Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico

by MANOS QUE RECONSTRUYEN OAXACA A.C.
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Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Productive, Healing Center for Women in Mexico
Chela, local potter artisan and teacher
Chela, local potter artisan and teacher

Hi there! We are very glad to tell you that this new year we are full of ideas for changing our world. Thank you again for being part of 2020, it was a very unpredictable year, but we feel that our people are more united than ever.  

As we told you in other reports, we are trying a mixed digital and semipresencial educational model for our communities. We are trying to involve our participants in learning cycles for collective healing, especially because now the living environment has been more violent and difficult for all of us. 

Simultaneously we continue with the ancestral knowledge workshops such as pottery, textiles, food conserves, and family backyard gardens for self-consumption. 

Today I want to share our pottery workshop experience which was full of revelations of the pandemic effects. The workshop was a real challenge, first of all, many of the participants didn’t have any kind of access to digital sources nor knowledge for using them. Secondly, the class was driven by Laura, a ceramist from Torreón (Mexico’s north) and Chela, a pottery artisan from our community in Oaxaca; this difference of contexts slowed the group integration. But finally the participants were from 4 different zapotec communities, which enhanced and diversified the cultural perspectives of each one. The objective of the workshop was to open creative possibilities for creating new products based on the traditional pottery knowledge but adapted to their actual needs. The results were awesome! They made clay jewelry, sculptures and cooking utensils and most of them are now producing and selling. 

Origalia an indigenous Zapotec, 66 year old, woman, shared with us the next message of encouragement: “I have been a sculptor since ever, but I decided to participate in the pottery workshop because it was a complete challenge. The digital part was so difficult, my husband told me I was lucky to take that computational workshop 20 years ago (laughs), and even with that I needed UMPO’s team help even for turning on the class . I mean I want to learn more about everything and you want to protect my health, then I must learn how to use this things (tablets and zoom). The most powerful result for me is that I am truly motivated to do new activities. Some months ago I participated in the gardens for self-consumption workshops, and now I am eating tomatoes from my garden and I am preparing a sculpture exposition. I feel alive.” 

This 2021 we will continue revalorizing the traditional arts and crafts,giving entrepreneurs, such as Origalia and the pottery workshop group, opportunities to boost their growth. Together we are generating community, which we believe is the key for maintaining our communities. Thank you for being part. ¡Feliz año nuevo!

Origalia
Origalia
Clay pot
Clay pot
Workshop participants
Workshop participants
orange juice clay extractor
orange juice clay extractor
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Perseida in the communitary garden
Perseida in the communitary garden

Hi there! It has been a while since the last update. In Una mano para Oaxaca (UMPO) we have noticed that “uncertainty” is the general diagnosis of Planet Earth, but here we are sharing with you beautiful news that have returned happiness to our hearts. 

After COVID-19 started and the lockdown turned to be normal, we were very worried about finding a way to continue our workshops. As you know, the communities in which we work are still being rebuilt, the psychological effects of the earthquake are still deep. So this halt in our lives, because of the economic recession and the threats that isolation poses to a indigenous community, comes with a lot of challenges. 

We adapted our workshops to the needs of our people. We are focusing our efforts in the traditional knowledges that allow us to have food sovereignty and strengthen our immune system. All what we teach can be applied from our houses, we use the flora of our territory and the local products to create medicine and our own food. 

These last months we learned about family backyard gardens for self-consumption, avoiding fruit waste with conservation and fermentation processes, natural pharmacy at home, femenine health and herbalism for women. The results have been awesome, we have adapted workshops to an audience even larger and more engaged than the one we worked before the cuarenteen. 

The key for this to work, is that we are using a semipresencial way of teaching for people who don't have the possibility to access digital media,  and also, that participants who have access to digital media and internet are sharing it with others who don't, by their own initiative. 

We are very proud to share this achievement with you, because the actual vulnerability of communities is providing a positive side for making  stronger ties between women, creating new work-from-home cooperatives and reducing hunger in the zapotec region. 

