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Sep 18, 2018

Protecting the Indigenous Cultural Heritage

Aguacatenango artisans
Aguacatenango artisans

Joining efforts against artisanal textile plagiarism: 

During the past months there was a disproportionate increase of the cases of plagiarism of the designs of the Mexican handmade indigenous textiles. Unfortunately in Mexico, there is no legal framework that explicitly regulates, stops or prohibits the copy of indigenous artistic representations. However the designs embodied in textiles represent the ancestral knowledge, culture, and cosmovision or worldview of the indigenous communities.

At NGO Impacto, in conjunction with the work we carried out in our "Viernes Tracional" campaign, which seeks to promote knowledge, appreciation, use and consumption of garments made by Mexican artisans, we document and make public the cases that big brands copied textiles designs that belong to indigenous communities, without giving them credit or economic compensation.

The last case in which we got focused was the one in wich Zara brand, (part of Inditex Group), incorporated into the market a garment copying the traditional embroidery elaborated by the artisans of the community of Aguacatenango, Chiapas.

Through alliances with national and international media, we are making public this situation that is affecting not only the artisans from Chiapas, but from all over the country. And we are joying efforts trying to aware people about the importance of conscious and responsible consumption.

In addition, we are promoting public advocacy to seek changes in the Mexican legal framework so that indigenous artisans can adequately protect their cultural heritage.

  

Ethical collaborations, a case of success :

 At the opposite side of brands that do not care about ethical relationship, there are also projects and designers who wish to collaborate with the artisans in a respectful and participative way.

Luis Oliver is a fashion designer designer from Mexico City, with whom Impacto provided a special workshop to the artisans of the Aldama community. This workshop consisted of generating a space of creativity, artisans and artisans together, to develop pieces of textile jewelry. Aldama, is an indigenous community known for the beauty of its textiles. The designs captured in their embroideries are loaded with iconographies and symbolisms that represent not only their cultural heritage, but also relate their way of seeing, feeling and being in the world.

One of the objectives of the workshop was to generate a correspondence between contemporary and traditional techniques. This experimental collaboration stimulated a creative exercise among artisans, artisans and designers. The exchange of knowledge was one of the main results of this shared experience.

 At the same time that the artisans developed new products, they also developed skills that will allow them to reach new markets, and open up more opportunities for their economic and self-development.

In Impacto we will continuing promoting the respect of indigeous people rights. We are convinced that a better society is established through shared effort and ethical and honest relationships. We want to thank you for your generosity that allow us to keep working on a daily basis in benefit of indigenous artisans and their communities. 

Fast Fashion VS Hand Made
Fast Fashion VS Hand Made
Luis (Designer) & Rosa (Artisan)
Luis (Designer) & Rosa (Artisan)
Textile jewerly workshop
Textile jewerly workshop
Jun 25, 2018

Reconstruction support for fungi producers

This report aims to demostrate that your donations have been used effectively; at the same time, to assure donors that the actions we are carrying-out have a long-term effect, providing sustainability to the people most affected by the S7 earthquake in Chiapas and Oaxaca.

At this stage, we worked in collaboration with the setas (fungi) producer Cooperative "Mol Mentes", based in San Cristobal de Las Casas Chiapas, to support the reconstruction of their facilities, which were affected by the S7 earthquake. Due to the damage caused, the economy of all small producers that make up the cooperative was paralyzed, giving that the sale of setas products is their only source of income.

This project included the purchase of reconstruction materials for the production module, the incubation and storage areas. Thanks to your support, the producers now have safe facilities, besides they have managed to execute a plan to recover the harvest and reactivate mushroom production, with a proper and well-designed infraestructure to do so.

The materials with which the module was built was improved. Previously the infrastructure was built of wood and now other materials were used, which allow greater safety for the future and optimal production conditions. With the improvements achieved, the producers have managed to increase their production and the quality of their product, allowing them in turn, to sell them at better prices.

This reconstruction project was of great relevance for the reactivation of the local economy and contributed to the well-being of twenty six families, besides the families of the producers that make up the Cooperative. There is also a number of indirect beneficiaries, as the production of mushrooms is a key element in other productive chains related to setas production in the area.


We would like to thank you for your kind and generous donations to support this Earthquake Recovery & Reconstruction Program. This couldn't be possible without your engagement!

Jun 19, 2018

From one end, to a betterment

Workshop at San Juan Cancuc
Workshop at San Juan Cancuc

The first semester 2018 has been full of experiences and achievements! We are excited to share with you the past three months updates:

In México, 72% of the indigenous population lives in poverty conditions. We are convinced of making actions as for this metric to change. The way we contribute to this change is by constructing bridges for indigenous women whom have less development opportunities, so that they can improve their lives by self-management and autonomy. There is no possible development without the active participation of women; it is a fact that the reality of the communities cannot be transformed without them.

With the last alliances and new groups of mayan women artisans that have agreed to collaborate with this project, Impacto is now serving close to 600 women from 12 indigenous communities in the Highlands of Chiapas, Mexico; some of them with the highest poverty rates in Mexico. We have made 42 in-situ field visits in these communities, in which we carried out workshops focused on creativity, product development, pricing, color palettes and tendencies, product finishes and quality.  

Aguacatenango and Larrainzar are two groups that recently join Impacto, the experience of working together and sharing experiences had been awesome. We had been able to construct bridges between the artisan women of Aguacatenango municipality and an international social brand, which allow them to expand worldwide the commercialization of their very high quality hand made products, at fair prices.

With the group of Larrainzar, we are carrying out workshops for 20 women who work with the backstrap-loom, making an excellent combination of talents all together. The goal of these workshops focuses on creativity and tendencies so that artisans can develop new and innovative products focused in a home collection that will be placed for their sell in the “Instituto Casa de Las Artesanías, Chiapas” stores, a government Institute which boosts the development of craft activities through the promotion of production and marketing, preserving and rescuing the historical and socio-cultural elements of the material and immaterial heritage of handicrafts.

With these exchanges of knowledges, besides their great talents and cultural heritage, the artisans women, day by day, are achieving autonomy and self-management as a way of improving their lives, while being able to reduce the cycle of inequality.

You are part of this positive impact in the lives of all this women, their children, their families and their whole communities. An important part of these achievements are possible because of your support. We are confident we will be counting on you, so that NGO Impacto will keep improving thousand of lives by being instrumental in reducing poverty and inequality.

New products made by artisans from Larrainzar
New products made by artisans from Larrainzar
Sharing knowledges with artisan women
Sharing knowledges with artisan women
Sharing knowledges with artisan women
Sharing knowledges with artisan women
 
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