Mexico has roots that extend into some of the most famous civilizations known to man, the Aztecs and the Mayans. Mexico was conquered and colonized by Spain in the early 16th century. Administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain for three centuries, it achieved its independence early in the 19th century.
Today, Mexico is still a major nation of influence in the Americas and the world. Mexico has the second largest gross domestic product in Latin America and is the 13th largest economy in the world. Nevertheless, wealth is unevenly distributed and there is a very large income gap between the poor and wealthy. Ten percent of the wealthiest population earns 40 percent of the country’s resources while the poorest 10 percent of the population earns 1.1 percent of the resources. Additionally, half of the population lives under the poverty line, with one-fifth of the population living in extreme poverty (under two dollars a day).
Mexico is also a very diverse nation. It contains the second-largest population of indigenous people in Latin America. It is second only to Peru, home of the ancient Inca civilization. Geographically, Mexico’s diversity is outstanding. Ten percent of all species on Earth are in Mexico. Conservative estimates indicate that more than 200,000 different species are native to the country. Worldwide, only India and China have greater vegetation diversity.
Heifer's Work in Mexico
In 1955, Paul Stone began Heifer’s work in Mexico, distributing a large variety of domestic animals for genetic improvement. Beginning in 1960, missionary John Hollingsworth began a farm in Cortazar, Guanajuato, raising livestock and receiving animals from the United States (Arizona and Arkansas). Visits to that farm also provided a learning module on backyard vegetable gardening and animal management. These animals arrived by airfreight every other month.
In 1992, an office was established in the city of Puebla. Currently, Heifer Mexico’s office is located in the southern part of the country, in Oaxaca. Heifer works in the states of Puebla, Veracruz, Chiapas, Yucatan and Oaxaca.
To date, Heifer Mexico has helped rural families in 23 states with more than 3,000 farm animals, mainly pigs, sheep and dairy cattle.
Key Services Heifer Provides:
Sustainable agricultural production: Local food and native corn production, agroecology training, apiculture, worm composting and agricultural diversification
Post-harvest management and processing: Food production, jam and marmalade production
Market development: Consolidating and strengthening networking and access to institutional markets
Technology: Eco-farming systems education adn ethno-veterinarian techniques
Nutrition: Human nutrition and amaranth production
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Dear Heifer, You may not have time to read the following and that's okay because mostly I have to write it for myself. Several days ago when I answered the phone, a gentle male voice identified himself as someone from Heifer International and informed me of the thousands of Heifer families (and others) who had nothing as a result of the Nepal earthquake. He asked me if I could send $600 now to help out. How I wished I could have done that. I explained that the only way I was able to send checks of several hundred dollars in the past was that my family was willing to give up their Christmas gifts so that I could send what they would have cost to Heifer. The caller then asked for something smaller and I had to tell him that I give away more than 10% of my income to four places and must stay within that guideline because there are so many worthy causes asking for help. He graciously thanked me for what I had done in the past and we both hung up. I could not forget the thought of those people in such hopeless conditions and for several days, the image of what life must be like for them stayed with me until I thought of a way to send just a very small check. If I withheld my weekly contribution to my church for just two weeks, expecting that we could delay the current repair or updating or mission project, I could send that to Heifer. So I want to thank your caller and the many like him who spend themselves asking people like me for help. Although I said "no" to his plea, it was he who planted the seed which took a few days to grow. Thank you to all who do so much at a sacrifice to themselves to help those in need. Sincerely, Gwenneth H.
Two teams of cyclists are traversing two different continents all for the same cause: ending hunger and poverty. Click the title of this story to read more...
Fundraising during the Month of Friendship and Love has been an annual tradition for the 4th grade students at Freeman School in Aurora, IL. Heifer International's Director of Philanthropy, Vicki Clark, visited Freeman School before this year's fundraiser launched to talk about Heifer's mission. Click the title of this story to read more...
Millburn Middle School from New Jersey through the PLOP Global Peer Leader Outreach Program organized an urgent fundraiser to respond to the needs of the Nepalese families who recently suffered two major earthquakes. Knowing the impact of their efforts and contributions, the students and staff wanted to become part of the solution to the countless problems derived from this natural disaster and raised a total of $1,298.72. The contribution was sent to the Heifer International headquarters who directed the money to Heifer International's Disaster Rehabilitation Fund for Nepal. The MMS/PLOP Global and their advisor, María Deraville, hope their contributions will alleviate to some degree the problems of the Nepalese families. Update: María notified Heifer International that their total actually amounted to $1,358.72!
First Presbyterian is raising funds for the Heifer Nepal project participants affected by the recent earthquakes. We hope these eye-catching posters help them reach their goal! First Presbyterian can be reached at www.fpceh.org.
In celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year we chose to support Heifer International for our inaugural monthly dinner event at The Rose Room in Venice, CA, just steps away from the beach. While we get to enjoy the privilege of having such a dinner, we wanted to recognize the country of Mexico and also give back to those that do not have swift or easy access to food/water/opportunities.
Regine Ndjiwo, 55, and Justine Passo, 50, are members of Heifer projects in the western region of Cameroon, a little over nine miles from Heifer’s office in Bamenda. They are part of GIC APEB (Groupe d’Initiative Commune d’Apiculture et Eleveurs de Bamepah) created in Bamepah Village.
Site Bushal is telling a group of visitors how she has benefited from a community transformation that resulted in a group spirit of Sharing and Caring.
I see children everywhere at Passing on the Gift® events, door-to-door visits, hanging around their mothers and marching in rallies alongside women. These children are growing up around strong, independent women who have a voice and opinions to bring change in their community.
Our group of Heifer Nepal and Heifer International headquarters staff was climbing because “they were there,” they being the women and men in need who live at the top and will soon begin training for Heifer’s goat value-chain project.
Their success is an inspiration not just to me, but to groups like them all over the world who see that whatever they can imagine they can make real with their own hands.
I received two goats from Heifer International and applied the knowledge I acquired during Improved Animal Management training while raising them. After receiving the animals I have passed on two goats. My small effort has helped my family have a better life. I hope other women will be able to achieve bigger success by working harder.
Livestock are at the very core of much of how Heifer works with families.
A BBC Nepal radio broadcast discusses forage production by Heifer International Nepal project members.
At Heifer International we believe there is no development strategy more beneficial to society than the one that involves women as central players, and at the same time engages men to encourage a more accepting view of women’s participation.
A sweet moment is shared between this father and daughter, members of Heifer’s Amarantando: Productive and Nutritional Diversification in Oaxaca project in southwestern Mexico.
Farmers in Mexico are trying out an unusual crop, with Heifer International’s help.