Growers and Protectors
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 doesn’t 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
“Growers and Protectors” is part of “Guardians of the Watershed: A series About Environmental Solutions,” which follows follows Earth Guardians from the Antigua Watershed in Veracruz Mexico. From the River Sentinels who stopped the Brazian corporation Odebrech, to native stingless beekeepers, the series explores how water protectors and organic producers can join forces to create a regenerative future for the entire region. At 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 that, whether they work the land or are caught 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).
This video was published in the ROAR MAGAZINE.
A Stingless Collaboration
Don Andrés Torres Hernández is a beekeeper and healer from Coatepec (Totonac/Nahua Territory), the coffee growing capital of Veracruz. The buzzing of bees runs in his blood; beekeeping has been part of his family for generations.
Don Andrés initially started caring for the European honeybee, but he has since become one of the authorities on rescuing and caring for native stingless bees. Stingless bees are the heart of tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world. Don Andrés has mastered the care of numerous species endemic to the area.
It is his life work to teach others how to raise native stingless bees, and thus protect the endangered pollinators that are keeping the tropics alive.
Guardians of the Watershed
This video is part of the Guardians of the Watershed: A Series About Environmental Solutions, which is being published on the ROAR Magazine. The series 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.
El Manantial de las flores
El Manantial de las Flores
"El Manantial de las Flores" is a family collective based on the agriecological farm "Agua Escondida" based in Coatepec, Veracruz, MX. Gapo (Maria de la Luz Aguirre Perez Oronoz) is the founder of the farm and her son in low, Leonel Morales, takes us around the property to show us the work that has been done over course of forty years, to promote regenerative agricultural practices and preserve the environment and its pollinators. From food drying practices to raising Melipona stingless bees, the "Manantial de las Flores" is one of the pioneer farms in Veracruz, Mexico. It is striving to promote a different kind of agriculture, which lives in harmony with the environment and preserves natives species and habitats.
Solar Food Dehydrators
One of the ways in which the "Agua Escondida" Agriecological Farm has revolutionized its food production is by introducing solar food dehydrators. According to Leonel Morales, solar food dehydrators are fundamental tools in sustainable and regenerative agriculture. They allow long term food preservation, which helps prevent food waste and reduces transportation costs.
In the following video, Leonel Morales explains why his farm uses solar food dehydrators and how they can reshape agriculture around the world.