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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
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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Rudiel, craftsman
Rudiel, craftsman

"My name is Rudiel, when I was young I didn’t understand why my mother went to the traditional parties with enagua (long casual traditional skirt) and a simple huipil (traditional shirt) instead of the gala suits, she told me, “Those clothes are very expensive and we can’t afford them. Is either clothes or food”. Since then, I decided to learn embroidery. Now she wears a new suit for each important traditional party” 

For Rudy, his mother was the motor for learning crafts. Gloria, one of the students of traditional embroidery in the communitary center, she was amazed with the mural: 

“It is said in the town that Rudy is like a human embroidery-machine. He is a total inspiración for everyone. I met the muralist, a young girl @cristina.deluna, she painted a girl with her traditional clothes, but with the flowers, she expressed embroidery as free threads floating in the sky. I really believe it is like that. Last May I lost my job but since then, finding fair trades in our region has been impossible for me. My sister Lety, asked me to join her in UMPO’s traditional embroidery workshops for zapotec women. She told me: “Gloria, it will be a good way of de-stressing yourself.” In my town people say that to avoid having bad thoughts it's better being busy: “Ponte a hacer algo y mira cómo dejas de pensar tonterías”. I used to say a lot “I can’t do that, neither that. I just can’t”. Seeing Iris, the teacher, passing the hook for one side to other was so challenging. But when I started to trying it, it was so satisfactory, when I ended my first huipil, I noticed that my self-confidence was renewed. Manual labor brings me tranquility and calm.

I loved this experience because it wasn’t just learning a craft. Together, we all women built a space for sharing and support. We had a class of bio-dancing with the teacher Mari Cruz, who makes us feel free through the movement of our body, I have always loved to dance but with this kind of exercises I felt fulfilled. It was very funny for all the women, at the beginning they were a little ashamed because the weather was so hot so we were like a sea of swet, but after the first dancing styles, everybody was merequeteando (moving energetically). Also we have workshops that help us know ourselves better, we talk about dreams and the way we can chase them. We thought about how we can help our girlfriends achieve their goals, we even made the logo of our future entrepreneurship. But what I liked the most was that when I shared my life story, its cheerful to know your difficulties can be easily overcome, the art of embroidery gave me the gift of a peaceful mind for over coming whatever happens.” 

Supporting this campaign gave the possibility to join and recognize Rudy as a guard of traditional crafts in our community and  Gloria to have the opportunity of following the same passion than Rudy but in her very own way. We appreciate it infinitely.



@Cristina.deluna mural
@Cristina.deluna mural
Embroidery workshop
Embroidery workshop
Empowerment workshop
Empowerment workshop
Bio-dance therapy
Bio-dance therapy

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Vanessa wearing traditional clothes at the fest
Vanessa wearing traditional clothes at the fest

"My name is Vanessa, 

I am 11 years old and I lost my home during the earthquake of 2017. I have been part of the traditional music guitar workshop of Una mano para Oaxaca, since 2018. Our teacher, professor Giovanni Gutierrez, is a great local musician who developed a teaching method to introduce children into guitar playing, practicing our native language, called zapoteco, through singing. What I like more from what we have learned, is that I can play guitar as companion of my grandpa’s zapoteco singing. Now, everyone wants to play too, even my cousins bought a guitar. During my school graduation I offer myself for playing so my friends could sang in zapoteco, for saying goodbye to the school. Even one of my youngest partners, Zahir of 7 years, told me that when someone bothers him at school, he keeps calm by thinking in “El torito”, a song that Giovanni compose to teach us about traditional festivals. 

Last May Una mano para Oaxaca organized a festival for traditional zapotec bands. We were the hosts, so our parents helped with tamales and horchata water. They were proud because me and my class played in front of many people, almost a thousand. There were seven other communities participating, we were more than a hundred of kids playing traditional music. I got very nervous at the beginning but everything went well, we even gave our teacher a recognition plate during the concert, because we were very proud of what we have achieved. The festival was called “The river’s Song” because all the visitors were from the towns with which we share pass of the river, Guigu Bicu or Dog’s river. The river is very polluted and we want to save it. This festival was for remembering people that if we work together we can make incredible things for changing our world.  It was beautiful, I believed traditional music keeps us safe and close to our culture, like a tie beneath our families and their hearts."

Thanks to your support, the workshop of traditional guitar and zapotec singing  have been part of our community center activities during 2019. Also the festival River's Song was a dream that came true. Thanks a lot! 

Professor Giovanni's students
Professor Giovanni's students
More than 800 attendants
More than 800 attendants
Festival poster
Festival poster
Young wind musicians
Young wind musicians

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MANOS QUE RECONSTRUYEN OAXACA A.C.

Location: Asunción Ixtaltepec, Oaxaca - Mexico
Website:
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Project Leader:
Una mano para Oaxaca
QUERETARO, Mexico
$16,371 raised of $20,000 goal
 
235 donations
$3,629 to go
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