Education for 250 working children in Chiapas

Jul 11, 2013

Video with working children in San. Domingo market

This latest update on the project is a video made by children involved in the project, who work with their families in the Santo Domingo artisan market in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

You can watch the six minute video (Spanish, with English subtitles) here:   

This video project had several aims: to support the children’s education by encouraging them to learn about the environment around them; to teach them how to make a video, and to teach them about and encourage them to exercise their rights. The children researched and wrote the script as well as the song, which reflects their own sense of humour…

This project will have a practical application in terms of promoting the right to health, and the right for children to have their views taken into account in matters which affect them. Next steps include drafting a joint letter and presenting it along with the video to the local authorities, so that something gets done about rubbish collection and the toilet facilities.

The story of the Santo Domingo market also tells something about the lives of these children. The church around which the market has sprung up was built not long after the Spanish Conquest, and has one of the most beautiful facades in Mexico. During the 1980s large numbers of indigenous Mayan families were violently expelled from villages around San Cristóbal de Las Casas, for converting to Protestantism. Most arrived in the city destitute and had to find a way to make a living; some began to sell artisan goods from the area around the church, and in this way the Santo Domingo market was created.

Nonetheless, the space does not belong to them and they have no formal right to use it. As one of the children says in the video, when the museum was re-inaugurated in 2012, all the vendors in the market and other public spaces in the city were banned from selling goods, effectively denying them work and income for a week.


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Melel Xojobal A.C.

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

Project Leader

Susana Donaire

San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas Mexico

Where is this project located?

Map of Education for 250 working children in Chiapas