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Aug 23, 2019

Evaluation process on Mountain region of Guerrero

Students of 31 communities participate on project
Students of 31 communities participate on project

This last trimester we have developed activities to evaluate the actions carried out during the Comprehensive and Social Reconstruction of Habitat project in the Mountain region of Guerrero, in order to conclude Phase III and start designing the following stage.

For Cooperación Comunitaria is very important to receive feedback from the different participants of the project. So, we decided to advance in this process during the rainy temporary, since the constructions are inevitably stopped due to the climate conditions.

On one hand, in June we met in the Intercultural University of the State of Guerrero (UIEG, in the Spanish abbreviation) to identify how we can improve our work methodology with representatives of:

  • indigenous education teachers;
  • authorities, academics and students of the UIEG;
  • community promoters trained throughout the whole project;
  • and members of Cooperación Comunitaria.

It is worth recalling that in the University we started the project of the Environmental Classroom, where students from 31 communities and 15 municipalities will receive practical workshops about the reinforced constructive system with adobe, proposed by Cooperación Comunitaria, and about different eco-technologies.

Besides, to strengthen the evaluation we visited the community El Obispo, where the whole project started with the construction of community buildings, housing, composting toilets and wood saving stoves, along with Grabiel Cantú, a local promoter who learned all of these techniques and continues collaborating with our team as master builder.

On the other hand, mè’phàà (local indigenous group) poet Hubert Matiúwàa, who produced eleven radio capsules along with some inhabitants of the region, about themes such as defense of the territory,landslides risk prevention and self-management, deforestation, use of agrochemical products, construction with adobe, and the right to adequate housing; evaluated dissemination strategy of these in several community radios by applying questionnaires to their listeners.

Also, we worked on the final edition of a testimonial video about different ways of housing production in the communities of the municipality of Malinaltepec after they were affected by the hurricanes Ingrid and Manuel in 2013: the ones built by real estate companies, spontaneous self-construction of the inhabitants, and the ones produced by the people with the reinforced system with adobe proposed and advised by Cooperación Comunitaria.

The video addresses fundamental aspects such as: habitability, vulnerability, the degree of cultural, geological, climatological and productive adequation. The purpose of this material is to serve for advocacy towards housing policies of the current government; and to impact in post disaster housing models to improve their adaptation to sociocultural, environmental and economical aspects of the most vulnerable populations in Mexico.

Feedback from particpants of the project
Feedback from particpants of the project
We visited constructions concluded previously
We visited constructions concluded previously
Evaluating spreading strategy in community radios
Evaluating spreading strategy in community radios
Testimonial video about 3 housing production types
Testimonial video about 3 housing production types
Aug 15, 2019

Increasing habitability and reducing vulnerability post disaster

34 kitchens with earth construction
34 kitchens with earth construction

The Comprehensive and Social Reconstruction of Habitat project in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, continues improving habitability and diminishing vulnerability of many families in the communities of Ixtepec, Niltepec, Xadani, Chihuitán, San Francisco del Mar, Unión Hidalgo, and San Mateo del Mar; thanks to all the organizations and people that have showed solidarity after de emergency caused by the earthquakes of 2017.

Kitchens, traditional bread and comixcal ovens

Until August 15 of 2019,  we have finished a total of 34 kitchens of bajareque cereén; 17 of them in Ixtepec, 16 in Niltepec —a community where all kitchens proposed have been concluded— and one in San Mateo del Mar. There, we started the constructive phase with a school-kitchen, after a series of meetings and participative design workshops with the community to identify its needs.

This last school-kitchen adds up to the ones developed before: 3 in Ixtepec, 1 in Niltepec y 1 in Xadani. On July 17 and 29, we did an evaluation of this process with the indigenous ikoot community of San del Mar, along with the local organization Monapaküy, to gather feedback and establish the following steps.

In the case of Ixtepec, 2 of 3 school-kitchens were built in the middle school 20 de Noviembre, so the new generations could recover constructive traditions, increase their technical capacities and reinforce their mutual support practices —such as tequios— that are commonly implemented in their communities.

In addition to this, we had previously built 156 comixcal ovens: 88 in Ixtepec, 26 in Chihuitán, 25 in Niltepec, and 17 in Xadani; aswell as 22 traditional bread ovens in Ixtepec. The purpose of those constructions is to contribute to the recovery of local economy, mainly for women whose productive activities are carried out with this infrastructure.

