Increased Food Security in Del Maguey Producing Villages

Don Espiridion Morales Luis

Del Maguey has taken the lead with Heifer Project International and The Pernod Ricard Foundation to extend a program named Replicando Oportunidades (Replicating Opportunities) in Del Maguey producing villages. The Replicating Opportunities project seeks “the economic and social improvement of the mezcal producing families of Oaxaca, from production, income diversification and the sustainable use of the maguey within the value chain.” The program, which began in 2016, has produced positive outcomes in the village of Sta. Ana del Rio, Oaxaca, including, but not limited to, agroecological management, food security and nutrition.

Del Maguey invited Heifer International to replicate one specific program campaign focused on food security in the villages of Santo Domingo Albarradas and Sta. Maria Albarradas. Del Maguey and Heifer International presented the program to the local municipalities and received approval to move ahead with a program that brought free range chickens, their associated infrastructure and requisite training model to over twenty families in the two small villages.

Chickens and children in Sto. Domingo Albarradas

Egg Laying Hens and Infrastructure

Over the course of three months, the families received training from Heifer’s Guilibaldo Garcia in the basic handling of posture birds. The training included oversight of the design and construction of the chicken coop (minimum space 4 chickens/ m2), the equipment necessary for the chicken coop; drinking fountains, feeders, nests, hangers, windbreak curtains, and training in what kind of feed to use and how the savings would benefit each family over the egg laying span of the chickens (about 1.5 years).

Each family received twelve chickens and within three months every chicken began laying multiple eggs per day. The families were thrilled.

Chicken exchange in Sto. Domingo Albarradas

Pay it Forward/Pase en Cadena

A strong precept of Heifer’s principles that align with Del Maguey’s values is the idea that families who benefit from these programs are expected to pay it forward to other families.

In the case of the chickens, families came from different villages who have participated in the Replicating Opportunities Program; Sta. Ana del Rio, San Lorenzo Albarradas and Union Zapata.

Egg Laying Hens Delivered in Sta. Maria Albarradas

When there are other families who have been identified within this program who need chickens to start their own coop, the families who received the chickens pictured will also pay it forward, in different Oaxacan villages.

We are happy to report that this particular campaign has been a success!