Aug 19, 2019

Indigenous artisans representing Mexico overseas at event "A la Mexicana"

In the J/M Gallery located in Portobello Road, London, the "A la Mexicana" event was held, an exhibition that have for purpose to show the stories and implications of craft work. This event was achieved with the collaboration of students from the London College of Fashion, Hilando Historias, the Mexican embassy and the NGO Impacto. The aim is to celebrate artisanal tradition, ethical work and the exchange of knowledge among artisans, brands and designers.

The guiding axes of “A la Mexicana” is social and cultural innovation with a reflexive approach to cases of cultural appropriation. The exhibition also sought to shed light on the processes of the value chain and ethical trade. The brands and designers who participated in the exhibition are Andrea Velasco, the cooperative women Sembrando la Vida, Estela Ivonné, Fábrica Social, 1/8 Takamura and NGO Impacto, that collaborates with artisans and artisans of the Highlands of Chiapas.

On Wednesday, July 3, a round table was held preceded by María, an artisan from Aguacatenango, Chiapas. María shared her thoughts about the consequences and effects of cultural appropriation on her community: “These embroideries are from us, from my community (…) we must be aware that these embroideries are an important part of our work and income. It affects us as artisans because these embroideries are part of our tradition, each flower, each embroidery, represents a history of our culture.”

The round table was moderated by the director of NGO Impacto. Similarly, the lecturer, cultural researcher, and coordinator of the LCF Dr. Serkan D. shared some comments regarding the current debate about cultural appropriation. Also participated in a videoconference with Ph.D. candidate Diana A. G. of the Auckland University of Technology who presented her research: "Decolonising design with indigenous artisans in Mexico for ethical consumption"

Generating debates around the problems that arise from cases of plagiarism and cultural appropriation should be a central effort for the recognition of the cultural heritage of indigenous peoples around the world. It is central that artisans like Maria have the space to talk about the consequences and implications that plagiarism causes within their community.

This encounter undoubtedly has been a milestone to keep promoting exchanges of dialogue. We hope to continue generating in the short term this important spaces and moments. For now, the plan is to repeat the experience next year, hopefully it will be possible. 

To learn more about what happened at the “A la Mexicana” event, we invite you to check the Instagram of the A la Mexicana event and the social networks of NGO Impacto e Hilando Historias.

Team NGO Impacto.



Jun 18, 2019

Continuation of human development workshops

During these months we have continued with the facilitation of Human Development, observing great advances within the groups that are consolidating with a better capacity of organization and participation in the activities of the workshops.

For a community to have the possibility of flourishing in the different areas of its social, economic and cultural situation, it is essential that its inhabitants have access to the full development of their capacities. According to the United Nations Development Program, human development is a concept that covers the different areas of human growth. Essentially aims the possibility of a person from the free decision-making. In other words, the themes that comprise human development point to the creation of an environment in which people can develop their maximum potential, have a productive and creative life in relation to their interests and needs.

"We do not have to keep bad things in our hearts because they hurt us.
Manuela, artisan of Huixtán."

ONG Impacto has implemented a series of facilitation in which different dynamics are developed with artisans. These workshops are given by the facilitators Silvia López López (originally from the municipality of Chamula) and Imelda Gómez Girón (originally from the community of Tenejapa). The work seeks to foster critical reflections on topics related to Teamwork, Leadership, and Self-esteem. The methodologies of these facilitations are aimed at improving the quality of life of the communities. They also seek to identify the individual and group problems to which the artisans face day by day with respect to their customs and traditions.

"When we die, our knowledge dies with us if we do not share it."
Antonia, an artisan from Tenejapa

During the facilitation, the artisans reiterated the importance of recognizing themselves, their limitations, virtues, abilities, and work. They also expressed the benefits of creating spaces exclusively for them, where they can reflect on the improvement of their work as a group.

"I was surprised when they told me I could be a leader because I did not know."
Rosalinda, artisan of Huixtán.

Jun 18, 2019

Reconstruction of the Coffee Museum

The place currently occupied by the Coffee Museum Café A.C, as registered in the catalog of historical and immovable monuments, was built between the 19th and 20th centuries. It has wide walls made of adobe, its structure is made of wood and has clay tiles. This museum is considered a historical space since on June 15, 1998, several cooperatives of small coffee producers came together to form the Café Café Museum. The Union Majomut cooperatives, San Fernando Ejido Union, Cesmach, Finca Triunfo Verde, Tzeltal Tzotzil Cooperative, OTPC de Cancuc, Tiemelonla Nich Klum, Cholom Bola, and Yaxcoffe joined efforts to create a space to celebrate the Café de Chiapas.

However, due to the earthquake of September 7, 2017, the Coffee Museum Café suffered damage to its structure. In collaboration with the NGO Impacto and the participating cooperatives, a work plan was implemented for the rehabilitation of the property. The impact of this rehabilitation has as beneficiaries 5, 800 families. It is important to mention that in recent years the Coffee Museum Café has been fundamental in the conservation and dissemination of the history of indigenous coffee. In the same way, he has dedicated his spaces for the implementation of cultural, artistic events and conferences around coffee.

Since the 1990s, the Coffee Museum Café has been characterized by promoting fair trade and the consumption of products from indigenous areas. For what has contributed to the strengthening of the coffee sector of these communities, has been a fundamental piece in the promotion of culture and self-management of the region.

We want to thank the support of all our donors because, without their contribution, the reconstruction of this historic property would not have been possible. Let's continue collaborating with the communities of Los Altos de Chiapas to protect their history and culture. With small actions, we are capable of generating great changes. 

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