Tree Planting in Oaxaca: The Difference Four Years Makes

Written by Doug Satre on July 30, 2013 in General

Doug, Plant With Purpose’s development director, traveled to Mexico last week with a group from Solana Beach Presbyterian Church. Below are some reflections on tree planting in Oaxaca and the changes that are taking place. This story was originally posted on Doug’s blog

Oaxaca is the most deforested state in Mexico and the Mixteca Alta region- where Plant With Purpose works-is the most deforested part of Oaxaca. The good news is that with the participation of the local community, things can really turn around. Take a look at these pictures of pine tree seedlings being planted and of those that were planted for years ago.


Our intrepid visiting tree planting team about to get to work.


A Oaxacan Pine in it’s new home

When we finished planting these trees, a leader of the local community of La Union, Don Nivel, wanted to show us a hillside was planted four years ago. We were pretty amazed by what we saw.


A forest of 1,500 4-year-old Oaxacan Pines with Doug, Don, and Eduardo. Don and Eduardo lead Plant With Purpose’s reforestation work in Oaxaca.

Don Nivel led the effort to plant 1,500 trees four years ago and was very proud to show them to us. As we walked through the trees, we could see how the pine needles are building up on the ground. Bird nests in the branches are signs that wildlife is returning.


Don Nivel pointing out a bird nest

As we thought about the barren hillside where we had planted in the morning, this forest gave us a living example of what the future could look like in Oaxaca. The trees will also make a tremendous impact on humans as they control erosion which will increase crop yields and reduce water-borne illness by naturally filtering the water as it soaks into the ground.

What a difference four years can make!


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