Understanding Climate Change & Being Good Stewards of Creation

AMCMy name is Melvin Martinez, and I am 24 years old. I am married to Mayra del Socorro Hernández, and we have two children. I am currently a partner on the AMC land bank in Nueva Jerusalén.

For the past several years I have served as a leader in my community, and AMC has given me many opportunities to receive training in different topics including food security, gender, transformational community development, water management laws, climate change, conflict resolution and more. Participating in these workshops has been of great benefit to me as it has allowed me to develop and grow in my leadership role.

In the last two years, I have gained significant experience learning about climate change – a term that used to be uncommon around here. I have learned the importance of understanding climate change – its causes and effects – because farmers are and will be among those most affected by it.

For example, four years ago, my family lost our bean crop due to a drought.  Now, I know that I should be seeking seed that is adapted to the region and that is more resistant to flooding or droughts. I know how to better identify planting dates and experiment with different planting seasons.

Through working with AMC, I have learned the value of taking care of the environment. I never used to think twice about cutting trees down, but now, I keep my house surrounded with them. I do my best to talk with my children about the things I am learning. We have also planted a small vegetable garden to have supplemental food during the rainy season. During the dry months, we have built a small irrigation system so we can have tomatoes, onions, green peppers and other vegetables even when it isn’t raining. Now I am always sharing with my family and neighbors about the importance of implementing these small adaptation practices before it’s too late.

I have come to understand that these changes in climate patterns are not God’s will, but rather are caused by human intervention and not being good stewards of the natural resources God gave us. I have learned that we should show love to the earth by reforesting – not practicing “slash and burn” in our fields – and live in peace with the earth that God made to sustain us as long as we take care of it well.

Written by: AMC Staff & Bethany Beachum

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