Growers and Protectors

  • September 29, 2020

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Climate & Catastrophe

Before she built her first greenhouse and became an organic farmer, Mercedes never imagined that she would be the sole breadwinner of her family.

Mercedes (Meche) Cortés Melchor is an organic farmer from Xico Viejo, a small town nestled in the heart of the cloud forest, far above the urban center of Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico (Totonac/Nahua Territory).

Before she built her first greenhouse, Meche never imagined that she would be the sole breadwinner of her family. Due to her efforts, Meche can now rest assured that her daughters can grown up eating healthy food and that her husband does not have to travel to the city to look for work.

Besides the economic gains, Meche is very much aware that her actions have a ripple effect throughout her community and the entire watershed. Through her regenerative and sustainable practices, she is protecting the biodiversity and the water of the entire region.

Guardians of the Watershed: A Series About Environmental Solutions follows Earth Guardians from the Antigua Watershed in Veracruz, Mexico (Totonac/Nahua Territory). From the river sentinels who stopped the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht S.A., to local beekeepers, the series explores how water protectors and organic producers can join forces to create a regenerative future for the entire region.

At a time when the news is dominated by doom and gloom, it is necessary to focus on the people who are working together to combat the climate crises on a local level. Communities from across the Antigua Watershed have recognized that, whether they work the land or live in a waterless city, all their struggles are linked. It is only through their collaboration that they can protect and nurture their land and water.

The series is centered around three Earth Guardians, from different regions of the Antigua watershed. These individuals have all taken different approaches to fight the climate crises but are all very much aware that the success of their struggle depends on their cooperation.

In the previous episode, we visited the beekeeper Don Andres, watching him care for the stingless bees that are the guardians of the tropics. In the next video we will meet PUCARL Collective (Pueblos Unidos de la Cuenca de la Antigua por Rios Libres).

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Magazine — Issue 11