Bring Literacy to Indigenous Women - Oaxaca Mexico

by The Circle of Women
May 21, 2012

Where we are at!

Judith, Agripina,Marcelina, Edith, Eleuteria...
Judith, Agripina,Marcelina, Edith, Eleuteria...

In 2001, five women gathered in the village of Miramar in the highlands of Oaxaca, Mexico bundled up in
their rebozos (shawls) to talk about ways to increase their capacity to weave and develop a self-supporting cooperative.

We are thrilled to report that with your generous support through the Circle of Women, they are very
close to accomplishing this goal. We invite you to join us in making their dream become a reality.
Since 2006, these women have learned great many skills and have paid off their $2000 capitalization loan to
the Circle. The weavers have been financially independent, they are managing their own business by paying
their own expenses for staff, laundry, transportation, and sales in Oaxaca.

Early on, the weavers also realized they needed to be able to read, speak, and write in Spanish if they were
going to be traveling to Oaxaca and developing a marketing plan. In 2008, we established a literacy program
for the weavers and other village women who were illiterate. After two years, 29 out of 37 women, became
functionally literate. Two local Mixteca teachers have also been trained to teach in a bilingual literacy curriculum.
The women have continued to maintain their literacy through a book club. This past year they have been
exploring a new business initiative in making handmade dolls. And, this year the teachers have started an
exciting new literacy program for children to strengthen their knowledge of Mixtec language and culture.
With the Circle’s support in organizing workshops on organic dyeing, product development, and fringe
making, the weavers are now among the most highly-skilled weavers in Oaxaca, so much so that in 2009
El Museo de Textil in Oaxaca had an exhibition of their work and continue to support their sales.

Three years ago, at the women’s request we also initiated a women’s health program to teach about basic
health, nutrition, women’s illnesses, small vegetable gardening, and yoga. The health program also produced
three new health promoters for the community and retrained three already working in the clinic.

It has been a rewarding journey. The empowerment of these women is a dream for anyone engaged in the
international development work. And yet, their non-stop efforts to better their lives need our support as they
become more and more independent. We feel extremely honored to be included in their community and feel
strongly that we are close to accomplishing our goals in Miramar.

As a supporter, we invite you to celebrate the accomplishments of these hard-working, creative and determined
women and help them make a lasting change in their lives.

Thank you very much for all your generosity in the past and we hope you will be able to help the women of
Miramar as the Circle of Women wraps up its work by early next year. We want to raise $10,000 to help the
women to stand on their own feet after we leave.

Thank you for all you are doing for the women of Miramar,

Judith Lockhart Radtke


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Organization Information

The Circle of Women

Location: Chelsea, MA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
The Circle of Women
Project Leader:
Judith Lockhart Radtke
Staff Member
Chelsea, MA United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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