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Divining Destiny in the Tehuacán Valley

One Community's Response to Mexico's Worst Water Crisis in Decades

Video by Brian Robertshaw for Circle of Blue

The Tehuacán Valley captures the tragedy and triumph of Mexico’s worst freshwater crisis in decades.

Forces of man and nature have turned this valley’s freshwater supply, once renowned throughout Mexico, into an ancient memory. Industrial and agricultural pollution have rendered many waterways dangerous, and some deadly. Rainfall is scarce, leaving soils parched and aquifers dangerously empty.

Four years ago Circle of Blue assigned Newsweek’s Latin America bureau chief Joe Contreras and World-Press winning Photojournalist Brent Stirton of Getty Images to tell Tehuacán’s story. Now we turn our attention back to the region to find out what’s happened since — particularly after the worst drought in 68 years struck Mexico last summer.

As Tehuacán confronts its water crisis, a Mexico-based non-profit called Alternativas helps communities find solutions that combine modern technology with ancestral wisdom. It’s a new paradigm for water management that offers part of the solution for Mexico’s water future.

Divining Destiny in the Tehuacán Valley

Main Stories

Divining Destiny: Water Challenges in Mexico’s Tehuacán Valley

Demand for Mexico’s finite supply of water will rise steadily for the foreseeable future.

Tehuacán: Destino a la Divina (En Español)

Conforme a los estándares del México rural, Francisca Rosas Valencia no tiene el aspecto de los líderes de la comunidad.

Maps & Graphics

Stories

Tehuacán Valley, Mexico Remains Resilient as Nation Faces Worst Water Crisis in Decades

Severe water scarcity is a daily reality for many in Mexico, particularly the people of Tehuacán Valley.

Q&A: Raúl Garciadiego Helps Restore Access to Water in the Tehuacán Valley

The people who inhabit Tehuacán Valley in southeast Mexico humanize one of the greatest global crises.

Remembering Community Leader Francisca Rosas Valencia

Valencia spent much of her life teaching others in southeast rural Mexico, and beyond, how to live sustainably.

Videos

Tehuacán Video Essay: Scarcity and Solutions – Pt. 1

The Tehuacán Valley captures the tragedy and triumph of Mexico’s worst freshwater crisis in decades. In this video, meet Francisca Rosas Valencia, a leader who is working to better her community’s water future.

Tehuacán Video Essay: Scarcity and Solutions

Forces of man and nature have turned this valley’s freshwater supply, once renowned throughout Mexico, into an ancient memory.

Photo Gallery

Photo Slideshow: Divining Destiny in Mexico’s Tehuacán Valley

Newsweek’s Latin America bureau chief and a top Getty photographer from South Africa were among the team that produced the content seen here.

Tehuacan Credits

Divining Destiny – Tehuacán, Mexico Field Team

Brent Stirton Brent Stirton is the senior staff photojournalist... 

Divining Destiny: Water Challenges in Mexico’s Tehuacán Valley

“Divining Destiny” Update Managing Director J. Carl... 

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