Since the earliest beginnings of Misión Mazahua, Lisa and Norberto have always had special interest in agricultural diversification— Lisa the farm girl from Ohio, and Norberto the city boy with great vision and energy. When living in San Pablo Tlalchichilpa (1976) they so wanted to have fruit trees and ornamental plants around the little mountain church building they lived beside, but at the hacienda, starting in 1978 they set out a major truck garden where the playground is now. (Lisa got the worst sunburn of her life not realizing the rarified high altitude air although cool was giving her the full force of the sun´s rays. Ouch!!!) They planted row after row of broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower, spinach, and anything else they could get to grow. Their orchards were producing apples, pears, plums, membrillos, figs, peaches, etc. etc .and including work in grafting. Lots of jam to make and much canning those days and since.
It did not take long for Norberto´s vision to grow and grow to start exploring the cultivation of oyster mushrooms, amaranth, oats, asparagus, habas, alfalfa, and many other alternative crops as well as hydroponics and green houses. The area of animal husbandry followed not far behind with horses, sheep, laying hens, chickens, goats, milk cows, pigs, steers, even mud puppies and carp.
There is a team of young people who have grown along with us for the past several years who are getting more and more involved in the agricultural diversification which is to explore viable alternatives for the Mazahua people in the communities we serve. This team of Juanito, Oscar, and Iván have as their leader a new member of the Misión Mazahua team, David Segundo, who just graduated from the university in Morelia pursuing his full accreditation as a veterinary.