Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income

by MANOS QUE RECONSTRUYEN OAXACA A.C.
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Covid-19|Education raises indigenous women income
Manos de Sol opening
Manos de Sol opening

Five years ago, we were dreaming about how we, as women, could be economically empowered. It was challenging to find a way, that really inspire us, a form of empowerment that was congruent with the love we feel for the place we inhabit. The answer was always: traditional trades, local knowledge, and support networks. 

Today, I have the happiness to announce the official opening of “Manos de Sol”, a collective brand for artisanal local collectives. We have worked with so many talented people! We can’t believe this is happening! 

The first traditional trade workshop in UMPO’s Community Center was taught by Don German, the last traditional shoemaker of our village, it was amazing, and so inspiring that from this first group, some students made their own brand of traditional shoes: “Guiduyu”. The same happened after other workshops of other traditional trades, for traditional embroidery, and food transformation, beneath others.  But also on our way, we met gifted artisans of other trades who weren’t taught in our trades school. We noticed that even though, all of them (students and non-students) were producing different things and services, they had very similar needs and a common goal: They wanted their communities to learn the trade of which they are guardians, to inspire others, to revitalize their knowledge. 

So, we started the project “Economy reactivation for Zapotec families”, a series of workshops and training to boost local business. “We have had the support of Una mano para Oaxaca with many workshops like photography, social media, finances, and cooperative principles,” said Isabel from Guiduyu.  There were around 31 cooperatives that were very committed to the program, you could find everything, what to eat, what to drink, things to wear, where to sleep, how to heal, we got everything. From those collectives,  8 of them decided to work together to create “Manos de Sol” and last week the physical shop was opened in Juchitan’s centrum. A lot of effort, many hands, lots of love, surreal stories, some tragedies, everything was necessary to get to this place. There is still a long path, but feeling accompanied makes everything wonderful. 

Thank you for being part!  

Opening
Opening
Traditional embroidery Hupilito textil
Traditional embroidery Hupilito textil
Flor de Piel saddlery
Flor de Piel saddlery
Floral design Nancy
Floral design Nancy
Palma Union
Palma Union

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Rosalia from "Huipilito textil"
Rosalia from "Huipilito textil"

We are so happy to share the last news about the strengthening of artisanal collectives. After almost one year of work, in which we made a call for all the artisanal groups and entrepreneurs who wanted to improve professional skills with which they could build better opportunities for their business, we can finally say that a solidarity team has been formed. 

There are around 35 collectives that participated in our strengthening program, they have learned about savings, social media, sales, innovation, talent strategies, teamwork, among others. Some of them have applied for getting some equipment and machines that could help them to produce, others needed some specific services for improving their brands so we helped them with labeling. It's quite interesting for us to find out all of them have specific needs for growth but at the same time they are inspired by the other collectives, they trust in the partners who have different entrepreneurs, and the most we like is the collectivity spirit that all of them share. 

Two pretty important things happened. For the first time Salina Cruz, an important municipality in our region, was the host of the last Solidarity Market. You must remember this is the event that collectives organize to sell their products, and share some art shows, its a kind of cultural resistance space in which people rectify being binnizá ( which means people from the clouds in zapoteco)  We are so proud that this movement is expanding by itself, that more people are participating, that this event is starting to be an encounter space for the people we love and admire.

The second fact we want to share with you is that finally, we opened the collective online shop Manos de Sol, which is a collective effort of 14 groups of artisans who are organizing themselves for amplifying their selling market. This page is still in construction but very soon it will be properly functioning. 

We dream of a community that can keep their traditional knowledge, and creates possibilities with the support of their own partners, a community in which we can produce sustainable ways of living. Sometimes this goal seems to be far away, but with achievements that the one we share with you today, we know that we are taking a good path. Thank you for walking with us and giving us the push we need to grow together. 

Nancy and Iris
Nancy and Iris
Aura from Palma Union, Rosario and Ada
Aura from Palma Union, Rosario and Ada
Manos de Sol online shop
Manos de Sol online shop
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Collaborative desing workshop
Collaborative desing workshop

30 families have improved their income through our craft cooperatives strengthening program, in which people are trained with business development support. Most of the groups are led by women, they have learned about collaborative design, product photography, circular economy, echo design, and techniques for improving internal communications.  

The artisan entrepreneurs participated in the first "Semillero cooperativista" (cooperatives seedbed), a regional meeting in which they learned and shared their experiences. Most of the workshops in which they can participate focus on cooperative principles and a solidarity economy. 

To date, we have organized three events called “Solidary market”, in which the entrepreneurs put up for sale their artisanal products in municipal public places. The last one was almost fully organized by themselves, without UMPO’s leadership,  I want to mention this because they are developing self-management aptitudes as a collective of cooperatives. The results have been the income increase, generation of networks, and visibility.

Isabel, is part of the collective “Guidi yuu”, traditional shoemakers, after the last Solidary Market she told us “Since I decided to learn saddlery in UMPO's traditional crafts school, until now, with the strengthening training for cooperatives, my sales have increased, but most importantly, I have generated new networks with other entrepreneur women like who are doing what they do with love and energy. Today I have got many tools and innovative knowledge that have helped me reactivate my economy and be resilient. I have never stopped working hard because I feel supported by UMPO, I believe they put their heart into what they do. I really admire the team and celebrate the existence of such noble and loving people.”

