Thermal Zones, Climate and Eco-systems

Water from the many rivers such as the Atoyac, Papaloapan, Tehuantepec, Coatzacoalcos, Astata, and Copalita support growing maize (corn) and coffee.

What challenges do people face living in this environment?:

Like many parts of the world, economic development in Oaxaca brings important resources to the community such as access to medical care, education and technology. There are also significant problems that arise, however, when this beautiful landscape is developed irresponsibly, such as degraded eco-systems, increased waste and trash with no proper disposal, polluted waterways and a loss of cultural traditions. One of the biggest challenges Oaxaqueños face is the introduction of genetically modified corn (GMO) to the farm community. Increased pressure from the government to grow GMO corn instead of the many varieties of land race corn (maize that has been grown for generations in these communities) could really change the landscape and way of life for Oaxacan communities. GMO corn can be trademarked by corporations which means that corporations can own an important food resource. Maize or the corn traditionally grown by communities cannot be owned by any one person or business. This food resource is something that has evolved over many centuries and is shared within the community.

How have people been adapting to this environment?:

Oaxaqueños are taking action to protect the natural beauty, food and agricultural heritage as well as the secluded nature of many of their communities. A great example is the seven villages which call themselves the Pueblos Mancomunados.