Thanks to your past generosity, the families of Oaxaca are fulfilling their dream of equipping their home with a new sustainable and traditional kitchen.
1- kitchens are growing
In San Miguel Chimalapa, in the community of Las Conchas, after the participatory design, the families meet to define cooperation agreements in terms of people's involvement, acquisition of local materials, schedule and security, among others. We have gathered all the agreements, tasks and responsibilities in a "commitment letter" signed by all the participants and Cooperación Comunitaria. Moreover, a committee was made up by the designation of three women, who will be in charge of calls to meetings and process management. With the signing of the "commitment letter" the implementation has officially started. Currently, 19 families are involved in the construction of their kitchen. We have closed 2022 with 6 covered kitchens and we continue working on 8 more.
Juana, while plastering her kitchen with mud, shared with us: “I really like my kitchen. Before I used to spend time inside the kitchen, never seeing it. Now I like to stay outside just to see it. I am happy because my husband and I built it together and now I see that it is not that difficult”.
2- Community participation and self-management
The social production of habitat is the process in which people dream, design, plan, build and appropriate living spaces. The Las Conchas community knows this very well, since they are participating throughout the process, recovering their traditional practices of community work (tequio or mano vuelta).
In the Chimalapa region, the communities organize tequios with their family to build the roofs, which is very important to lower construction costs and strengthen the social fabric. Auria and Georgina explained that in angpon language the tequio is called “netsan tsco oye”, and it means “I am going to help you”.
Through the tequio, people can give their contribution according to their abilities and possibilities. It is very exciting to see all the members of the community, including women, children and the elderly, organize to contribute by building, providing food and water, transporting materials, throwing mud to raise the walls, and gathering wood for the roofs. The community work is basic to share and transmit the traditional knowledge to the youth.
3- New challenge for 2023: design and build a wood-saving oven adapted to the climate, geology and culture
The families, especially the women, are designing their oven through participatory design workshops, which are aimed at identifying the routines, problems or obstacles that women present when cooking on wood stoves; collect data on ways to save energy and decrease the use of firewood; identify the bases of the design of a wood stove adapted to local materials, that can satisfy the needs of each woman and that improve the conditions of habitability.
They shared with us some challenges, among which they need to take care of the use of firewood to optimize the amount of wood as well as to save time; the smoke affects the eyes and the respiratory system and wears out the pots; on various occasions, they need larger, more resistant and lower spaces to to adopt healthier and safer postures.
The level of participation that women have had in the design of the stove has been surprising. After an initial mistrust and timidity, the women began to feel that they were the owners of the stove production space, and expressed the core importance that this has in their lives and for their families.
Good news for 2023!
At the beginning of this new 2023 we want to wish you a year full of joy and peace, and we remind you that each new monthly donation will have your first donation matched at 100% after four (4) total payments.
If you donate $10 a month, you're donating $120 a year, which is what a safe, traditional stove and oven costs!
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