Sustainable Development 2011-2022
During 2022, Alternare focused on supporting local communities to strengthen their abilities to achieve food security and improve their housing conditions. A total of 77 workshops were held in 16 communities with the participation of 617 people! Among the topics covered were the production of organic fertilizer, vegetables and bread; product labeling, packing, sale and management; waste management; building water distribution systems and water-saving cisterns. Seven of these systems were installed, improving the water supply for 391 campesinos. Ongoing diagnostic and participatory planning continued, as well as the instructor training program that has trained 18 generations of leaders to this day! All these activities will enable Alternare’s program to be replicated and go on. MBF is proud to support the development of leaders and people that care for the monarchs and are aware of the importance of conserving nature for all of us!
During 2021, a total of 79 workshops were held on different topics, in which 649 people (513 women and 136 men) from indigenous communities participated. Some of the topics taught were construction and management of cisterns, dry latrines, fuel-efficient stoves as well as backyard production (organic vegetables, animal care). People were also trained to make fruit and vegetable preserves to dispose of and/or sell surpluses. Likewise, in the preparation of medicinal plants, solid waste management, organic fertilizer, and forest tree production.
Among the results of some of these workshops were the construction of 10 cisterns to capture rainwater, 16 dry latrines and three fuel-efficient stoves. MBF and Alternare continue benefiting local communities while promoting forest conservation and reforestation in the overwintering habitat for the monarchs.
Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, Alternare was able to conduct 41 conservation workshops during 2020! Topics included the production of organic fertilizer, vegetables, and forest trees, as well as solid waste management and the construction of fuel-efficient stoves, cisterns, and dry latrines. A total of 277 women and 36 men participated building 11 rainwater capturing cisterns, 12 fuel-efficient stoves and five latrines in 11 ejidos and six indigenous communities.
Additionally, 14 environmental education sessions about the importance of the monarch butterfly, taking care of the forest, soil, and water, were held in schools that Alternare works with before they closed due to the pandemic.
Alternare Workshops (2019-2020)
At the end of 2019 and early 2020, 37 men and 197 women from the MBBR’s indigenous communities participated in 29 workshops on several diverse topics such as: 1) Managing Solid waste properly, 2) Community savings & loans; 3) Care & management of backyard animals; 4) Fuel-efficient stove construction; 5) Organic vegetable production; 6) Limestone & soil floor construction. These workshops led to the construction of four stoves and two limestone floors.
Additionally, 244 girls and 204 boys in 18 schools participated in work sessions about the importance of water, soil, and the forest. Furthermore, five community regulations about water usage were drafted.
Alternare continues to do great work and MBF is proud to support it with your generous donations!
Schoolchildren working on their tree nursery at Donaciano Ojeda Indigenous Community
Alternare Workshops and Sustainable Development Projects
As they do every year, Alternare and the local communities started the year with meetings, workshops, and projects. Evaluation meetings were held to assess their 2018 activities and plan ahead for 2019. Encouraged by the results obtained during the past year, men and women heartily committed to continue working with Alternare. A total of 15 workshops on the production of organic vegetables, organic fertilizer, fruit, and forest trees were held, as well as on community savings and loans, construction of fuel-efficient stoves, and cisterns to capture rain-water. As a result, 20 fuel-efficient stoves and one cistern were built. Thirty school and four community tree nurseries in which 20,152 pines, oaks, alders, and ashes are growing continue being maintained. MBF applauds Alternare and the hard-working men and women who participate in all these activities!
Alternare Celebrates 20 Years of Promoting Conservation
Alternare recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with two exciting events ! On January 27, 2018 in the training and demo center in Michoacán, held ‘community encounter’ with the indigenous communities and ejidos who live in and close to the monarch overwintering sites. During this event, attendees learned about the different programs that Alternare carries out in the MBBR. The event was an outstanding success with more than 400 people attending from the various communities .
Alterare’s star team: Gabriel, Elia, Anita, and Lupita
Alternare Workshops and Sustainable Development Projects 2018
Thanks to support from MBF during 2018, Alternare trained 105 people from the MBBR. Nineteen community cisterns were constructed for 93 families and another one was built for a school where 53 students will have access to rain water. Additionally, 2,537 people cultivated and nurtured 33,606 trees in 33 community and school nurseries.
To promote food security and improve living conditions, 545 people were trained to use agrological and ecological techniques in 67 workshops. These techniques include fuel-efficient stoves, organic vegetable production, dry latrines, and medicinal plants production.
A pilot project is currently underway to produce organic blackberries and blueberries! In partnership with other non-profit social enterprises, Alternare has set up greenhouses at their Training Center with the goal of eventually selling the produce locally and internationally. This will provide campesinos with the opportunity to become entrepreneurs and receive an income!
