News from November 2013

Pati Ruiz Corzo, one of the 50 most inspiring Mexicans


Putting Mexico on the map, “Quién” magazine lists Pati Ruiz Corzo as environmental crusader, whose tireless work is transforming Mexico. You can read more about Pati and other inspiring Mexican’s in November’s issue.

Sierra Gorda Nature and Culture Destination Launched


María Soledad Vásquez, owner of roadside restaurant called “Doña Chole” found on the Tasting Route, one of the 65 micro-enterprises operating under the Sierra Gorda’s “Sabino Certificate” standards

We’re excited to announce that the Sierra Gorda is now officially listed as a Nature and Culture destination. This week we presented the results of our three-year project to build a rural tourism model in protected natural areas. The project, financially supported by the Multilateral Investment Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank has been generating new capacities among micro-operators living in mountain communities, who own the land and scenic beauty of the region.

The destination now offers a network of community-run services at strategic locations, offering eco-tour packages that integrate nature, culture and adventure activities. Packages include visiting natural and cultural sanctuaries; taking moderate to challenging hikes or bike rides; engaging with local communities; horse-riding along historical routes; or simply enjoying the local rural life. Both tourism destination operators and tourists are encouraged to follow basic rules of sustainable conduct. To find out more, visit our new website:

HSBC’s Environmental Leaders get close to nature       


Last  month we received a group of 24 HSBC Mexico “Environmental Leaders” in the Sierra Gorda, who came to learn about the projects that have been developed in the region to fight climate change and help conserve biodiversity. The Environmental Leaders program is part of a nationwide initiative, with 24 HSBC employees chosen from 120 candidates from across Mexico, in which they receive sustainable development training and then develop an environmental project that helps fight climate change and create positive change in their personal surroundings.

HSBC is a very important partner for the Sierra Gorda project, whose support has made a variety of projects that benefit local communities and the environment possible. We’re only too happy to be able to provide their new Environmental Leaders with the resources to become committed environmental partners.

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Nature Photographer Awarded Ecological Merit Medal Of Honour


Conservationist Roberto Pedraza Ruiz was awarded the Ecological Merit Medal of Honor from the LVII Querétaro State Legislature this November, for his work as a conservationist and nature photographer. The medal was awarded by Congressman Braulio Guerra Urbiola, President of the Legislature, with the ceremony taking place in the Sierra Gorda’s Historical Museum.

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Forum for Rural Women, Action and Participation

On 26th November 2013, Pati Ruiz Corzo participated in the “Forum for Rural Women, Action and participation, Axes of Regional Development”, organized by the National Network of Rural Women (RENAMUR in Mexico) in the city of Pachuca. Two hundred rural women attended the forum, from 12 Mexican states, who work in production, making changes, tourism, making crafts, among other things. The aim of the forum was to share learning experiences so that they improve their living conditions and use their resources more sustainably.

Sierra Gorda featured in new book

Some of the Sierra Gorda’s magnificent forests have been included in the new book “Cloud forests in Mexico.” Featuring forests from the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve and other regions throughout Mexico, one of the chapters is dedicated to the flora and fauna of the presented cloud forests, including photographs by Roberto Pedraza, Technical Assistant at Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG). Pedraza’s photos document old sweetgum forests, the communities and people whose lives are inextricably linked to the forests, rare felines like the margay and jaguarundi and other species of the area. The images included in the book are excellent ambassadors for these forests and their priority species.

Mexico’s environmental educators meet in Sierra Gorda

This past month, Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda hosted the “National Meeting of Environmental Educators” bringing together 35 educators from the states of Sonora, Baja California Sur, Taxco, Guerrero and the Sierra Gorda. The primary objective was to enrich the leadership of environmental educators with new knowledge and sustainable living practices.

A topic of interest to all educators was recycling, in which they shared their ideas for solutions to waste production, the separation of solid waste , as well as the construction of community collection centers for recyclable materials. To enrich their experience in sustainable practices, participants made glasses out of recycled wine bottles and went into the field to learn about regenerative land management, the establishment and management of vegetable gardens, and the development of bio- fertilizers. We’re inspired by this generation of change-makers, and look forward to continuing to support them to bring sustainable change in their communities.

Buy an Acre funding saves 124 acres of cloud forest in Mexico

Funds from World Land Trust’s (WLT) Buy an Acre appeal have secured 124 acres (50 hectares) of cloud forest in Mexico’s Sierra Gorda.

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Photo of the month


A rare Rhynchostele rossii, an orchid protected within certain cloud forests in the Sierra Gorda. Covering less than 1% of Mexico, cloud forests are a conservation priority; not just for their incredible biodiversity but also for the environmental services they provide. In the Sierra Gorda, they appear as “islands” and it is an honor that we have been able to protect them by creating private nature reserves, thanks to support from various individuals and partners, such as World Land Trust.

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