FASOL's 2019 Annual Report

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Mission Create the conditions to help strengthen the ability of urban and rural communities’ to manage their socio-environmental heritage in a sustainable and inclusive manner. Vision To achieve a just, fair and participative society in Mexico that promotes sustainable development through the conservation of natural, cultural and social heritage. Values Trust, Solidarity, Respect, Inclusion.

Message from the President

Since our beginnings, in FASOL we have had a clear vision of our objectives, and of the social, political, economic and environmental reality that make us committed to constantly search for proposals and solutions. We believe that taking our vision, possibilities, and capabilities into account, we can contribute to bringing about the changes our society and our country need. In Mexico, a country with an enormous natural and cultural wealth, it is illogical that until now we have not found a balance, and a large part of our society has not yet had the opportunity to improve their living conditions. In FASOL we believe that, acting in an organized way, managing resources well, and with a greater and well informed social participation, we will have the conditions to improve the lives of those who have been left behind. FASOL will continue to need to grow and change to meet this challenge, at FASOL we are all committed to this path.

Juan García President of FASOL 2007-2020



FASOL’s work model adapts to the social, political and economic changes and challenges faced by grassroots groups and communities. The country’s socio-environmental context is becoming more complicated as the economic model we live in becomes more demanding, and requires more inputs to maintain, while environmental and human rights activists become more vulnerable to the wave of insecurity affecting the country. In spite of this scenario, grassroots groups and communities continue to create and propose alternatives to address this situation, from environmentally friendly productive projects, environmental education, political and community advocacy, and initiatives to collect and take care of water sources, among many other initiatives. This, together with the empowerment of women in their communities and the increasingly notable participation of girls, boys and young people, invigorates organizational processes that are weaving networks to cushion the impacts of economic hardship and, at the same time, spreading seeds that germinate into flowers of light and hope.


Main achievements and lessons learned

2019 was a very productive year for FASOL. We continued to expand our support to grassroots groups throughout Mexico, providing 151 grants to groups in 22 states. We conducted workshops, and exchanges of knowledge and good practices for grassroots groups, reaching over 250 grassroots groups across the country. We created spaces where FASOL’s Mentor Network and the Defenders of the Territory Network (Red de Defensoras y Defensores del Territorio in Spanish) met and worked together. We also continued to promote community philanthropy in Mexico. Throughout all of this, one of the most important achievements was recognizing how important organizing processes that take place in the communities are to the success of their intiatives. This union of hope, work, and effort from all the people who are part of our FASOL family led to the following results we would like to share with you:


GRANTS: For the Grants Program, 2019 was an opportunity to take a closer look at the issues that were most present in the initiatives on which grassroots groups and mentors are working on. This led to discuss the ways in which we can improve our contributions to strengthen those initiatives. The critical role of the mentors in providing a person-to-person link is frong and center. As we go forward, we must continue to strengthen the Mentor network, incorporating more colleagues, networking with other organizations (mentor organizations), strengthening the internal processes of the program, and training ourselves. This year, the matter of the care, sustainable use, and alternative forms of water collection was a significant theme for many of the groups we supported. The groups also tended to focus more than in previous years on food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture. Their initiatives sought to improve food quality, the way in which it is produced, and its cost to their communities. More and more groups are organizing themselves to produce and


exchange agro-chemical-free food. It is also important to emphasize that 90 percent of grants had a strengthening component, indicating a significant need for grassroots groups to build their capacity to meet the challenges they face, such as food production with agro-ecological techniques, water collection, and environmental education, among others. It is worth noting the great diversity in the groups we support, since we had the opportunity to contribute to initiatives in urban, rural, coastal, and mountain regions of 25 states; with indigenous communities, with groups of young people, women, men, mixed genders, all seeking to achieve a more sustainable and health community life, since “[Acting together] is a way of helping each other and learning together�, as one group put it.


Capacity Building

Workshops, courses and meetings,

Social organizational processes For some years we have observed that many of the initiatives of the communities and grassroots groups that we support in FASOL are weaving alliances with different actors, allowing them to move forward in the resolution of their conflicts with more strength, often triggering a broader organizational process, usually linked to . It was then that we understood that institutionally we have been supporting processes, and that our vision must contemplate a more integral build on this by taking these processes into account in our accompaniment strategy. Integrating support for processes more intentionally will allow us to give even more responsive support and begin to create the conditions for success across the many isolated communities in Mexico. Along these lines, in 2019 we began to see results of a twoyear pilot initiative to strengthen organizational processes in four states: Nuevo León, Veracruz, Sinaloa and Oaxaca. We learned these processes have their own life, and that they are unique; and although the problems and issues around them are repeated throughout the national territory, the actors, methodologies and actions are similar; their maturity, duration, and needs are different.


