Mission

México Tierra de Amaranto A.C. (MTA) is a non-profit organization that works with integrity, responsibility and social commitment in rural communities and marginalized populations of the states of Querétaro, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Jalisco and Veracruz in Mexico.

Our mission is to use amaranth as a strategy to improve nutrition, health and living conditions in rural communities. We seek to build a culture of development and sustainability with different sectors of society.

Vision

“México Tierra de Amaranto”...

Will be a phrase that represents pride, responsibility and care for amaranth, the ancient grain that will unite the world to create a more prosperous and healthy society.

Mexico will be known worldwide for achieving a food culture that improves nutrition and health and that generates increasing sustainability and development opportunities.

All Mexicans will recognize amaranth as a strategic grain that paints our fields with colour and fills them with strength.

“From Mexico to the world...”

Objectives

MTA’s objective is to use our proven development model to empower people of rural, marginalized communities to become transformers of their own people, developing the skills and capabilities of local promoters using amaranth as a holistic strategy to improve the health of families suffering from malnutrition, diabetes, and/or obesity.

We also aim to continue providing human development and technical training and support to create ancillary productive projects to reduce poverty in these communities.

Development Model

The MTA development model incorporates a multi-faceted, integrated, complex set of activities, any one of each individually adds benefit, while all together magnify the potential and reach of each.

MTA’s incorporation of philosophy and social science, along with technical expertise, has proven successful developing human capacity, addressing what makes people have the confidence, willingness and strength to begin new activities, learn in innovative ways and solve situations that seemed impossible to address. 

We empower community leaders and promoters trained as instructors and facilitators of MTA´s programs to bring health, water and income to families. 

Our grass-root efforts invest heavily in growing our extensive network of strategic alliances that promotes, organizes, instructs, supervises and evaluates sustainable cultivation and nutritive consumption of amaranth grown in family kitchen gardens as a strategy to combat poverty, malnutrition, degenerative disease, obesity and diabetes.

Extensive training and technical support are provided for cultivation, processing, preparation, consumption and use of amaranth leaf and grain, as well as in community development and construction of rainwater collection cisterns, greenhouses, and bakeries.

Courses developed by MTA are provided in nutrition, cooking with amaranth, awareness of its properties and benefits, income generation and retention, and use of amaranth in medical studies and health programs. 

The methodology, as implemented in social institutions, includes promoters as instructors. Diets are enriched with amaranth leaf and grain as adapted to the culture and custom of the area. Work with cooks, mothers and chronic patients is systematized. Data thus obtained show that the health and nutrition of children, patients and other beneficiaries is consistently improving.

The strategies of food security, nutrition, sale of surplus amaranth, savings and organized community participation are laying the foundations for communities to improve their living conditions in a systematic way.

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Outcomes and impact

First level beneficiaries are families that learn to grow, prepare and include amaranth in their diets, furthering their health and nutrition. They replicate the model in their own and nearby communities, impacting the health and revenue of additional beneficiaries of backyard gardens.

Second level beneficiaries grow and consume amaranth, but also learn how to process and sell their excess, providing increased income. Female producers and cooking instructors obtain rising incomes.

Third level beneficiaries participate in cistern, savings or productive projects, assuring resources needed for the next level of production. Products generated ensure improvements in the household economy of women who participate in the amaranth value chain.

Fourth level beneficiaries are MTA-trained promoters that ensure their communities grow and process amaranth for consumption and sale, assuring nutritional benefits at no cost to the community.

Fifth level beneficiaries are clinic patients suffering from diabetes or obesity that experience improved health and well-being through program participation. Anthropometric data, biochemical measurements, dietary information, methodologies, etc. are used to empower cooks, mothers and other beneficiaries to replicate the process and enhance the health and well-being of their communities.

Sixth level beneficiaries are children and their families participating in prevention programs, receiving a daily amaranth-enriched diet and benefiting from enhanced nutrition.

Financial resources obtained in 2020 wil be used to:

  1. Train and certify promoters, guides and beneficiaries to facilitate a culture of planting and self-consumption of amaranth leaf and grain.

    -  Coordinate, monitor and support amaranth producers in fields and kitchen gardens.

