Proyectos Para un Futuro Mejor
Mission with a Long-Term Vision: Our mission is to provide for agricultural and other rural projects in order to develop a more sustainable economy for those currently living in poverty, with the hope that young people growing up in rural areas can maintain strong communities through better economic opportunity
Number of indigenous languages
Population living in extreme poverty
There are many people in the world that are deserving of assistance and support. The state of Oaxaca has a rich, diverse cultural heritage and a proud tradition of toughness and determination among its people. The farmers of Oaxaca live simple lives with simple hopes: to be able to work, support their families and build a future for their children. From Hans’ first visit to the area in 1993 it was an easy choice for the Vatheuer family to give their time and energy to the people of Oaxaca.
Formula for Success
VFF believes in supporting projects like Proyectos with steady and dependable aid that is based on mutual understanding and respect. Too many development projects come and go with limited resources and unrealistic timelines. Continuity is the cornerstone of VFF’s commitment to its partners in developing areas. VFF focuses on delivering long-term, sustainable results by working closely with the people and responding to their ideas and needs. Direct and ongoing collaboration with program participants is key to delivering the help that is actually needed.
In the last 20 years, the city of Oaxaca has grown tremendously in population and is rapidly modernizing. While apples and peaches have traditionally existed in the local markets and grocery outlets, they have been expensive and not of the highest quality, due to their importation from other areas. Growing these fruits locally can provide all consumer outlets better quality, lower prices, and the knowledge that local communities are benefitting from their sales. Also, these fruits, which traditionally are grown in colder, more temperate regions of the world, have the added marketability of ripening at different times of the year than their imported equivalents.
Frutos de la Mixteca works closely with Proyectos to coordinate programs that increase the quality and quantity of fruit from the producers. The company also works actively in Oaxaca and throughout Mexico to increase the market for locally-produced, high-quality, healthy fruit products. Frutos de la Mixteca is registered as a for-profit entity known as a Social Rural Society [Sociedad de Producción Rural] that is specifically designed to help develop rural activities in Mexico. The goal for all Proyectos participants is to find the path to sustainable economic activity that best suits them, their families and communities. To this end, Frutos provides the business infrastructure to process their products into higher-level consumables, increase market share and develop an awareness of the rich local culinary and cultural diversity to be found in Oaxacan agricultural production.
The apple production market in Mexico is developing and producing products at an increasing rate, with variable quality and quantity. Stemilt Growers offered an opportunity for a small group of Proyectos participants to travel to Washington to temporarily work and learn modern apple farming techniques in their central Washington orchards. Stemilt is a family-owned fruit company that’s been in business since 1964. The Mathison family owns and operates Stemilt Growers, and proudly grows, packs, and ships the best apples, pears, cherries, and summer fruits. They are one of the leading apple farming companies both in Washington State and the United States.
We have partnered with a Oaxaca-based microfinance organization that administers microloans, business and financial education through socially responsible tourism. En Via began in 2008 with the idea that tourism and philanthropy could work together to improve people’s lives. They host tourists on philanthropic visits to Oaxaca where they interact with En Via projects and participants who are funded by their visits.
Proyectos Para un Futuro Mejor is building the skills of the future generation of participants by awarding scholarships for study in universities in the state of Oaxaca. The goal of these scholarship awards is to encourage young men and women from the rural communities to obtain a degree in agriculture or some other field directly related to the prosperity of the communities. Such a collegiate degree will benefit the individual, their community, Proyectos, and will serve as a connection between isolated, underserved communities and vital resources and knowledge regionally and globally.
In the state of Oaxaca, especially in the remote mountain villages, healthcare services are scarce and under sourced. The people of the mountains complained about long distances, sporadic coverage, medical expenses and lack of sustained follow-up in government programs. In 2007, VFF and Proyectos worked with mountain communities through two “Mountain Health Summits” to review medical concerns, the availability and quality of healthcare services and to test a pilot program aimed at filling the gaps that were identified.