Mar 3, 2021

Creating a better reality

Monitoring of home gardens
Monitoring of home gardens

We greet you again with great joy after a few months of work. As we have shared with you before, we continue to use all our creativity to build new forms and alternatives to this new reality. We have made the most of every bit that each of you has given through GlobalGiving to contribute that children, women, and families in the Highlands of Chiapas have a better quality of life, thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts!

Literacy and regularization of primary education

During these months, the work of organizations such as Tierra Roja Cuxtitali has been fundamental. It has followed up on children and adolescents who have not been able to continue with their formal education given the pandemic and support those who have always been disadvantaged and have no education access. The demand for the services they provide to the community grows day by day. In the past months, Tierra Roja started with 15 people in the School for young people and adult women, a bet developed during the health crisis to give opportunities to women who are also users of the center. In the same way, in the last few months, they have restarted face-to-face activities with the children, taking care of the safety of all: organizing themselves into brigades with few participants and working outdoors with all sanitary measures. Twelve children and adolescents who do not have a formal education attended literacy classes, basic mathematics, and comprehensive knowledge. At the same time, 33 children and adolescents have participated in-school support and alternative training activities. Training-for-life workshops were also carried out (art, permaculture, native languages, reading promotion, approach to computing, basic English) and Human Rights Workshops for childhood and adolescence where 45 children participated. Children and adolescents have experienced many traumatic experiences in this last year since the pandemic has put their development at risk and other situations such as teacher strikes and floods that occurred in the city. Enabling a safe, community, and peaceful space for play and learning like Tierra Roja is essential for Los Altos' children.

Healthy nutrition through family and community gardens

With the pandemic and moments of crisis, we have learned that it is increasingly important to find ways to survive, have a good diet, and alternative forms of exchange in communities. Encouraging food sovereignty, the creation of family, school, and community gardens adds a lot to this and the care of the environment. Among the projects are that of CAMADDS with Mujeres y Maiz Criollo Collective, UNECODES, and SOLMUNDI. During these months, the Mujeres y Maiz Criollo Collective established more alliances with the community. They generated synergies in the Tlaxcala neighborhood, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, with Plan Bioma, another group made up of people and families of the same area. They carried out meetings and assemblies where around 25 people participated, which served to see the needs of the community gardens that are already operating in the neighborhood. They have also accompanied the orchards where 50 people have participated and have been carried out workshops on conscious eating and responsible consumption for children, teenagers, and mothers of families. As well as in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, they have worked with several families in other communities of Los Altos: in Bochilté and La Libertad from Huixtán, El Corralito from Tenejapa, Jamuvil and Naranjatik from Chenalhó, and in El Pozo from San Juan Cancuc. Around 250 people have been assisted. Thanks to the three organizations, it has been possible to carry out different agroecological activities (workshops, monitoring, and meetings) and improve their orchards and plots' management and diversification. The families, among several things, have improved in the treatment of their poultry and their sheep: taking better care of their pens, they apply vaccines and home remedies that are prepared in the workshops, and have strengthened their knowledge in the reproduction of animals. Another vital activity they have carried out is exchanging experiences and products, which have contributed more to their gardens and created a closer relationship between people. Families continue to be strengthened through workshops such as the importance of rescuing local knowledge and conserving native seeds, solidarity economy, management in coffee cultivation, etc. Some families who have spent more time working in their gardens have already been able to exchange or sell the surplus of the products they produce, and in this crisis, it has made a difference for them.

Psycho-emotional support and care for children/women

In addition to children and adolescents, women, in particular, have had to go through different traumatic moments derived from the pandemic crisis, in addition to the difficult situation that many of them could have at home:

  • They have lost their jobs.
  • They have had to change their dynamics with their children.
  • Floods suffered in the city.

Monitoring emotional well-being has been essential for all of them. The Tierra Roja Cuxtitali community center as the Yachil Antzetik Community Home has continued with this vital work. In the Community Home to continue serving women, since several stopped attending due to the crisis, they decided to change the strategy and approve the dissemination of support through the media, such as posters, social networks, and radio, resulting in a positive response. On the other hand, they monitored the users' status more frequently with phone calls and requested help to locate those who had stopped attending. Hogar Comunitario served three hundred sixty-three women in this way, several women returned, and new users were able to benefit from the workshops on self-esteem and emotional intelligence. The delivery of pantries continued to be important for several due to their situation. In the Oruga space, the children were cared for as their mothers participated. In Tierra Roja, the little house of emotions continues to work, following up 45 children. Through workshops, they support them with their state of mind and group and individual work on their feelings.

Shelter for pregnant indigenous migrant women

Yach'il Antzetik Community Home welcomed seven women, all of whom were suffering from violent situations. Thanks to the intervention and work they carry out, they are strengthened to face adversities in their daily lives and with their children. Besides, these women continue with support afterward through the workshops and their follow-up. On the other hand, primary care and counseling were also given to 9 adolescents with an unplanned pregnancy and eight couples, making the men more interested in the topics discussed and changing their attitude towards their partner and the pregnancy.