Today, 92 new women have joined the UMPO family, and we dream together to build more opportunities for everyone. 

Thank YOU for making this possible.

 

PS. Thanks to all the support that we have received from you UMPO won the Rural Youth Innovation Awart in Latin America and the Caribbean (link below)

Digital herbal medicine workshops
Digital herbal medicine workshops
Avoiding frutal waste cooperative
Avoiding frutal waste cooperative
Participants results
Participants results
Lili, pineapple marmalade
Lili, pineapple marmalade

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Aida driving a Mototaxi with the Solidary Speaker
Aida driving a Mototaxi with the Solidary Speaker

Hi there, we are very happy to share what is going on with our community during these days. Although the international situation has been very difficult because of COVID-19, we are trying our best not to suspend every activity. We had to stop most of them, like many others have had, and we are trying to adapt our interventions in the community to the actual needs respecting security measures for personal safety.

That’s why we started the project “Solidary speaker”. We adapted a speaker to the UMPOmovil, and we drive across the community sharing messages of joy, poems, songs, stories and health recommendations, both in spanish and in zapoteco (our native language). All of the shared audios, are sent in by friends from within and without the region. ¡You can send yours too! The objective is to provide courage to people from our community through the confinement, and to strengthen our bonds in spite of the lengthy lockdown and the lack of visits. We believe positive emotions such as humor, love and hope boost our immune system.

You can listen to some of the audios we have shared in the links below.

We are also joyous to tell you that before the confinement started, two of our favorite workshops met their goal. Two groups of women learned a new craft, which could empower them as a new mean of productivity.

The first one was hand making of colorful plastic woven bags and purses. “This technique helps us reduce pollution in our town, since common plastic bags can be substituted by these. I mean, it impacts on the environment and of course on my family finances. I was still taking the workshop when people started buying my designs”, said Karina, one of the most entrepreneurial students.

The second craft was woodwork for women, where we have learned how to make our own wood products without making big investments on tools or machines.

This kind of workshops are intended to help people with low economic resources. They might represent an opportunity to improve their quality of life by introducing them to new means of productivity such as those described.

We will have more good news to share soon. We are planning to continue our learning programs with the help of technology available to everyone. Wherever you are reading this message, we can share this with you: the earthquake taught us that adversity is the fuel of great projects, and resilience our best weapon. Thank you for making UMPO dreams come true.

Solidary Speaker
Solidary Speaker
Artisan Karina with her woven bag design
Artisan Karina with her woven bag design
Woodwork for women
Woodwork for women

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Sculptor Tata Dios by Oscar Sandoval
Sculptor Tata Dios by Oscar Sandoval

I have great news for you! There are two new amazing murals to visit in our town. Really! you have to visit us soon, to enjoy their beauty and to meet the people who inspired them. 

Both murals were made in honor of the crafts that represent, not only arts, but wisdom and traditions. This time the guards of traditional crafts were Na’ (Mrs)  Alicia, a traditional stew cooker and Gamaliel, a pottery artisan. 

We asked Na’ Margarita, a traditional cooker, what inspired women like she and Na’ Alicia to cook, and she told us “I learned from my mom, one day she told me: Girl! if you don’t learn how to make the estofado (stew) we will lose the seasoning of your grandma. So, little by little I learned, and I think that now, what I cook tastes like grandma’s”. 

In the mural you can see all the vegetables, fruits and ingredients of the estofado. That is what Mar de Lío, the painter of this mural, explained “I named this mural as Estofado, a family treasure, because the recipe of this typical dish is only share between the closest members of the families. The mix of ingredients is something amazing because the variety of colors that compose it. I think color, is the way that stew dishes fill the traditional parties with life and taste.” 

