June 30, 2011

Dear Friends:

Saludos –- Greetings!  We are happy to report that the rainy season has finally started in south central Mexico and the hillsides are starting to green up.  Soon the “Tree of Life” Training Center will change from a dry, brown desert to a jungle of green growth.  And your generous donation for the “Give Ye Them To Eat” ministry has helped to grow this outreach program to serve more rural families with development opportunities.  We are so very grateful for your gift during a year when donations are slow coming in.

The first half of 2011 was a busy time for the GYTTE staff.  In the past few months 358 people toured the “Tree of Life” Training Center and many signed up for workshops on the technologies they were convinced would improve their life, lands and community. Thus we hosted a number of 2, 3, and 4-day workshops.

 --At one workshop youth learned how to construct and use a hydraulic ram pump so they could build one for their home and assist others with this technology for moving water from a creek, spring or well, up a hillside to their home and/or land.

 --Men and woman attended a workshop on organic fertilizers.  These kinds of fertilizers not only improve crop growth but also build up the land itself and protect the environment and the farming family.

 --In mid-April more than 500 older teens and young adults attended a nation-wide Methodist Conference on Ministries where two GYTTE staff members, Catalino and Mirna, assisted as workshop instructors on composting and square-foot gardening. Their workshops were full of eager participants who actually got their hands dirty while learning. The object of this workshop was to teach them some ways to serve the needs of subsistence-level farming families by sharing methods that will improve their land and diet.   

 --At another spring workshop a group of youth learned how to make recycled paper and from that they made artisan objects for their home as well as for gifts.  They were excited to discover their own creativity.    

 --Some guys and gals attended a workshop where they learned to build walls for homes just as their ancestors did in Mexico 2,000 years ago.  Clay-Straw Construction is economical and user-friendly as well as ideal for hot or cold climates for its thermal quality.

 --At a workshop on Straw Bale Construction, eight men learned the advantages of this user-friendly method of building and were soon putting the walls up on the foundation they had built for an elderly man who was in need of a home.  Straw Bale Construction has the same qualities and advantages that Clay-Straw Construction has.     

Thank you again for helping us in this transformation process where the lives of farming families move from a life of poverty to a life of self-reliance and growth.  Your gift goes on to help even more people as they share their new skills and knowledge with others in their community.

Your mission partners,

Terry and Muriel Henderson