Dec 17, 2019

Great news for Community Narrative Practice in Mexico!

Dear friend,

We have some great news to share from Chiapas, Mexico!  Last week, the Vista Hermosa Foundation, an ally of ours for over a decade, approved a grant to support the second and third stages of Community Narrative Practice (CNP) with tzeltal families. This ally, along with all of you, will allow us to provide follow-up on the 135 interviews collected with women and men regarding gender violence and reproductive health in five tzeltal indigenous communities. 

Since receiving your support this summer and the most recent support of the Vista Hermosa Foundation, Dr. Kathleen Cash has been analyzing the patterns in the interviews to find common threads. This is a process Kathy has carried out in all her CNP projects, and is essential to making sure the program matches the community´s real issues. In approximately April of 2020 Kathy will be traveling to Mexico again to teach us this process so we can replicate it in other regions where Amextra works, and in the future share the process with other non-profit organizations in Mexico.  

We´ve been in contact with Kathy during this data analysis and story-writing time in case she has questions about any of the interviews.  As the project advances we´ll be sharing with you, our community of supporters, information about the storybooks that have been created as well as other updates from the field.  

Thank you for believing that a world without gender violence is possible. We´re honored to include you in this journey that has the potential to change the lives of hundreds of women and men in Mexico through reflection on current beliefs and brainstorming of alternatives.  

 

With gratitude,

 

Stephanie Ahlgrain

Manager of Fundraising and Strategic Alliances

Amextra

Nov 29, 2019

Exciting nutrition plans in store for 2020!

Paty is our nutritionist in Los Altos, Chiapas
Paty is our nutritionist in Los Altos, Chiapas

Dear friend,

We have some exciting plans to tell you about for nutrition and food security project with tzotzil indigenous families in Chiapas.  From November 10 to 16th we had our annual all-staff training, in which 35 staff members from every region where Amextra currently works participated in a series of technical workshops, recieved reminders of Amextra´s values, practiced skills for conflict resolution, and learned a ton of beneficial information that will enrich their work next year.  

During this training we also had time to refine out 2020 annual plans. The team of Los Altos, Chiapas has some exciting plans for their health and nutrition project! Here are three that stand out.

First, this year the local team will be partnering with a local elementary school to carry out height, weight, and hemoglobin testing of kids from 6 to 12 years old. We have been monitoring the 0-6 age range population for the past two years, and this year we have an opportunity to expand our attention to a wider range of kids. Us being us, we´ve decided to assume the challenge!

Second, also at this local elementary school we will be having clasees two times per month on healthy diets and the value of producing our own food. The school garden will be finished in the first trimester of 2020. We have the goal incorporate three native vegetable species in this garden to benefit the nutrition of the students. This combination of the school garden, nutrtion information, and height weight measurement will help us gear our accompaniment toward the real and most pressing needs of the families in this area.  We can´t wait! 

Third, we will be holding the second annual gastronomic fair in 2020, in which the families we work with prepare a healty recipe using the principles learned from the nutritionist. This recipe is then shared at a pot luck type event with other families in the community. The event was a huge sucess in 2019, with families showing enthusiasm to create a creative recipe, work with Amextra to get the materials they need, and then to present and share their healthy creation with others.  

While the current state of nutrtion in the region is grim, we are inspired by the small, incremental changes we´ve seen this year.  Stay with us to see how the school project and other nutrition advances go in 2020! 

Wishing you a great holiday season,

Stephanie

The Los Altos teams discussing next years plans
The Los Altos teams discussing next years plans
Spending time outside to think clearly about goals
Spending time outside to think clearly about goals
Presenting their plan to the group
Presenting their plan to the group
Oct 10, 2019

Fundraising and planning stages in progress!

Because of all of you, on Global Giving we have raised $4,430 for Amextra´s Community Narrative Practice (CNP) project for preventing violence against women in Mexico. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

With your generous support we will be able to keep reviewing the interviews collected in the Ocosingo region of Chiapas, bring Dr. Kathleen Cash to Mexico again to train the artists and story writers, and create the storybooks that will be used to spark dialogue.  We are waiting on the results of a few grants, and expect to begin the second phase in January. 

Currently we are working in Ocosingo, Chiapas with our regular projects in health and nutrition, environmental protection, income generation and education.  Women artisans are increasing their income, corn and fruit production is on the rise, and the social fabric is growing strong. One thing that makes this project special is the relationship of trust built with the communities, and the trust within the communities themselves. With this background in place, communities have the basis to open up to discuss deeper topics, such as gender violence.  CNP is the pefect method for this time in the community, as there is already a strong base of community cooperation.    

Every three months of we will be sending you notes like these from the field, telling you about our progress with this gender violence project in Mexico and sending photos we think you´ll love.  Thank you again for your support! We look forward to sharing this process of deep, meaningful community transformation with you. 

Sincerely, 


Stephanie

 
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