Tlalana has evolved over several years working uninterruptedly. Some groups of those who have been trained have followed successful processes and others are gone, but we have always left a mark on the way young individuals participate in any project they proposed. Right now, in different ways and with different intensity, we are working with the following groups:
Café cultural / Slam de poesía [Located in Tlalpan, Mexico City] The Cultural Coffee Cooperative Society and the Community Radio Cooperative - Radio Camote XHRCrew, promote conscious poetic literacy. By communicating through the living word (poetry) they send a message for the conservation and restoration of cultural identity based on community and cooperation principles. With the use of poetry the aim of radio is to promote the free speech rights within contemporary literature reinforcing the link between the public and the author. www.fb.com/RadioCamoteXHRC
Chante de Todos [Located in Cuajimalpa, Mexico City] Cultural center born in July 2009 in San Mateo Tlaltenango from the need to build places of encounter and exchange between young people. This place serves to create, express and disseminate culture, and has begun to promote art-related activities, health, education, ecology and sports. In addition, another goal of our organization is related to recover public spaces such as streets, parks and forests (which are part important in our context). www.fb.com/chante.detodos, http://elchantedetodos.wordpress.com
Dkaya Ybaku [Located in Cuicatlán, Oaxaca] The group consists of local young people, interested in preserving the environment by recycling PET. Arguing that township residents have the responsibility and obligation to participate in the conservation of the natural environment in which they live, one of its main objectives is to decrease the amount of waste Cuicatlán strips to landfill located on the banks of the Rio Grande, which is in poor condition. This raises awareness and promotes collection of PET and other recyclable materials to then process it appropriately to be used again as raw material in various processes. www.fb.com/DkayaYbaku, www.dkayaybaku.org
Enchúlame la Bici [Located in Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City] is a communal workshop dedicated to recycle, modify and build customized bikes, teaching basic mechanical maintenance, organizing urban tours and provide advice to urban cyclist. It works under a cooperative model and alternative economy based on solidarity and exchange of work. www.fb.com/enchlame.la.bici
Hydra [Located in Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes.] Is made up of young people from Insurgents neighbourhood who are passionated about music and are interested in defending and spreading urban cultures. They have mounted a printing workshop with original designs and have opened a space for new talents to record songs and improve their skills by sharing experiences with other artists of Aguascalientes.
Jchulmetik [Located in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas] is a group of women interested in promoting reading habits in children.
La voz de la juventud: ideas, proyectos y desarrollo [Located in Maltrata, Veracruz] Is a group of women form Xúchitl community, located on the slopes of Pico de Orizaba. Their goal is to create a meeting place for young people, while generating new productive options for them, this will be innitiated by opening an cyber-coffee.
Obreras insumisas [Located in Tehuacan, Puebla] Female workers, mostly indigenous, with the interest in other women dressmakers from sweatshops learn and defend their human, labor, and community rights. They are currently in the process of forming a cooperative. www.fb.com/pages/Colectivo-Obreras-Insumisas/260936959820?ref=ts&fref=ts, http://colectivoobrerasinsumisas.blogspot.com/
Quetzalli-Cuauhtenco [Located in Milpa Alta, Mexico City] Collective composed mostly by mothers, who are willing to generate employment and food supply chains through the construction of a greenhouse in San Bartolome Xicomulco.
Semillas [Located in Tlahuac, Mexico City] Collective who were trained in Milpa Alta Mixquic but actually works in Tlahuac to create a community center where women and children from 45 days old to 4 years old can participate in early learning activities. With workshops and talks that allow women to develop skills and abilities. The ultimate goal is to teach arts and crafts to enable the inhabitants of Mixquic to have a source of employment.
Taller Guadalupe Peralta DHS [Located in Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes.] Composed by young people from the Guadalupe Peralta neighbourhood who are interested in setting up an urban garden. In addition, activities and events are organized aiming to keep youth away from drugs and violence and promote the culture of peace in their neighborhood.
Taller juguemos a imaginar [Located in Xochimilco, Mexico City] is dedicated to give free summer courses for children near the neighborhood of Santa Cecilia.
Textiles de Hueyapan [Located in Tetela del Volcan, Morelos] Collective in training process that aims to develop projects to promote the arts and crafts tradition in Hueyapan, Morelos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y1hcv_E0MQ
We move forward slowly with firm steps, creating a network in which the young people are linked together, are identified, trained and specialize with the help of digital media and the union of wills: the Tlalana network.
As part of the 2012 second semester, we held the first Tlalana Symposium in Mexico City from October 19th to the 21st. Several collectives attended the call from different cities such as Aguascalientes (Aguascalientes), Tehuacán (Puebla), Cuicatlán (Oaxaca), San Cristobal de las Casas (Chiapas) and different delegations from Mexico City. A total of 42 people that currently participate in “Tlalana: Self-Management & Youth” attended the event, either as facilitators, promoters, co-advisers or other individuals lending their support to the project in various ways.
The aim of the colloquium was to build, from different points of view, the identity of the Tlalana Network. The event served as a starting point to identify our coincidences as young people that build local organized groups to improve our environment.
From the feedback given by the participants and the development of the activities we consider the objectives were met and we are ready to initiate activities that reinforce the links between all actors in the network achieving greater regional impact.
In addition, the new Tlalana Network Platform, an online social network space for training, meeting and exchanging of experiences, was officially presented to the public. In the coming days you will find the report of the symposium, as well as images and videos for the event in our web site.
This year Tlalana began working in the state of Aguascalientes, in western Mexico, and in Milpa Alta, a semi-rural area in Mexico City, while continuing with the groups with which we had already been working.
