In the Mixteca, another region of Oaxaca, a Grassroots grantee called the Center for Integral Small Farmer Development of the Mixtec (CEDICAM) has shown that traditional indigenous farming methods offer lessons for the future. CEDICAM was founded in the 1980s, when "modern" practices like heavy use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides were simultaneously loading farmers with debt and depleting their soils. CEDICAM planted more than 1,000,000 trees, restored and replicated indigenous hillside terraces and promoted the use of heirloom seeds, natural composts and traditional diets. Today, the Mixteca is almost free of genetically-modified crops. Out-migration has declined as farmers learn that they can make a living when they farm sustainably. In April, CEDICAM's Jesus Leon Santos received the 2008 Goldman Environmental Prize for North America, one of the world's most prestigious recognitions for environmental activism.
Source: Grassroots International publication "InSights" Summer 2008, Vol. 22 #1 (first page)