Our Story

Impact through Amaranth & Agroecology

Puente a la Salud Comunitaria, A.C., contributes to food sovereignty by promoting the cultivation, consumption, transformation and commercialization of agroecologically-produced amaranth, to improve the quality of life in rural areas in Mexico.

We envision a world where families and communities live in dignity and exercise their food sovereignty by growing, consuming, exchanging and marketing local and healthy food in a sustainable way and includes amaranth as a strategic grain adapted to their culture and territory.

Since 2003, Puente a la Salud Comunitaria, A.C., has promoted a holistic and community approach to the production, promotion, and consumption of amaranth, a culturally appropriate and highly nutritious pseudo-cereal, in the rural communities of Oaxaca. To guarantee local commitment and sustainability, Puente works through a participatory approach to design, implement and evaluate its programs with key local stakeholders. Our team seeks creative and effective strategies to incorporate amaranth into existing community dynamics, with the aim of achieving lasting social change, especially in the areas of nutrition, economic well-being and sustainable agriculture.

A key part of this strategy is to build on traditional wisdom and practices while incorporating new technologies for a sustainable and healthy food system that involves all members of the communities. We seek to achieve a unique balance between food sovereignty, creating and concentrating benefits at the local level, and adding value to the agroecological production of small farmers by participating in new markets and developing better ways to generate sustainable incomes.

“Puente’s proposal is that they will show me how to cultivate better, more efficiently and healthier for the soil and (my own) health, and will accompany me in the process. It is a new learning and a new success each season for me and my family.” – Agustín, Producer and Member of the Mixteca Amaranth Network 

Señor en su parcela


Dignity • Equity • Integrity • Respect • Responsibility
Solidarity • Transparency • Innovation


2003 — Puente a la Salud Comunitaria Founded

Puente was founded by Katherine Lorenz and Kate Seely in 2003 when they were volunteers in Oaxaca and saw the impact of economic disparity and lack of food security in rural Oaxaca. Looking for a way to provide nutritional support to mothers and young children, their research led them to amaranth, which is highly nutritious and native to Oaxaca, providing a culturally appropriate entry point.

2003 — Healthy Families

Our first program was Healthy Families, working with mothers, grandmothers, youth. and children to present amaranth as a valuable but affordable ingredient in family meals. In 2020, we transitioned this program to be a cross-disciplinary initiative, “Health and Nutrition” that informs all of our programmatic work and our work with the Alianza por la Salud Aliminetaria (Alliance for Food Health).

2007 — Amaranth Production

In 2007, Puente added amaranth cultivation and production as our second program. Growing the grain seemed to be the next natural step for Puente, partnering with farmers in the regions to add amaranth to his crop production.

2008 — Clarence H. Moore Award for Voluntary Service

2010 — Stanford Medical School Community Partner Award

2011 — Social Economy

The final piece of Puente’s fundamental programming was the Social Economy, launched in 2011 when Puente developed his first strategic plan and realized that we needed a link between grain production and consumption by families in the community. Microenterprise groups buy the grain to make amaranth-based products that include popped cereal and granola, crackers, crackers, toast and flour, a gluten-free baking alternative.

2013 — Real Heroes in Mexico awarded to Pete Noll, Executive Director (2008-2019)

2015 — INDESOL Impact and Social Commitment Award

2016 — Transition to agroecological practices

In 2016, as our partner farmers increasingly noticed the impact of climate change on their crops, especially the scarcity of rain in the Central Valleys, and when our tests revealed depleted soils and weakened plants, Puente and the networks collectively decided on the transition to 100% agroecological practices for a stronger, more nutritious plant with greater resistance to external factors.

2018 — Latinoamérica Verde Award

2020: Resiliencia, innovación y solidaridad en una crisis global


In 2021, the Puente team has worked with 680 families in the development & implementation of regenerative agricultural practices, organizing and expanding the solidarity and stability of women-led microbusinesses, and promoting nutritional literacy in children and youth.

December 2021

December 2021: Announcement of Our Strategic Alliance with SiKanda

Founded in 2009, SiKanda is an independent, nonprofit Oaxacan organization that promotes sustainable development and human rights in diverse communities in marginalized contexts, especially in the Central Valley regions, as well as in the Mixteca and the coast. SiKanda’s projects focus on five programmatic areas, which include sustainability, interculturality, gender equality, intergenerationality, and human rights as transversal axes. Throughout its history, SiKanda has been recognized and awarded by organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union, embassies, and the Mexican government, among others.

Stronger Comminities

© Puente a la Salud Comunitaria, a 501(c)(3) organization [EIN 30-0258491] at 1311-A E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78702. USA.
© Puente a la Salud Comunitaria, AC, una organización donante autorizada con domicilio fiscal en
Privada de Magnolias No. 109, Colonia Reforma, CP 68050, Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca. México