Yale Club of Mexico
Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 10:00am
Meet at Hotel Zenith
1 Poniente, Calle 1 Poniente #113Centro de la Ciudad, CP: 75700 Tehuacán, Pue
Transportation: Depending on the amount of persons that need transportation from Mexico City, we can coordinate either carpooling or a special bus to get people from Mexico City to Tehuacán. The time and place for this transportation is flexible and could be on Friday night, depending on needs.
Parking: There will be sufficient free parking at Hotel Zenith.
The Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement-International (OISCA) is a Japanese NGO. Its chapter in México is focused on developing a holistic approach to environmental protection with the community in the Colonia San Martín, located in the heart of the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve. This reserve is around 200-250km from Mexico City by car. This reserve is very relevant to Mexico and the world due to its biodiversity wealth and its socioeconomic challenges. The communities there have been marginalized for many decades and most people there live from subsistence agriculture and grazing. This is a region where people live under the poverty line, harsh climate, and an environmental urgency to protect its biodiversity. OISCA’s approach with this community is grounded on the NGO’s long-term objective of nurturing gratitude to the environment by working with local children (and families) and identifying and protecting seeds from the regional botanical endangered species. The children first create “Seed Banks,” then they nurture the seedling for a period before they plant them in protected areas called “Children Forests.” Most of these arid and semi-arid endangered species grow to hundreds of years, some are millennial. Ever since the Spanish Colonization, these endangered species have lost whole generational populations due to uncontrolled overgrazing and changes in the use of soil. OISCA also works with the local school and families. By teaching them how to construct and take care of family horticultural gardens that employ Simplified Hydroponics, OISCA manages to both complement their nutritional needs and reduce stress on local soil, water, and vegetation. So far, OISCA helps maintain 50 active and healthy family gardens, which is a very high rate of survival and penetration for programs like this.
OISCA’s work could only be accomplished with constant reassurance that people from the cities care for these communities by visiting them often and engaging them positively by helping them mend their gardens and teaching them about the value of the biodiversity in their region. OISCA has partnered with other local NGOs in the region and has received funds and support from the Walmart Foundation in order to provide materials and nutrients for the family gardens.
The type of work we can do during the Yale Day of Service (YDS) may vary according to specific needs at the time of the service and how many hands show up through YDS. The people of this community live by the days or weeks. It will certainly involve working with our hands and under the sun. The big upside is that the vistas are spectacular and the food is also very tasty.
If one is interested, the YDS could be complemented with overnight camping at the Biosphere Reserve. That would cap the experience very nicely.
Special Skills: We will benefit from the knowledge in biodiversity, environmental protection, community development, and social business.
Restrictions: Just so you know, we might be under the sun and attack from mosquitoes. We will walk.
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Fernando Herrero Sin ‘14 MBA, ‘14 MEM
+52 1 55 6501 5387