 

We will continue creating and working to improve :D. Once again, we thank you for your support. Together with the children, women, and families, we transform the Highlands of Chiapas. Soon we will share more news with you, and we hope that you continue contributing through GlobalGiving to have more positive stories to tell :)

Thank you very much!

Alternative training activities
Alternative training activities
Human Rights Workshops
Human Rights Workshops
Conserving native seeds
Conserving native seeds
Meeting to exchange experiences
Meeting to exchange experiences
Vegetable workshop
Vegetable workshop
Self-esteem workshops
Self-esteem workshops
Oruga's space
Oruga's space
Encounters with women in Hogar Comunitario
Encounters with women in Hogar Comunitario
Support poster
Support poster
Nov 4, 2020

Overcoming challenges and creating alternatives

Food baskets
Food baskets

Once again, we greet you with great joy and share the exciting news of our foundation and the projects we support through the GlobalGiving Improve quality of health and education in Mexico project.

We especially appreciate your support and solidarity in these months. We have been adapting to all the changes that have occurred and have had to overcome various challenges. At Amigos de San Cristóbal, we have been able to get ahead together, listening to us, collaborating, and working as a team with beneficiary organizations, our allies, donors from different parts of the world, and volunteers from our community.

 

Literacy and regularization of primary education

Tierra Roja Cuxtitali worked in children's educational support and literacy during the months of stronger social distancing. Through phone calls and mainly through WhatsApp, because many families do not have internet service at home and video calls with those families with access. They also organized virtual cultural activities such as the Cuxtifest, where people share music, theater, and stories for the children. Together with other organizations, they could consult on how girls, boys, and adolescents in San Cristóbal de Las Casas live the coronavirus pandemic? Thanks to that, we learned about many children and young people's situation during this health crisis and their difficulties. With the reduction of restrictions, it has been possible to carry out face-to-face and outdoor activities by taking all the necessary measures, such as installing a handwashing unit and face masks' mandatory use. Thanks to constant contact with the people in his community and listening to their needs, the Entrepreneurship School project for young and adult women started.

 

Healthy nutrition through school gardens

Over this period, following up with the primary school, 31 de Marzo was also affected by the health crisis. However, the grantee organization Capacitación Asesoría Medio Ambiente y Defensa del Derecho a la Salud, A.C. along with the Mujeres y Maíz Criollo Collective, have adapted to the new situation and have been able to continue working. With the absence of teachers and students, the activities have been carried out with volunteers and Don Toñito, the primary caregiver. Regarding planting and care. Actions and meetings that have to be carried out in person have had to be postponed. The Follow-up with students and teachers' workgroups has been carried out via WhatsApp, where work plans and remote monitoring have been made.

 

Psycho-emotional support and care for children/women

Psycho-emotional support and care for women and children continue. In Tierra Roja Cuxtitali, they have followed up through the Friendly Line. It is a call center to provide emotional support and a listening space from the psychologist who collaborates with the Center. Hogar Comunitario Yach'il Antzetic, AC, has continued to deliver pantries to needy women's families. Through this, they have monitored their emotional state and talked with them about the different possibilities to create alternatives to the crisis. Thanks to the donation of seeds to the Community Home, the urban garden project has been able to start, which has helped women who come to the Center more regularly to learn and find alternatives for food security.

 

Shelter for pregnant indigenous migrant women

Hogar Comunitario has continued to provide shelter and monitoring for pregnant women in vulnerable situations. During the crisis, they monitored women by telephone to determine their overall health and well-being. During the delivery of pantries, and when the social distancing restrictions lowered, workshops on health and sexual reproduction issues could occur in the open air following necessary measures, such as the talk: How much do I know the parts of my the functions performed by each body?

 

In particular, during these months, we had to rethink our actions and use our creativity to support the most vulnerable in a better way. Many families have been left without income sources and do not have the means or the necessary tools so that their children can continue remotely in schools. During these months, we have also helped all families with deliveries of food baskets that can give them a break from the crisis that has unleashed. We want to thank you again for your solidarity and help since with this, we have been able to continue supporting and looking for better alternatives.

 

Thank you all for been here with us. 

Working at home
Working at home
Follow-up calls
Follow-up calls
Health workshops
Health workshops
Urban gardens
Urban gardens
Jul 7, 2020

Women and children improve their education and health in Chiapas

Homework support
Homework support

From Amigos de San Cristóbal we want to thank all of you who have contributed to our campaign and let you know that despite the health crisis, the difficulties and the challenges we are currently facing, at our community foundation and at our grantee organizations that you have supported, we continue working to improve the educational and health conditions of children and women in vulnerable situations in the Highlands of Chiapas. Thanks to all your support, we can share with you some very good news :D

Literacy and closing achievement gaps in basic education

Over the past few months in the grantee organization Tierra Roja Cuxtitali Centro Comunitario A.C. and prior to the declaration of the pandemic, literacy, basic mathematics and comprehensive knowledge classes were held for 8 out-of-school children and adolescents. Support was also given in homework and activities, such as closing educational achievement gaps with 32 children and adolescents enrolled in different academic areas and levels, in this accompaniment, alternative topics were taught with diverse methodologies to understand the world and develop autonomous opinions and critical thinking. After the declaration of the pandemic and the inability to safely have in-person activities, tele- and virtual accompaniment was carried out for each one of the participants. Other activities have also been developed, such as making weekly videos with game tutorials that have been shared on WhatsApp, and teaching materials that have been distributed to children.

