Mexico basin


Lagunilla, San Pedro Alto, Oaxaca

Mexico Community Conservation programme
in partnership with WWF

A community conservation enterprise in the business of organic agro-ecological vanilla production.

Zasolidarias is a community conservation enterprise (CCE) founded in 2018 by ten Zapotec women. Zasolidarias decided to start growing vanilla using eco-friendly methods. They combine vanilla cultivation with shade-grown coffee, an agricultural tradition in their community. They have over ten years of experience in organic production.

They were initially a group of coffee-growing women who loved working in the countryside and were concerned about the destruction of the natural forest in the middle basin of the Copalita River. Vanilla is a production alternative, which, on a small area of about 61 acres (0.25 ha), generates over half of the income from coffee. They have realised that vanilla will help them both to earn an income and to protect the trees, the soil and the rivers. 

This CCE is looking for innovative ways to increase productivity by studying the full life cycle of vanilla and implementing agro-ecological farming techniques. They also seek to combine crops and use organic inputs from local sources. Besides, the company aims to improve its business practices, so that soon they can access, confidently, specialized markets.


We do not know much about planting and working the soil to produce vanilla, even though we have lived our whole lives surrounded by plants. We know that we have yet to learn everything, but the important thing is to be willing to go forward together. I want to teach people about the stages of growing vanilla, about the place we live in and the origins of vanilla."

Alejandrina Martinez Martinez.