In 2001, the La Cruz Project expanded its range of plantings to include a large tract of land in the southern part of the Monarch Butterlfy Biosphere Reserve. Having been motivated by a local priest, the Mazahua Indigenous Community who owns the land has already planted 240,000 healthy trees. The community women, ranging from age 5 to seventy and organized into working groups, lead the planting efforts, with the men helping on the weekends. The community had been devastated by mud and landslides and realized that reforestation was the only solution to prevent further damage and to assure that their water supply remained uncontaminated.

Jose Luis Alaverez and his team were greeted enthusiastically by this community, whose need is great and whose commitment to reforestation is strong. They do not want to harvest any of the trees, and have a dream of planting 5 million more to restore the mountain and protect the 15 major springs that sustain the people and the other life there.