Throughout the year we continued to support the initiatives and processes of grassroots groups and communities through workshops and exchanges requested by them. Sixteen capacity building workshops and four group experience exchanges were held. This year, workshops and exchanges were held in seven states: Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Michoacán, Puebla, Sinaloa and Sonora, focusing mainly on four areas: - The social protection of the environment and territory, continuing workshops we have developed over the past three years and helping groups to develop effective strategies by learning from the best practices of other communities. - Management and accountability practices for grassroots groups, helping to establish good practices around the management of financial resources. - Organizing strategies and diagnoses, helping to improve the organizational effectiveness of the groups - Exchange of knowledge and best practices, bringing groups together to share and learn from their peers.


2nd Meeting of the Network of Defenders of the Territory

LA DEFENSA INTEGRAL DE LOS TERRITORIOS “Cuidando los territorios nos cuidamos nosotrxs” Objetivo del Encuentro Fortalecer las estrategias de defensa integral de los territorios frente a los proyectos de despojo, compartiendo experiencias Para mayor información: susanaar@fasol-ac.org

In alliance and collaboration with the organizations Pobladores, A.C., Acción Colectiva, A.C., and the Colectivo de Abogados por la Defensa del Territorio, we organized in November at Mexico City, the II Meeting of Defenders of the Territory, which took place in the facilities of the Center for Human Rights Vitoria, in the Centro Universitario Cultural (CUC), to whom we thank for their support and solidarity. In this second national meeting, more than 100 representatives from more than 70 organizations and 23 states shared information best practices and strategies for defending and taking care of their territory. The objective of the Meeting was, through the exchange of experiences, to strengthen the strategies of the integral defense of the territories against dispossession and extraction projects. The two days of work, reflections and analysis, identified similar challenges across the country. The challenge around water emerged as a central, transversal element in almost all the problems. The insecurity grassroots groups face as activists, the limited role of women in decision-making, the need for more youth participation, the correct knowledge and application of the legal framework, the importance of occupying the territories from the productive point of view, the role of communication, and the need to continue to meet in order to keep hope alive. In the final session, the foundations were laid for the construction of a common agenda that will allow for the articulation of stronger networks between the different movements involved with the defense of the territory of our country. This meeting elevated the voices and feelings of those who are experiencing environmental degradation and economic crises firsthand. It made very clear that local communities are critical to the health and well-being of the larger ecosystem and that communities must be recognized for the rights and duties to manage their own resources.



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— Mentor’s Network meeting — Community Philanthropy meeting — Meeting of Defenders of the Territory

Mentoring and Accompaniment As every year, we reiterate our deep gratitude to FASOL’s mentor network who, during 2019, besides volunteering hundreds of hours, have put their hearts, knowledge, and trust behind the work to support grassroots groups. FASOL mentors with their collective experience and knowledge in social and environmental action, identify and work hand-in-hand with grassroots groups and accompany their initiatives. As is now a tradition, in July we held our sixth annual mentor’s network meeting during which 24 mentors, together with staff, learned about what is working and not working and helped improve support for the groups and processes with which they are working. One important outcome was that the mentors collectively identified key components for strengthening organizational processes that are now being incorporated in our support program.



Building Alliances

The contribution of grassroots groups to Mexico’s social, economic and environmental well-being is largely invisible and unknown. The creation of the Defenders of Territory network has provided one megaphone for groups to magnify their voices, build alliances among themselves, and access the tools and information that they need.

Community Philanthropy Alliances FASOL also continued to work with Arrecife, a coalition of six Mexican funds, to promote community philanthropy (FASOL, Semillas Fund, the Oaxaca Community Foundation, ADO Foundation, Tichi Muñoz Foundation and the Oaxaca Fund for the Conservation of Nature). FASOL worked with Arrecife to design a research project that will start in 2020 to investigate the economic and non-economic resources mobilized by grassroots groups to help make the case for increasing partnership by philanthropic donors and investors.


