The book which Tom Feher, photographer and I have produced about the weavers of Miramar has arrived! Weaving Yarn, Weaving Cultures, Weaving Lives: A Circle of Women in Oaxaca, Mexico is really beautiful, Tom’s pictures, particularly the portraits of each weaver are wonderful. I’ve written their stories and also included an addendum that describes the way we have worked with the women which has made the projects so successful. You too have all taken part in this as well and be proud of what we’ve accomplished. To get your copy go to the website www.thecircleofwomen.org. The price is $50 if we are mailing it to you. No one is taking a profit, including the publisher so all monies go to The Circle of Women for the weavers.
Patty Tovar (director of projects), Dr. Armida (health program coordinator) and I have completed our plans for 2011. By the time I arrived in Oaxaca this winter, the health program, literacy program and weavers had all evaluated 2010 programs and set their goals for 2011. This is another mark of their empowerment as they women take over another step.
The health program will train six health promoters for the community. This is an intensive program in health education, health promotion, and includes nutrition. These women will provide continuity in the community with the education we have done. Promoters are key people in the health network of the villages. They are often the first person involved when problems arise. The six women are all literate, smart, young and energetic.
The weavers will continue their mastery of their trade by beginning to use a finer wool thread, more work on flecos (fringes) and attempting to find a way to increase their production of blues which are their best seller. They hope also to find an organic dye in red to use with cotton.
A major effort is in place to set up a more advanced form of marketing which will join Mixtec/Spanish/and English speaking women in a Circle to develop and vitalize their markets. This year has been their best yet for sales.
They’re about to graduate from our watchful eye so the final step before the celebration is to focus on their new organizational structure which features the abuelitas as the lead women, a plan which is working well.
The literacy program is working in a second village and will complete the program within the year. The book club has done a lot of work mastering reading and writing in Mixtec and are about to launch their own micro-enterprise making dolls and telling their stories. We are hoping to receive enough support which will enable us to train two more teachers besides Edith and Augustina.
So, exciting times ahead. Thank you to all of you for your support. You are very special people.