We are very happy about the evolution of each one of the initiatives that have been part of the cooperative strengthening project, we are very proud of them. Thanks a lot for believing that the growth of local traditional crafts entrepreneurs is possible.

See you soon! 

Victoria's huipiles during the Solidary Market
Victoria's huipiles during the Solidary Market
Solidary Market
Solidary Market

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Modesta, chontal woman
Modesta, chontal woman

Hi there! We are very proud to share with you our latest news about “My fruit, my town”, which is our project to respond to the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy of indigenous communities in Oaxaca. We achieve this through workshops and learning women groups for transforming fruit and vegetables, to avoid their waste. This time we worked with women of San Pedro Jilotepec, located in the mountains of “La Sierra Chontal”, a beautiful paradise full of oak pines. 

Arturo was our host, he has a traditional community leadership role “There is a lot of waste in my community, we have a lot of yellow pumpkins, our people don't know many ways to cook it so we usually throw away plenty of it!” 

This experience was incredible, 30 women of the community participated, which is the largest group we have ever had with My fruit my town workshops. They are very committed to being “Fruit guardians” of their territory.  

During the workshops, women brought a lot of fruits and vegetables for making preserves and other delicious and healthy options. San Pedro has an abundance of squash, tomato, and yellow pumpkin, it's a place in which people sew their own crops such as onions and carrots, which were a great companion for making successful gastronomical experiments. The atmosphere of coexistence between women was very healing. In UMPO we believe that food is a way of connecting with the territory and ancestors of a community, based on experiences of abundance and solidarity.

 During one session, the group rescued 25 kg of fruit and vegetables, with these techniques and good organization they are capable of saving 140 kg per week. We were very emotional at the end of the workshops. Maximina, 62 years old, told us  “Thanks a lot for sharing this knowledge with us, I had no clue about all the ways we can use pumpkins pulp, we used to take only the seeds for selling them. I think this is the beginning of a big change for San Pedro”. 

We will continue working with San Pedro’s women, it's an opportunity to link our organization to a new environment. The richness of their territory is the most awe-inspiring experience for transforming food.  We are convinced that COVID-19 has strengthened the way of organization of many communities. Surrendering to a broken economical situation is not an option for chontal people, but getting new tools for taking care of their fields, regenerating their land, and consuming the food that sprouts from it, is a way to be resilient. 

Thanks a lot for being part of this new achievement, and thank you for promoting the well-being of chontal women. 

Working with yellow pumpkin
Working with yellow pumpkin
San Pedro community
San Pedro community
Workshop between oak pines
Workshop between oak pines
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Guitar workshop children
Guitar workshop children

Dear UMPO community, 

What pull us together as a community? This is a constant question that emerges in UMPO’s team talks. We are continuously looking for the promotion of moments, projects and experiences together that remind us what we love about our community and zapotec culture.  

Since 2020 with the lockdown for COVID-19 it has been difficult to create events in which our community and program beneficiaries can share presencial workshops or festivals. We are convinced that the best way to impact on strengthening the zapotec identity to promote autonomy are spaces in which we can share what we are, we believe and what we can create with our hands. 

Last semester we organized the first Art and Heritage festival. Women from our territory are merchants of expertise therefore to fulfill their crafts and products they prefer to make them in the (mercados) local markets. When you visit Istmo de Tehuantepec, you can embrace the magic of this place, precisely in our markets. The festival we presented was the first event in our village in which arts and commerce was the main theme. In this festival the students and work cooperatives of our Traditional trades school, sold their handmade creations of the last year. The children of the traditional guitar delighted us with a musical presentation, poets of the region shared some of their work and other local musicians joined us. We placed a photography exhibition of all the guardians of traditional trades of the Art and Heritage route, a collection named “Discover the hands of Ixtaltepec”

Everything went magnificent. All the sanitary measures were respected, and people were so grateful for being joined after such a hard year. The festival took place in Ixtaltepec's central park, and we had the assistance of 300 people along the festival. It was a festival full of trades, colors, art and commerce that reactivated the local economy and revalued our culture. All the entrepreneurs who participated made good profits and are waiting for the second festival of the year. 

We are very happy with these results, it seems that it will be a new tradition in our town, trying to organize ourselves and look for well-being.

Thank you for believing that small actions can change our people's lives. It gives us calm to know that even COVID-19 is still a big concern, there are people out there that support our actions.  

 

Thank you!!

Toquillo handmade bag
Toquillo handmade bag
leather saddlery entrepreneur
leather saddlery entrepreneur
Photo exhibition of traditional trades
Photo exhibition of traditional trades
Weaving and dyeing workshop
Weaving and dyeing workshop
Dalila traditional cheese guardian
Dalila traditional cheese guardian
UMPO team
UMPO team

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Organization Information

MANOS QUE RECONSTRUYEN OAXACA A.C.

Location: Asunción Ixtaltepec, Oaxaca - Mexico
Website:
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Project Leader:
Alejandra Rosado
Asuncion Ixtaltepec, Oaxaca Mexico
$11,026 raised of $12,000 goal
 
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