Over one million Mayan indigenous people live as subsistence farmers in the resource-rich state of Chiapas, where poverty rates are the highest in Mexico. Despite a strong indigenous rights movement, marginalization, malnutrition and illiteracy are still the norm. With the support of DESMI, Mayan communities are organizing their own sustainable development projects.
DESMI will provide loans and training for organic coffee, small-scale agriculture, livestock, and wood-saving stove projects. Training topics include ecological issues, gender equity, health and nutrition, and financial management.
Long term impact includes improved health, nutrition, and self-sufficiency of families and communities; rainforest protection and expanded habitat for birds and other wildlife though organic coffee-growing practices and wood-saving stoves.