Oil palm cropping expands rapidly in the Mexican state of Campeche. The crop has the potential to contribute to agricultural diversification and economic development of rural communities. At the same time, the effect of its rapid, unplanned expansion on income strategies and food security of domestic groups in rural communities is largely unknown. The goal of this study is to analyze the effects of the oil palm crop on income strategies and food security in rural communities of the south of Campeche State, México. The Sustainable Livelihoods (SL) approach was used and information on cropping and SL was gathered through a survey and participatory community workshops. Results show that, until now, oil palm cropping is a complementary activity to the income strategies of the farmers’ families as these incorporate palm cultivation, while maintaining their other productive activities. Oil palm plantation establishment contributes to productive diversification, job creation and provision of stable incomes of domestic groups (DGs). Furthermore, domestic groups that include oil palm production in their income strategies have a greater degree of food security.