    -  Certify at least 20 producers of amaranth in 4 municipalities in Querétaro.

    -  Promote and organize productive projects such as cisterns, bakeries, and greenhouses.

    -  Support and certify production capacity of 450 kg amaranth /50 days in 11 active micro-greenhouses. Activate 23 installed micro-greenhouses with potential capacity of 900 kg /50 days.

  2. Encourage the sale of surplus amaranth to CENVA SA de CV (Center for Value Added Amaranth, a social company formed by MTA). Achieve the cultivation of 20 tons of amaranth grain /year and 1.5 tons of amaranth leaf /month to supply local industry and MTA health programs. Distribute product to orphanages and shelters, providing natural markets for such surplus.
  3. Train, empower and monitor cooks, mothers of children, adults and chronic patients to include 30 grams of amaranth into daily diets (currently demonstrating improvement in size, weight, and fat indices in 415 children and 312 adults).
  4. Reduce or eliminate severe and moderate malnutrition, improving height, weight and fat indices in at least 400 children, 250 adults and 30 chronically ill patients.
  5. Organize events for anthropometric data collection for participating children and adults. Organize community amaranth-related weight reduction contests.  Organize at least two “Allegria Day” events with different groups of children.
  6. Increase the number of communities with a savings bank. Improve the income of families that sell their surplus amaranth. Encourage them to use their savings to develop productive capacities, such as construction of micro-greenhouses, irrigation systems and rainwater collection cisterns.
  7. Increase the number of communities with a local promoter and community health guide to ensure a) the planting and consumption of amaranth in kitchen gardens and fields, b) increased knowledge in nutrition, health ​​and organization, c) involvement in productive projects and d) participation in community events, such as weight reduction contests, gastronomic shows and special events.
  8. Train, supervise and transfer producers to research centers of CINVESTAV (Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute), INIFAP (National Research Institute for Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock) and  TEC (Tecnológico de Monterrey) to achieve certification and provide support for MTA health programs and participating industries.
  9. Coordinate with academic, business and governmental organizations to:

    -   Develop a 5-year joint strategic plan.

    - Strengthen the productive capacity of involved communities.

    - Define research projects to be carried out to ensure optimal development of innovative products to enhance the value chain.

    - Ensure the quality and availability of amaranth seed.

    - Communicate tasks, advances and inter

    - Communicate tasks, advances and inter-institutional results.

    Experience:

    Over the past 15 years, MTA has developed our technical expertise, building a network of collaboration with over 60 governmental, business, academic and scientific institutions.  MTA-trained health promoters and guides acquire skills to be local instructors and change agents.

    We have 15 years of experience empowering more than 160 rural communities around the planting and consumption of amaranth in backyard gardens, improving nutrition, health and living conditions.  This has encouraged funding sources for additional cisterns, cultivation plots, greenhouses, processing areas, small businesses and health studies.

    We have 4 years of experience successfully implementing a methodology that ensures the inclusion of 30 grams of amaranth in the daily menus of various institutions and health centers.

    To make amaranth better known and used by México and the world, MTA has supported considerable scientific research and organized 11 scientific symposiums over the years.

    Recent Achievements (2019):

    8 promoters organized a 21-week amaranth weight reduction contest in 5 municipalities in the state of Querétaro. They recruited 172 participants and obtained an average income of $4,425 MXN ($233 USD). The average metabolic age of the participants decreased from 69 to 57 years.

    Thanks to the active work of 24 promoters, 7 communities participated successfully in the delivery of amaranth leaf to groups that receive related health benefits.

    11 communities now have savings accounts, with more than 1,073 members and annual savings that exceeds $1.5 million MXN ($79,070 USD).

    We organized our fifth meeting about health, water and income with amaranth at Tecnológico de Monterrey.  Our event was attended by 3 State Secretaries and representatives of 10 institutions, along with 106 attendees. Event details were shared through the Communication Secretariat of the state of Querétaro.

    We were nominated for the Fundación Azteca Civil Society Award and are about to receive the NXU BEHÑA Award for Outstanding Women. The Ashoka Foundation invited us to speak about our program at their upcoming Changemaker conference.

    development model