and promote appropriate productive activities. While avoiding the direct hit of the rain on the bare soils, with those same actions we are driving water and storing it in ways that are not so evident: part of the water infiltrates the soil and is stored in the water table and in the humidity from the soil itself. Another portion becomes an integral part of the plants and living beings of the place, including us. Water in soil and plants is called green water.

Driving surface water is another great chapter of good practices of slow water that we stress in this season. Of course water conduction is the core of human activities as basic as agricultural irrigation and energy production. With heavy rains, we need to drive water so it does not pass through places where it causes problems. We also conduct it to make it reach sites where it is good for us and other living beings.

At the end of the day, REGENERATION is the central idea of goodpractices of slow water  and in the photographs attached, you can check some examples of what weñve been doing, with the unvaluable support of many people. Like you. One of the photos shows our demonstration center as a green rounded area surrounded by deforested spaces. That is regeneration.

Improving the soils... also regeneration
Improving the soils... also regeneration
Public reforestation in El Creston State Park
Public reforestation in El Creston State Park
students visiting La Mesita demonstration center
students visiting La Mesita demonstration center
Childrens Soils Workshop al El Pedregal
Childrens Soils Workshop al El Pedregal

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This year´s rainy season in Oaxaca should have started by mid-May. Temperatures had been unusually hot so first rains were eagerly awaited. And rains came with Agatha´s hurricane. The coast was severely hit and some 10 people were killed. In fact, what we are experiencing is the straight outcome of global warming: higher temperatures mean more energy fueling the atmosphere´s climate machine, thus giving space for more extreme conditions, higher predictability and faster water, among other things.

This is why we have named our main project Slow Water: reweaving natural & social fabric. This is why wea are part of GG´s Climate Action Cohort, together with initiatives from Guatemala, Peru, Kenya and Malaisya. The whole issue, from the perspective of this select group, is local actions led by communities.

and local actions are what we have been involved with during these last four months: relaunching the activities in our demonstration centers, bird watching in different locations of the watershed, family workshops to start home orchards, preparing the reforestation of the wet season. We share some photos.

And of course, we thank you all for eing part of this thrilling effort.

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After 18 months, on past November 10th we were able to formally reopen El Pedregal Regeneration & Permaculture Demostration Center. Local authorities had required us to close the place for public activities due to restrictions of the Covid pandemic. 

For weeks, we had been working diligently to repair and renovate the Center, and for the big day we had invited friends, organic producers, community leaders, government authorities. We were both anxious and worried: would people come? Could we handle the new preventive health measures? 

The result exceeded all our expectations, more than a hundred people arrived, with great enthusiasm and disposition. The tour of the facilities, the meeting and the food that we had prepared became a kind of common celebration.

We realized that people are eager to meet again, to resume joint work and to do something that makes sense to recover our land, to heal it.

As someone said in the assembly: "to heal nature is to heal ourselves".Perhaps the pandemic, after all, will leave us some benefit... 

We were so grateful, and this includes your contribution to make these things happen! 

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Pedro, JJ & Laura at Sussex (Lush-Spring Prize)
Pedro, JJ & Laura at Sussex (Lush-Spring Prize)

I recently met don Pedro, our community partner of the Permaculture Demonstration Center at San Andrés Huayapam. He was heading home after the milpa harvest

 –Has been a good year, like the old times–– he told me. He should know, has worked his land most of his long life. He recently celebrated his 84th birthday with his huge family, a kind of highly respected  godfather in his community.

As part of our project, don Pedro is nowadays one of the biggest organic tomato producers in the central Valleys of Oaxaca. He once told me that he became organic many years ago, because they were so poor that they could not afford synthetic fertilizers.

–I also noticed that plants became lazy with chemicals– he explains. Don Pedro hardly finished elementary school, but has filled every important position in his town, including Major (Presidente Municipal), and I have always considered him my teacher in agriculture and ecology.

We often discuss climate change issues, and he is always eager lo learn. I wanted him to know about the good news: Our project had been selected for the 2021-22 cohort in the GG´ Climate Action Fund. As an old zapotec indian, don Pedro is not very expressive, but I could tell from the spark in his eyes that the news excited him.  Eager to know more, he listened very attentively that there is a group of five initiatives that include coral reef protection in Malaysia, community partnerships in central America´s tropical forests, creating forests for food in Kenya, and protecting indigenous knowledge in Peru.

While talking to don Pedro, I became aware of something I expressed later in one of our cohort meetings: I do not know what I like the most about this climate action group: what we have in common or what makes us different. I also came out with a phrase I would love to share with you and the rest of our planet:

In face of global warming

Future will be green and spiritual,

founded on the underdogs and the native peoples,

guided by women.

Or it will not be

 

And of course, I would like to thank you all for being part of this effort!

Promoting El Pedregal Demonstration Center
Promoting El Pedregal Demonstration Center
Chidrens program at El Pedregal
Chidrens program at El Pedregal
Workshop on plant nursing at La Mesita
Workshop on plant nursing at La Mesita
Community members tour al El Pedregal
Community members tour al El Pedregal

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building fire-prevention tracks at El Fortin
building fire-prevention tracks at El Fortin

Today, July 22th, is the Earth Day all around the planet. We celebrated it with an early morning reforestation at El Crestón ecological park, nearby Oaxaca city. It was the first public action since the pandemic´s confinement.

This is also a good day to announce great news: First, we have reached our project´s original funding goal, set almost two years ago. We would like to thank all of our donors and supporters for being part of this initiative. It has been an honor to be partners in this.

We have thoroughly reviewed the project, raised our goals and adjusted strategies, and thus found reasonable to double our original funding goal. Particularly, we have put even more stress in Climate Action. We are confident that friends and supporters will continue to go along with us in this exciting new phase!

Second announcement is that we are soon reopening El Pedregal Demonstration Center to all public activities, including the children´s program, guided tours, workshops and other training activities. It has been hard work, but with the help of friends, volunteers and rain (finally, thank gods) we are about to be ready. Together with this, the mettings of the Oaxacan Water Forum will also start soon.

And summer is the season for plowing and sowing as well as reforesting. We are working in an almost day-to-day basis, slowly retaking many of our activities and plans affected by the pandemic. As you can see, we have learned to be flexible. Not a bad outcome from the crisis!

Selecting corn seeds for sowing
Selecting corn seeds for sowing
Sowing at El Pedregal
Sowing at El Pedregal
Pilot public visit to the Demonstration Center
Pilot public visit to the Demonstration Center
Rain harvesting bowl at El Pedregal
Rain harvesting bowl at El Pedregal

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Organization Information

Instituto de la Naturaleza y la Sociedad de Oaxaca, A.C.

Location: Oaxaca - Mexico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @insoaxaca
Project Leader:
Juan Consejo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca Mexico
$14,479 raised of $24,000 goal
 
154 donations
$9,521 to go
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