| Sep 19, 2023
Your help improves livelihoods in Oaxaca
Dona Mari and Palma Union collective
When you plant a seed, the moment you put it in the ground, you wonder if it is deep enough, if the soil is too hard or if the moisture is sufficient. There is no way to describe the satisfaction of seeing the first green, tender, shiny and soft sprout. After that moment, almost everything depends on the former seed, you can water it, you can help to cut the dry leaves, but in general it will purify itself. We felt the same with Manos de Sol, the collective of craftswomen that was born from the trade school and that you helped to promote from the isolation by COVID-19, when the economic effects in our communities and the precariousness in the health systems modified our livelihoods.
This weekend, for the first time, the Manos de Sol collective autonomously coordinated a solidarity market in the community of Unión Hidalgo. In this meeting, different artisan collectives from the region came together to share their work with the people.
Like Doña Mari, an artisan of Palma Unión "I learned from the age of 8 to make palm strips because my grandmother taught me, she told us to go and play and that's where she entertained us, making palm woven strips, and later I learned that palm strips were even currency in our communities. During the pandemic this stopped, because no one would go into the villages to buy the strips, many abuelos in the village had no money and it was very bad for them. Now we have learned to weave many things, we can make our handicrafts and sell them".
Our dream, as with the seed, was always that the trade school of Una mano para Oaxaca would be a source of inspiration for people to unite and resist, so that women could gain economic independence, so that the new generations would not let traditional crafts die (one of the main economic sources of our region) and above all, so that in the villages children can see that our people embrace their roots and find ways to have dignified and sustainable livelihoods, appropriate to our culture.
"For me it is very valuable that children learn the trades through play, because not only do they like to do it, but they also want to do it later on. The grandmothers did a great job in transmitting this knowledge, the children imitate what they see and when they see that someone does it with dignity, things change and so does the future of many people", says Sara, who was able to accompany the group at the Solidarity Market.
By promoting the teaching of traditional trades you change the way of life of many generations, this encourages the love of the people to the villages, by conviction and not by obligation and much less because we have no other choice, but because we decided: we want to be guardians of traditional trades. Thank you very much for continuing on this path, all the help gives new opportunities to zapotec people.
Manos de Sol artisans
Manos de Sol collective