Healthy nutrition through school cafeterias and gardens

Over this period, following up with the primary school 31 de Marzo was also affected by the health crisis, however, the grantee organization Capacitación Asesoría Medio Ambiente y Defensa del Derecho a la Salud, A.C. along with the Mujeres y Maíz Collective, have adapted to the new situation and have been able to continue working. Communication has been maintained to follow up on the work proposed for this school year. During this time, meetings and workshops have been held with 10 school to strengthen the process of integrating gardens into the school curriculum. Prior to schools stopping activities, 68 children took care of a nursery and vegetable garden. Third graders saved seeds and harvested beans, with which they prepared a bean soup, the objective of which was to learn how to prepare vegetable soup to include on the breakfast menu. Fifth graders carried out transplanting and reproducing succulents. Given the new school dynamic, care and planting have been fulfilled with the support of volunteers and the caregiver of the primary school, planting yellow, black and white corn, green beans and squash. School gardens have been a very enriching experience for students as well as for teachers. It is an activity that contributes to the integral development of students as well as to raising awareness about good nutrition, care for the environment, among other lessons.

Psycho-emotional support and care for children/women

Psycho-emotional support and care for women and children in vulnerable situations is vital for their stability. It is a centerpiece for some organizations and in these uncertain times it becomes even more important. In Tierra Roja Cuxtitali, talks and activities were held in which 40 children and adolescents participated, where they shared their emotions, states of mind and life experiences in different contexts. The physical space of La Casita de Las Emociones was brought to life for these activities, and after having to stop on-site activities, the Friendly Line was created, a call center to provide emotional support and a listening space from the psychologist who collaborates with the Center.

Apart from that, at Hogar Comunitario Yach’il Antzetic, A.C., in Las Orugas, the childcare space open and available to children while their mothers take part in trainings, workshops and consultations, they worked with 26 children through play, the expression of emotions and healthy interactions, in addition to meeting their basic needs by giving them a snack and / or food. Due to having to suspend face-to-face activities in quarantine, extra support has arisen in order to care for women and children by way delivery of food baskets, and through this work they have also been able to do exercises with 9 children to identify how they are doing in these moments of quarantine. Workshops with 17 women have also been a space for emotional unloading, for understanding the different manifestations of violence, and for learning how to avoid them. Three women continue to come daily to their waist loom workshops, with whom they establish reflections and share information about healthy self-esteem, sexuality and collective work.

Shelter for pregnant indigenous migrant women

At Yach’il Antzetic Community Home, A.C., they followed up with the pregnancies of 22 women in vulnerable situations, and in order to continue with this work after the health crisis hit, the women have been being monitored by telephone to determine their overall health and well-being. Two women were welcomed to the center in April who were experiencing situations of violence, and both gave birth without complications and are doing well.

Thank you!

We want to thank you for all your support and for all of the other ways in which you have contributed, also to those of you who have been part of the work so that all these children and women can have a better quality of life. We ask you to please continue to contribute so that we can keep sharing stories like the one below:

Through the educational work we hear many stories full of satisfaction and inspiration. This is the story of a family and three women: Juana, Lupita and Pilar. The first is a young mother of Tsotsil origin, who has migrated to San Cristóbal de las Casas to leave a situation of domestic violence and build a new life for herself and her daughters, Lupita, the eldest and Pilar, the youngest. Juana learned the bakery trade and managed to support her daughters, to send them to school, and since 2016 their paths have crossed with Tierra Roja Cuxtitali. Juana participates in both the Computer and Women's Rights course, shares her experience in videos and baking workshops for the families, and her daughters are growing up with the other girls and boys at the Community Center. Lupita is now 12 years old, she is a beautiful and intelligent young woman and she continues to participate in activities and receive training in what are the most urgent issues for her age: sexual education, dating, and women's rights among others. Pilar, who is 8 years old, says that in these times of quarantine she has no doubts about the homework that was given to her at school, but she ventures to make video calls and firmly expresses her opinion firmly and smile. The mother, Juana, is very present in their lives. She accepted a job proposal to sew facemasks, an activity promoted by a new ally of Tierra Roja Cuxtitali. The wages are not very high, but she has a sewing machine and is a seamstress and, above all, she is always open to take advantage of new opportunities. The story of these women, their faces, their words and their dignity accompanies us and drives us to trust ourselves and what we proceed to do in this world.

Health workshops
Health workshops
Little house of emotions
Little house of emotions
Orugas
Orugas
Prenatal care
Prenatal care
Waist loom workshop
Waist loom workshop
Harvesting beans
Harvesting beans

Links:

 
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