Traditional istmeña housing

Regarding the reconstruction of housing, until now we have concluded 19 new constructions and reinforced 38 houses in Ixtepec. During this process 93 construction workers have learned about secure constructions systems, number that may increase towards the ending of the project.

Reconstruction of community spaces in Ixtepec

Also, we continue working with local organizations. On july, the construction works of the Sociedad Ganadera building started, and we followed with a collaborative design process with the members of the Sociedad Agrícola.to reinforce their building, in collaboration with the Comité Ixtepecano para la Defensa de la Vida y el Territorio.

Center of Arts and Crafts

During this period, we also finished the last details of the Center of Arts and Crafts in Ixtepec. The whole constructive process of this building, served as a practical workshop for many workers to learn and specialize on earth construction and the system of bajareque cerén, as well as for other participants of the project who collaborated through collective activities called tequios.

After its inauguration, the Comité Ixtepecano foresees to foster participative diagnoses with local committees, collectives, organizations and community structures with purpose of designing a program for the first six months, that responds to the concerns and needs of the different sectors of the population.

Feedback activities during each process
Feedback activities during each process
Mutual support among the youth
Mutual support among the youth
Reconstruction of 57 houses in Ixtepec
Reconstruction of 57 houses in Ixtepec
Reconstruction of 2 community buildings
Reconstruction of 2 community buildings
Center of Arts and Crafts finished
Center of Arts and Crafts finished
May 29, 2019

Reducing vulnerability through knowledge transfer

Center for Indigenous Education in Ojo de Agua
Center for Indigenous Education in Ojo de Agua

The project to reduce vulnerability through environmental management and increasing constructive capacities in reinforced adobe, developed in communities of the Mountain region of Guerrero continues.

Center for Indigenous Education in La Ciénega

On March 16th the Supervision Center for Preschool Indigenous Education was inaugurated in the community of La Ciénega, municipality of Malinaltepec. The event was attended by municipal authorities of this community, and from others nearby, as well as authorities of the Intercultural University of the State of Guerrero, pre-school teachers of indigenous education, and representatives of Cooperación Comunitaria AC, who signed the certificate of delivery.

In the same community, we also developed a workshop about the maintenance of reinforced adobe construction to people from different communities in the Mountain region of Guerrero, such as Ojo de Agua, Paraje Montero, La Ciénega, Malinaltepec, Laguna Seca, Llano Pantanoso, San Luis Acatlán, Llano de Heno, La Taberna, and La Soledad.

Center for Indigenous Education in Ojo de Agua

The last details of the Supervision Center for Indigenous Education in the community of Ojo de Agua are almost finished, and it is expected to be inaugurated in June this year. Currently, we are building a dry toilet that contributes to reduce the contamination of groundwater systems and rivers in the region.

The technique of earth plastering over adobe walls has been well received by the people who have visited the center. This contributes to reduce a common practice in the region that consists on plastering adobe constructions with cement, which weakens the building because the cement prevents humidity of adobe walls from being released.

Considering the right to adequate housing a cultural right, the visual artist Mariana Castillo proposed to develop a series of earth stamps to plaster the Center inspired by an ancient codex called “Códice Azoyú”, a pictographic testimony made during the second half of the 16th century that tells a part of the history of the region, very important for the culture of the indigenous group called Me’phaa.

Environmental Classroom in the Intercultural University

The Self-Construction of the Environmental Classroom Project in the Intercultural University of the State of Guerrero (UIEG, in Spanish) had to be rescheduled due to the raining temporary coming soon, so it was not possible to start the constructive process this year. Nonetheless, we decided to advance in the formative process of the students and the production of all the adobes that will be used for the classroom is already finished.

We implemented workshops about safe housing and risk management, as well as a hands-on workshop to make adobes with students from 2nd and 6th semesters that are studying the careers of Sustainable Development and Alternative Tourism, whose subjects converge with the themes addressed in the project proposed by Cooperación Comunitaria to the UIEG.

In this context, the students also visited the Centers for Indigenous Education in La Ciénega and Ojo de Agua, so they could identify the reinforcement and habitability components in the constructive system proposed by Cooperación Comunitaria.

Inauguration of Center for indigenous education
Inauguration of Center for indigenous education
Workshop about construction maintenance
Workshop about construction maintenance
Earth stamp plastering based on ancient codex
Earth stamp plastering based on ancient codex
Hands-on workshop to make adobe bricks
Hands-on workshop to make adobe bricks
Safe housing and risk management at University
Safe housing and risk management at University
 
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