People say: “Estofado for the parties, bread and wine to reaffirm the commitment and clay pots for the sones de mediu xhiga (a typical dance during weddings)” 

During the weddings stew is essential, but the products of many other artisans are fundamental too. That is the case of the other craft of the day, the pottery. It is one of the most ancient productive practices of mesoamerica, the indigenous people of America used pottery for tell their stories, it is the only art that use the classical elements of the nature: earth, water, wind and fire. 

That is why Oscar Axo, was chosen for represent another face of this traditional craft  “I made this mural in honor to the alchemists of Ixtaltepec who shaped with clay the colorful dreams of the zapotecas hearts. Inspired in the work of Sergio Cabrera  or Tata Dios one of the most important sculptors of the region. In other hand I included the work of Gamaliel, who represents all the artisans that design pots, jars and comales, painting them all around with flowers.” Oscar named his mural as Binni hraapa beñe"  that means the guards of clay, masters of earth and fire. 

For us, Gamaliel and his family are examples of constance and discipline. Many years ago Gamaliel traveled to San Diego, to live the american dream, there, he learned about ceramics, new technics and design theories. He decided to return to his home and combine the ancestral pottery knowledge, that’s why his work is so detailed and innovative. 

 

Supporting this campaign made this two new emblematic murals in our town to be real. Thank you! 

 

Zapoteca* original culture of the region

Na' Margarita, traditional cooker by Michael Matus
Na' Margarita, traditional cooker by Michael Matus
Mar de Lio mural: Estofado, family treasure by JC
Mar de Lio mural: Estofado, family treasure by JC
Oscar Axo mural: Binni hraapa bene by Aida Corres
Oscar Axo mural: Binni hraapa bene by Aida Corres

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Zero fruit and vegetable waste workshop
Zero fruit and vegetable waste workshop

 

I can’t believe 2019 ending, I am already missing this year. My name is Ale Rosado,  in the picture I am the one with the headband, left corner. This portrait was taken in Santa María Guienagati, a community that is part of our region, but 2 hours north. Do you remember “The Rivers Song” music festival in a previous project report? (August 22)  Well, one of the bands that played was from Guienagati. We were so happy to meet them and they made such a great presentation at the festival.

After that, they invited us to a tequio (mutual support activities) for planting trees in their village. Of course we went.  Oh my god! when we arrived there, people were so organized as a community that I totally fell in love with the village. That day we worked with the “Women in Resistance for the Defense of Río GuiguBicu”. We visited their properties, many of them have enormous lands, not to produce but to plant trees and take care of the woods. They had so many fruit trees in their land: guava, mango, chicozapote, mandarin, avocado, banana…most of the fruit  rotten so it was wasted. That same day we agreed to deliver a workshop for fruits and vegetables preservation. 

Perseida, Aida and I returned to Guienagati last November, it was amazing! The workshop was announced in the communitary megaphone, some minutes later there were 13 women and 2 man in the communitary kitchen. I was so happy those days, people took care of us a lot. During the classes everybody brought fruit from their homes, we prepared papaya jam, orange jam, nopal pickles, we talk about the importance of temperature, packaging, sterilization…

Guienagati is between the mountains, there is not phone signal neither internet. I have given food production classes to many people and I can tell you that I had never felt that knowledge was so apprehended like how I witnessed there. The level of commitment of all remind me why I took this teaching path.  Ana, one of the youngest women (blue t-shirt) said “I am very glad you came, nobody ever comes to teach us this kind of topics. I have to tell you I wasn’t part of the women resistance but now I am”

Today is an important day for us because is our first year end campaign with GlobalGiving. We are so happy to see all the achievements of this year that we couldn’t forget to thank you for all your inspiring support. This is the last report of the year but you will hear from us very soon. 

Happy new year!

Pumpkin and nopales peasant
Pumpkin and nopales peasant
Chon, he was our guide during the stay
Chon, he was our guide during the stay
Pickle pumpkins, papaya and orange jam
Pickle pumpkins, papaya and orange jam
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
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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
QUERETARO, Mexico
$17,984 raised of $20,000 goal
 
288 donations
$2,016 to go
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