For generations, the communities living high up in the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range in Mexico have followed a traditional way of life. Farmers have long grown corn, beans and chili in the lush cloud forests in the region. But their lifestyle is under threat from changing climate patterns and growing water scarcity. The residents are now working with researchers to develop projects to protect the Sierra Madre’s fragile eco-system from deforestation and drought. Reporter Michael Wetzel paid a visit to the villagers, who in addition to farming have also set up a local unit to battle forest fires. The Sierra Madre Oriental region is also home to modern weather stations that are part of a global network, paving the way for world-wide climate research. That’s the focus of a background article from our reporter Caroline Ring.