|Three generations of the Espinoza family|
The Espinoza FamilyReunited, sharing success and enriching a community
The story of the Espinoza family is a powerful one. It is an example of how promoting and teaching organic farming and how developing a niche market can dramatically improve the livelihood of people in rural Mexico. Better living standards, personal fulfillment gained by helping strengthen one's community, and a healthier environment through the use of safe, organic farming methods are all significant benefits.
On a recent visit with the proud father and "campesino" turned business man Don Joel Espinoza, the senior Espinoza expressed his extreme gratitude to be part of the Del Cabo family of farms. Not only have he and his extended family enjoyed financial success, but the entire community has benefited.
When Del Cabo co-founder Sandy Belin met the Espinozas in 1991, she learned that loss of market share to foreign producers of the same crops traditionally grown in this region was keeping this and other farming families at a bare subsistence level. With the family deep in debt and facing foreclosure, the two youngest sons came to the states to earn money to help ease the burden. Meanwhile, Don Joel had learned about the Del Cabo Cooperative and expressed his desire for his family and community to join. Larry Jacobs and Sandy Belin proposed a cherry tomato program for the fertile farm site and introduced the Espinoza family to organic growing methods. After two successful farming seasons, the sons returned home to Mexico to farm. They have since been joined by cousins, aunts and uncles, and nieces and nephews of the large extended family.
Today, the Espinoza family is well respected for their technological and agronomic innovation, and their increasing success has enabled them to provide permanent employment to many members of their community.