Alternare Workshops 2017
Alternare and their team started 2017 facilitating thirty-nine workshops on diverse topics ranging from sustainable agricultural techniques such as organic farming, to recycling water and managing it sustainably. The workshops were held in ejidos and indigenous communities that own land in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. A total of 339 women and 140 men participated building five family fuel-efficient stoves, seven dry latrines, two community cisterns, two family cisterns, and two recycling bins for schools.
Since 68% of the Río San Juan Zitácuaro watershed spreads out over the Reserve, Alternare is working to improve water management and distribution among the communities. Currently, only 20% of the population has water in their household, the rest resort to placing hoses to extract water from the watershed. To solve this issue, Alternare has implemented five rural water distribution systems among four communities through the construction of cisterns, drafting community agreements and regulations for water use. As a campesino told us, “We used to place pipes to get water and used to argue over who was getting more water than the others but now with the agreements in place everything is more equal and fair.”
Alternare Workshops 2016
Training and community participation are at Alternare’s core and from June to October, a total of 17 workshops resulted in 74 fuel-efficient stoves, 2 community nurseries, 28 cisterns, and 4 dry latrines. This was an amazing accomplishment that empowered 184 women and 202 men from the indigenous communities of Crescencio Morales, Francisco Serrato, Carpinteros, Curungueo, Nicolas Romero and Manzanillo. Reforestation and tree -planting techniques workshops were included and enabled communities to participate in our reforestation efforts. It is encouraging to witness the increasing number of participants. Just like the trees our collective efforts are also growing!
Alternare Workshops 2015
Alternare wrapped up 2015 and started 2016 with loads of workshops and activities! Working with communities in the municipalities of Aporo, Angangueo, Irimbo, Ocampo, Jungapeo and Zitácuaro, they held 37 workshops with the participation of 261 women and 342 men. Workshop topics included forest and fruit tree planting and maintenance, organic fertilizer and vegetable production, soil conservation, computer software and entrepreneurship. These workshops resulted in the construction of six cisterns (four in the communities, two in schools), nine dry latrines (five in schools, four for families) as well as the establishment of two school tree nurseries. Cisterns enable communities to capture rain water for agricultural and personal use providing drinking water once it is boiled. In the words of Doña Leticia Carmona, from the San Francisco Serrato community, “Water used to be scarce and now we store it in the cistern and use it to irrigate the vegetables in our organic garden! It is wonderful, and we are very grateful!”
Alternare Workshops 2014
Alternare continues offering workshops to restore and conserve the forests and improve the standard of living of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve’s (MBBR) inhabitants. To reduce pressure from the forest and the natural resources of the area, Alternare promotes creating goods using alternative ecological techniques or what is known as ‘ecotecnias’ in Spanish. They focus is on reducing the use of water and wood resources; hence their training workshops emphasize these topics.
Alternare Workshops 2013
With financial support from MBF, HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) and other sources, Alternare held 50 workshops in 34 different localities in Michoacán and one in the State of the México during the first semester of 2013. A total of 833 women and 480 men were taught to produce organic fertilizer, organic vegetables, forest and fruit trees, and adobe. They also built dry latrines, cisterns, and fuel-efficient stoves. Other workshop topics included solid waste management, sustainable agriculture, water and soil conservation, and participatory community diagnostics, evaluation and planning. Their results were impressive; 15 cisterns, 61 fuel-efficient stoves, 14 dry latrines were completed along with 76 family vegetable gardens and one school tree nursery where 22,696 fruit and forest trees were retained for future reforestation.
Alternare Workshops 2012
Thanks to the generous donations we received from all our donors through GlobalGiving and the prize we received from Healthy Planet, MBF was able to support Altenare’s activities for 2012 with a grant of $12,500.
Among the activities carried out by Alternare were 28 workshops held in April and May to teach communities how to build adobe, fuel-efficient stoves, and cisterns, as well as techniques to produce organic fertilizer and forest trees. Participants enthusiastically embraced all the techniques learned and built a cistern for one community and another one for a school. The most exciting part was that after building 31 fuel-efficient stoves with funding provided by Alternare, more stoves were needed, and several communities raised funds on their own from the local and federal government to build 60 additional ones! More efficient stoves will decrease the need to use as many trees from the monarch wintering area, and provide more healthy cooking environments for local communities.
From June to August, Alternare joined us in our reforestation efforts and held 6 workshops on how to build fuel-efficient stoves and 2 on cisterns. This led to the construction of 62 stoves.
Alternare Workshops 2011
During 2011 MBF continued supporting Alternare’s ongoing activities engaging kids, teenagers, adults, men and women from local communities in sustainable activities. With support from MBF and other organizations Alternare was able to conduct eight workshops on forest tree production techniques and six on ways to improve tree planting from June to October. A total of 70 individuals (56 women, 14 men) participated in the former and 189 (70 women and 119 men) in the latter.