Asociacion comunitaria de autosuficiencia A.C.

Our History

The project was conceived and initiated by the project directors, Wendy Hill and Marie Pruden, experienced horticulturists and community organizers. Hill and Pruden were called to Mexico in 1992 to work as instructors in the Lake Chapala area through the auspices of the Catholic diocese of McKenzie, N.W.T., Canada.

In 1994 they were asked by the Catholic priest in the village of Nestipac to facilitate the opening of a community center offering classes in gardening, health and nutrition. Their close involvement with this very low-income Mexican community gave them a feeling of great rapport with the villagers and a deep concern for its problems of Environmental Damage, poverty, malnutrition, lack of training opportunities and employment possibilities.

On the most basic level, Many problems such as malnutrition, diminishing fishing industry in Lake Chapala combined with inadequate access to land for home gardens and the declining fertility of the soil, water contamination, are solvable. The widespread use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers in almost all the commercial fields are leaving un trained laborers unprotected, exposed to dangerous chemical substances endangering their health.

The widespread reliance on these “wonder products” has caused them to abandon, even lose their understanding, of older, more ecologically sound farming practices. Finally, the resulting ecological imbalance of the land and the destruction of many beneficial plants, insects and other organisms has resulted in plant diseases heretofore unknown in the area. The health of the land, its crops and people is further compromised by a diminishing water supply brought on by years of drought and the serious overuse of Lake Chapala water for the metropolis of Guadalajara.

In August of 1996 Hill and Pruden started planning an independent, self sustaining horticultural project that would be accessible to a wider rural and urban population, one that would prepare youths from many Mexican communities regardless of their religious affiliation/locality, with training in organic farming, food production and water conservation. They found support from a small body of equally concerned lakeside citizens and on April 24, 1997, they incorporated a six-member board of directors as the Asociación Comunitaria de Autosuficiencia, A.C.

ACÁ was incorporated under Mexican law as a nonprofit organization on April 22, 1997.
The Association is able to provide Tax Receipts for Mexican Donations.
©1972-2000 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens