Jose Luis Alvarez

Jose Luis Alvarez


Our partner Jose Luis Alvarez Alcala is a Mexican tree nurseryman, who has for decades been growing trees for reforestation projects. In 1997 he created Forests For Monarchs (FFM) also known as La Cruz Habitat Protection Program, an innovative non-profit designed to restore the Monarch's forest habitat and at the same time give indigenous people a desperately needed source of wood for cooking, heating and building houses.

Jose Luis's Vision

Jose Luis realized that if he could find financial support to produce millions of tree seedlings to give away, he could persuade local farmers and other members of rural communities to plant them on portions of their land. This would get more trees in the ground, and would also provide impoverished communities with their own forests from which to harvest wood. There would be no need to disturb the few precious remaining acres of original monarch habitat.

Forests For Monarchs Impact

Jose Luis has been helping locals plant sustainable forest areas ever since he started Forests for Monarchs in 1997. These woodlots provide habitat for the monarchs and other wildlife and they protect fragile mountain soils. They are sustainably harvested to meet the needs of the local people, such that the most sacred monarch over-wintering grounds can be preserved. Jose Luis' education initiatives in communities & schools have encompassed not only forest ecology but also watershed protection, sustainable living and planning for future generations.

Oyamel Trees
Jose Luis Alvarez

Our Partnership

Our founder, Peggy Farabaugh read about Jose Luis Alvarez and the work he was doing through Forests for Monarchs. Because she created our company on a mission of forest conservation, and because we were already involved in restoring monarch habitat in Vermont, Peggy felt we should develop a partnership with FFM and get serious about conserving the monarchs. That's how our Save the Monarchs tour was born. Read more about our monarch conservation efforts here:

Monarch Butterflyweed
  • Jose Luis is a silviculturist in Mexico who has devoted his life to restoring the forested winter habitat of the Monarch butterfly
  • With donations from people all across the USA, Canada and Mexico, Forests For Monarchs has been able to plant over 11 million trees
  • During the winter Michoacan, Mexico is home to the entire species of the Eastern Monarch Butterfly, including those that summer in Vermont
  • Learn more about Jose Luis and his work in this BBC video and BBC radio interview by Saskia Edwards

Featured Blogs

Conserving Monarch Habitat

Jose Luis Alvarez has devoted his life to conserving Monarch butterfly habitat in Mexico. Hes traveling to Vermont this summer to help us do the same!

Reforesting Monarch Butterfly Habitat

Jose Luis Alvarez founded the La Cruz Habitat Protection Program, a non-profit dedicated to reforesting Monarch Butterfly habitat in Mexico.

Monarch Habitat
Butterflies On the Brink

A freak spring storm just struck Michoacan, Mexico leaving a foot of snow & putting the future of the Monarch Butterfly in jeopardy.


Related Articles

What the 3 Amigos should really talk about today: monarch butterflies

The magic of the monarch migration from Canada through the U.S. and on to Mexico continues to be in existential jeopardy.

In Forest Debris, the Odor of Dead Monarchs

Walking up the steep path through what remains of the montane forest at the Rosario sanctuary, it is hard at first to notice the monarch butterflies everywhere.

Monarch on Flower
Defending the Monarch

Each November, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies from the U.S. and Canada arrive in this rugged, mountainous region in Michoacán State...

Monarchs Group