MIAF Food Security Intervention
In the Mixteca Alta region of Oaxaca, Mexico, the deterioration of natural resources, especially the soil, has decreased food production in the traditional agricultural system, the “milpa” system, leaving insufficient food to feed the community. Exacerbated by multiple environmental and economic pressures imposed on Mixteca Alta, this food shortage has caused youth emigration thus depleting the area of its source of labor. In 2016, the Spanish and Latin American Student Society of McGill University (SLASA) partnered up with the Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) to support two communities in Oaxaca in attaining the productive and training assets they need and want to improve their conditions.
Our initial prototype was to conduct a weekly meetup with a mixtec agricultural consultant for one year. However after the mid-year M&E, we realized that many of the farmers needed extra support to purchase the productive assets as well. In the final m&e, farmers told us that doing the method once was not enough and that as weather conditions change year to year, a second year of training would be necessary. The second year was monthly meetings. It was very successful and adding a year was just what they needed.
I also wrote the funding application of our team of eight students to receive the McBurney Latin American Fellowship. The eight of us were awarded the fellowship and a together raised a total of $25,000.
The year after I worked on the application to receive $36,000 and also did monitoring and evaluation of the food security intervention that would thereafter be analyzed by a course I created at McGill.