2016 Year in Review

Puente's grassroots, social entrepreneurial model addresses both the malnutrition and obesity problems of Mexico, and aims to provide significant economic benefits to indigenous people in one of the poorest areas of the country. This year, we continued to create opportunities for more than 1,200 low-income families in 30 Oaxacan communities by increasing access to amaranth, a nutritious super food native to Mexico. Our programs made great strides.

  • Healthy Families Program: 535 marginalized women improved their nutrition and health through summer nutrition camps, healthy cooking workshops, and amaranth vouchers.
  • Eco Amaranth Program: 195 small-scale farmers learned to grow amaranth using organic best practices.
  • Social Economy Program: 30 amaranth microenterprise groups innovated new products and increased their sales by 20%.

We focus on building grassroots leadership to achieve lasting impact. Working together with locallymanaged community groups, we channeled a Federal government agency program to directly support three projects with $1.2 million Mexican pesos to build amaranth farming and processing infrastructure.

Understanding the current and future opportunities for amaranth, Puente also worked to strengthen alliances for healthy food and farming. We form part of a coalition to propose amaranth initiatives for national food policy and brought together 50 nonprofit organizations for workshops on conflict resolution and food sovereignty.

 

 

Program Highlights

 

 

 

Amaranth from Farm to Table

 

In 2016, Puente innovated and piloted exciting approaches to increase access to amaranth, positioning amaranth as a strategic crop in Oaxaca and Mexico. We worked with internationally recognized chefs including Rodolfo Castellanos, the first ever winner of Top Chef Mexico, to innovate with locally farmed amaranth in their kitchens. Puente established amaranth distribution points in Oaxaca City and motivated tortilla makers to integrate amaranth into their tortillas, the base of the Mexican diet. Imagine the impact of a naturally fortified tortilla with amaranth!

If you have ever been to Oaxaca, you are most likely familiar with the Tlayuda, a traditional Oaxacan dish. Puente sought to leverage the best of Oaxaca and it led to a huge success. We achieved the largest amaranth-based tlayuda in the world at our Amaranth Day celebration, measuring 12 meters squared and wowing a crowd of over 8,000 people. This spectacular amaranth tlayuda showed the Oaxacan public how to use amaranth in their everyday dishes. Oaxaca and Mexico are famous for food and fiestas. Puente has embraced and thrived by including amaranth in these important cultural traditions.

Finally, while Puente recognizes both the opportunities and challenges of “thinking global, acting local,” we also pride ourselves in our ability to stay dynamic. After several months of research and relationship-building, Puente sent off a first pilot shipment of 1 metric ton of locally harvested amaranth to a strategic partner, ChocoSol, in Canada. We are happy toreport that the goods arrived safely.

 

 

¡Gracias!

 

We wouldn’t be here today without the many ongoing and first time donors who have contributed to our cause, on behalf of the communities we serve we thank you! Puente has a unique opportunity to double your donation thanks to a generous challenge grant. Please Join Us for the opportunities and challenges in 2017! Be a part of the Puente team (family).

This year Puente recieved gifts from both institutional and individual donors. THANK YOU to the following partners

  • Acting for Life
  • Atkinson Foundation
  • Banamex Homeruns
  • Clif Bar Family Foundation
  • Dining for Women
  • EMpower Emerging Markets Foundation
  • Fondo Acción Solidaria, A.C.
  • Fundación Dr. Simi
  • Fundación Harp Helú
  • Fundación Merced
  • Fundación Walmart
  • Jack DeLoss Taylor CharitableTrust
  • Rotary Club of Palo Alto
  • TASH, Inc.
  • Vista Hermosa Foundation
  • Over 100 individual donors

We would also like to extend a Special Thank You to our Volunteers!