She Believes Indigenous Knowledge Is The Key To Building A Stronger Mexico

Meet Isadora Hastings, a 2018 Disaster Feedback Fellow of the Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving.


 

What would you do if you were told your home was beyond repair? Following the 2017 earthquakes that hit Mexico, that is what many families heard.

Amid the chaos of recovery, they faced down bulldozers, sent by the state to demolish damaged homes deemed to dangerous to occupy.

Until Cooperación Comunitaria stepped in.

Beginning with research and expertise in technology adaptation, Cooperación Comunitaria brings modern techniques together with traditional indigenous knowledge.

Architect and Executive Director of Cooperación Comunitaria Isadora Hastings says they are working to increase habitability and decrease vulnerability of homes in rural, indigenous areas. After the earthquakes, Cooperación Comunitaria went to work assessing what remained of people’s homes and worked alongside community members to reinforce and rebuild more resilient homes.

“We build something adapted for the culture,” she said. “We are aware of people still living in spaces related to their culture, but living in a safer way. We also rescue traditional houses that are part of the community’s heritage: on one hand, it is their architectural heritage and, on the other, their economic heritage.”

One year after the Mexico earthquakes, much works remains for Isadora and her team.

“People are still living in damaged or insecure housing; many others have rebuilt in an insecure way. That is why Cooperación Comunitaria builds structures adapted to regional weather conditions and cultural considerations.”

“Rebuilding is a process. We want to build better,” Isadora said.

Isadora is a 2018 Disaster Feedback Fellow of the Disaster Recovery Network at GlobalGiving. Learn more about the fellowship.

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