Grupo de Estudios Ambientales y Sociales A.C. (GEA, Environmental and Social Studies Group) operates in the central mountain region of Guerrero promoting local access to safe water and training communities in sustainable land management. The organization has reforested more than 500 hectares of land in an important watershed, established more than 60 organic farms, and undertaken terracing over 20 kilometers of hillside to reduce and prevent soil erosion.
Central to the organizational model is full participation and democratic decision-making in the supply and distribution of water. Improvements to local watersheds have been pursued through reforestation, organic agriculture, and changes to livestock rearing practices. Mescal maguey is planted in reforested areas to provide community members with an additional source of income. The organization also works with eight women’s self-help groups to provide workshops and capacity building in the canning and drying of local foods, reintroducing traditional crops, building and maintaining organic vegetable gardens, and household level water management and sanitation systems.