Tlalana Aguascalientes comprises two collectives of promoters of different ages, from different neighborhoods and with different interests, but sharing the same goal: to work and carry out projects that impact positively on their community. "La Hydra" Community Radio is made up of young people from the colony of Insurgentes, in Aguascalientes, who love music and who are interested in defending and spreading urban cultures. On the other hand, a few miles away there is the collective "Taller Guadalupe"
In Milpa Alta, other collectives have been formed in the villages of San Bartolomé Xicomulco, San Pedro Actopan, Villa Milpa Alta and Tecómitl. The first of these is made up of 6 women. This group is about to be consolidated due to the constancy of these women, who have not given up and decided to make a significant difference in their community. Xicomulco is a small group but high in spirit and enthusiasm for seeing their village renewed. The second task force is gathered in Tecómitl, made up of young people from several nearby communities such as San Pedro Actopan and Villa Milpa Alta. The Tecómitl group formally began the training sessions on May 26th. Since then we have been recurrently assisted by five young people with whom we have managed to carry out four training workshops.
Last September we restarted Tlalana´s activities in Chiapas, in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas. Together with Germinalia A.C we offered the Project Development Workshop for the second time, combining Tlalana´s methodology and philosophy with the experience in workshops and social networks of the organization from Chiapas. In May 2011 the first joint workshop was held, with facilitators from Adeco and Geminalia. The workshop had 9 sessions, where they worked with a group of 20 high school and undergraduate students, most of them native of surrounding indigenous communities. These young students, compiled in 6 groups, are currently implementing their projects in several rural communities and some popular districts of San Cristobal de las Casas. The projects consist of: development of community and mobile libraries, reforestation campaigns, garbage recycling programs, videos and graphic novels on traditions and festivals of their communities, coffee and handicraft cooperatives, as well as bilingual educational (Spanish-Tzotzil) materials for children and youth. All of them have received seed capital from Ashoka through their Avancemos program to start their activities. In the current stage, four new groups from San Cristobal de las Casas are being trained, to whom we wish success in the process of defining their projects. In this second workshop, thanks to the agreement made between Germinalia and Adeco, we have made some changes to the previous methodology: we increased the number of sessions and combined dynamics and topics. We are also following up on the projects from the first workshop, whose members have visited us to share their experience with the new participants about the topic to be addressed at that week’s workshop. With their expertise, they are able to support the new members with the development of their ideas and implementation and management of their projects. This new dynamic has helped motivate both groups. It benefits the newest members as they are able to see the success of the initiatives of other young people like them. And those already in the process are able to convey their experiences and knowledge, seeing themselves as valuable social actors who positively impact their communities. It is planned that both organizations will continue to work together, consolidating each time more groups of young people interested in participating in the processes of change. At the same time, we are joining forces to strengthen the existent networks between the groups in several states. Part of Tlalana’s main objective is to have the young people who join the movement weave mutual partnerships that will enrich their projects, expand their reach, and multiply their experiences. We will report the results from the workshops´ first generation and the progress of new projects as they arise. As always, we welcome any of your comments and we reiterate our invitation to get closer to our organization’s projects. Greetings,
The Tlalana Team
Here we share with you the different activities performed by the Tlalana team in the last few months.
In April we opened an invitation for students aiming towards a bachelors degree in areas like Sociology, Intercultural Development and Management and Sustainable Management of Coastal Areas from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) to train as Tlalana facilitators. The goal was for them to be able to promote comunity projects by working with the local youth later on. About 22 people arrived at the first meeting and 15 of them finished their training in June. We expect these new facilitators to start working with groups of young people sometime next month.
Our other training facilitators are doing great! The group in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas along with Germinalia A.C. completed the training phase and about 20 young people from the area developed 6 projects to take to their home communities. The young people involved in the project all come from indigenous communities in Los Altos, Chiapas, and the six projects they created where assessed by the Avancemos program of Ashoka and received seed capital. A representative from the Tlalana coordination visited San Cristobal de las Casas this summer to sign a permanent collaboration agreement with Germinalia A.C.
Besides these achievements, the seamstresses group from the manufacturing industry in Puebla, constituted the Cooperativa Mujeres Insumisas (Unsubmissive Women Cooperative) and received their first donation from a French organization. With this money the women were able to buy their first two sewing machines and to produce a first batch of denim purses. By selling these purses they should be able to recover their investment and buy more sewing machines to increase their production.
The Xúchil, Veracruz group, composed of 13 women and one man, decided that their first project would be a community café which should provide employment opportunities and a meeting place for young people and for the whole community. They have done an impressive lobbying job with the local authorities which ended in the donation of a lot by the ejidatarios (land owners) assembly for the group to build the café in. This group is called La Voz de la Juventud: ideas, proyectos y desarrollo (The voice of the youth: ideas, projects and development) and they are currently determining the budget they will need to build and run their initiative.
We have great news in the funding area. We were one of the winning initiatives for the Fondo para la Juventud Urbana of UNHABITAT (an agency by the United Nations). Whit this funding we will be able to open 5 more groups in Mexico City and its suburbs and to have a symposium where all our groups will share their experiences. We will also create a consulting team that will join the Tlalana Network to provide expert advice to each group on the specific topics pertaining their projects.
This month, the coordination team of Tlalana: Autogestión y Jóvenes, has been working in the mid-term (2011-2013) plans of the project. In the remaining months of this year we will focus on complying with the basic requirements to improve the impact of the project by developing new tools and increasing the number of groups we work with.
We repeat our invitation to you to send us comments or any other kind of feedback, as well as to get further involved with the project in a closer manner
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Coordinator of Projects