Along with Arrecife members, FASOL also belongs to a network facilitated by the Global Fund for Community Foundations, to promote community philanthropy at the international level. In this context, between July 3rd and 5th, the network held its Second Community Philanthropy Meeting in Oaxaca City, Juarez (FASOL being a co-host). Fifteen community funds or philanthropic organizations from Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe shared strategies and experiences throughout the three days to expand and deepen the knowledge of the ACT (Assets-Capacities-Trust) conceptual framework that we began to develop jointly, in 2018, in South Africa. After all we learned in 2019, we know that in order to achieve social and environmental justice in Mexico, we have an arduous road to travel, a road that will lead us to reinvent ourselves and strengthen solid alliances.


Finance and Transparency Financing Sources (2019) Amount ($USD) International Foundations $542,400 National Foundations $62,400 Individual Donors $15,000 Total $619,800 $ 600,000

Expenses 2019

73% $619,800

12% $542,400

15% $ 500,000

$ 400,000

Financing Sources


Operational/ Administrative

(2019) $ 300,000


$ 200,000

Annual Expenses 2019 $62,400 $ 100,000 $15,000





Total ($USD)


$ 440,496


$ 90,513

Operational / Administrative

$ 72,410





MENTOR´S NETWORK Ibes Fabian Dávila Flores Baja California

2019 Board of Directors

Patricia García García Baja California Tito Piñeda Verduzco Baja California Sur

Juan Francisco García Rodríguez President

Irma González López Baja California Sur

Laura Martínez Ríos del Río Treasurer

Karina Pelaez Mendoza Baja California Sur

Laura Alonso Lutterroth Spokesperson Guillermo Villarreal Torres Spokesperson Gustavo Lozano Guerrero Spokesperson Ivonne Hidalgo Nieto Spokesperson

Yadira Trejo Hernández Baja California Sur Lourdes Balan Baas Campeche

Isabel Nuñez Palacios Oaxaca

Alan López Portillo Barroso CDMX

Saúl Fuentes Olivares Oaxaca Cinthia Pacheco Sánchez CDMX, Estado de México, Chiapas Sandra Guido Sánchez Sinaloa

Maria Estela Barco Huerta Chiapas

Carlos Simental Trejo Sinaloa

Luz del Carmen Silva Pérez Chiapas

Rosendo Castro Amarillas Sinaloa

Citlali Quintana Zapien Chihuahua Esperanza Salazar Zenil Colima Geovanna Dávalos Álvarez Guanajuato

Sandra Martínez Contreras Sonora Piedad Aguayo Pimentel Sonora Ernesto Bolado Martínez Sonora

Adriana Cortés Jiménez Guanajuato

Operative team Artemisa Castro Félix Executive Director Citlali Camacho Barrera Grants

Juana García Flores Tabasco

María de los Ángeles Carvajal Jalisco

Carlos Jímenez Arano Tabasco

Oscar Muñoz Villarreal Jalisco

Guillermo Rodríguez Curiel Veracruz

Gustavo Alcocer Almaraz Michoacán

Beatriz Mora Pale Veracruz

Guadalupe González Arciniega Nayarit

Marcela Zacarías Ramírez Yucatán

Beatriz Bautista Fletes Nayarit

Albert Maurilio Chan Dzul Yucatán

Carmen Genis Gómez Institutional Development and Fundraising Susana Aguilar Romero Communication Daniela Peña Ríos Administration


Margaret MacSems Oaxaca



See you soon Juan

Many moons have passed since Juan and I began building a story together; and today after several years, I can tell you that walking this adventure called FASOL hand in hand with him has been one of my greatest privileges, and an honor. We have dreamed together of a different Mexico, a fair and equitable Mexico, where we all respect Mother Earth, and learn to use our natural resources in a respectful and rational way; a conscious Mexico! With Juan I have learned to look calmly at what is happening in the country, trying to find the best path for FASOL, without falling into despair. His time as the head of FASOLs Board of Directors has allowed us to advance with a firm and clear step. Today he takes the decision to leave the Presidency. He knows that between all of us we have kept going forward in building this great organization. Today he only leaves the space for another person to fill in, a new leadership; however, we know that FASOL is a “way of life� for many of us, and this is also the case for my dear Juan. He will continue to work with his always tireless spirit to contribute to building a San Blas, and a Mexico, for all. I cannot but thank him for his many hours of listening and guidance, his solidarity in the hardest times of my life, but above all, for his immense love. With great love, respect, and admiration, I will remain here, my dear Juan, so that we can continue drawing a different world together. Artemisa



We thank the grassroots groups for all their work, the allied organizations, our financial allies, the mentors, our advisors, the FASOL Board of Directors, and all those who have believed in the work we do and who, with their actions, contribute to enrich this work, that is not ours, but of all of us who hope for a better Mexico and a better world.

Financial Allies IND








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