Mexico tree plan in El Salvador aims to stem migration

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Mexico is bringing to El Salvador a tree-planting program that aims to support rural residents and ease economic pressures driving thousands of people to leave for the United States.

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The program known as "Sowing Life" offers farmers $250 a month to plant fruit or timber trees, and whatever they harvest belongs to them.

Mexico donated $31 million to fund the plan in El Salvador, and authorities say it should create 20,000 jobs.

A similar initiative is in place for southern Mexico, and the country has said it intends to extend it to Honduras.

"Sowing Life" comes amid a wave of people fleeing Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to escape poverty and violence.

Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard launched the program Friday alongside El Salvador's new president, Nayib Bukele.