|A wonderfully colourful Tillandsia species.|
In Chiapas, the main problem is poor farmers, driven mostly by population increase, clearing forest to farm, although a lot of the land is very steep. A problem exacerbated by the social divisions created by fundamentalist christians (missionaries funded by US churches who turn people, especially kids against their native culture), who then go off and form their own separate communities, which need yet more land. Trees are felled and the orchids, ferns and bromeliads that make up the very rich epiphyte communities in the branches are burned.
'Orquidario Moxviquil' - essentially a privately run botanic garden, is a great focus for their work and publicising what they do.
One of the spectacular tillandsias whose flower spike takes two years to grow, and suffers from being very popular for church and shrine decoration - creation threatened by religion! One of the things Cisco does is to encourage people in the villages to do their own plant rescue and grow epiphytes themselves.
There are some wonderful whacky structures around the place, such as an amphitheatre for school parties and a greenhouse for the plants from lower down in Chiapas that cannot take the minus 3 temperatures which you can get in San Cristobal de las Casas. He's now got funding from the Mexican government for a massive new house for lower altitude plants too.
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