Community food programs

Food Programs

Improving Nutrition, With Emergency Supplies and Long-Term Land Improvement

Drought has afflicted the Sierra Tarahumara for the past several years, most notably in the past two years. The Tarahumara people rely almost exclusively on their crops for food. The lack of timely rain and snow has destroyed the corn, beans, squash, and potato crops and caused great hunger. In our hospital, malnutrition is the main reason both kids and adults seek treatment. Thanks to our supporters who provide the resources, we have been able to provide a large amount of food to Tarahumara communities. These last 5 years, we have provided on average over 100 tons of corn, 45 tons of beans, and 220 tons of potatoes.

A poor corn crop: the cobs are small and shriveled

In exchange, the Tarahumara people are doing work to benefit their communities. This year, this work has been focused on improving fields and building retaining walls to slow erosion. We hope that this will help the Tarahumara with future crops, thereby reducing the need to seek food aid from groups like us.

 A retaining wall being built in Tosanachi. The erosion behind the wall is quite typical.


We are proud to demonstrate some of the results of this work. For those whose contributions help make this program possible, we want you to see a few of the long-term improvements that accompany the food aid.


A retaining wall in Recomachi. During the rainy season, the water will be much higher. 


 In one community, Rikinapuchi, water access was so bad that we supported work to widen the trail to allow wheelbarrows and mules to be used to carry water.



Food for work exchange program (2010 report)

Last year we distributed 175,000 pounds of corn, 12,000 pounds of beans and 375,000 pounds of potatoes among almost 4,000 families (it means about 18,000 people); besides that, we exchanged 1,600 blankets for work too. This year we’ve already distributed 180,000 pounds of corn and 33,000 pounds of beans. In exchange for all that, the Raramuri built soil retaining walls in more than 30 communities, fixed some dirt roads and refurbished two little chapels.