Restoration of habitat and home in Rio Pachine

by Centro para los Derechos de la Mujer Naaxwiin A.C.
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Restoration of habitat and home in Rio Pachine
Restoration of habitat and home in Rio Pachine
Restoration of habitat and home in Rio Pachine
Restoration of habitat and home in Rio Pachine
Restoration of habitat and home in Rio Pachine
Restoration of habitat and home in Rio Pachine
Restoration of habitat and home in Rio Pachine
Restoration of habitat and home in Rio Pachine
Restoration of habitat and home in Rio Pachine
COVID-19 prevention in community scope
COVID-19 prevention in community scope

In March federal authorities in Mexico declared COVID-19 maximum alert, this pandemic nowdays affect all the world. This situation affected our community work, because community authorities organized for to close access to many communities and don’t let pass to people outside the community. For the confinement, there has been a significant increase in family violence and femicides in Mexico (10 women die daily from femicide)

Faced with the health contingency due to COVID 19 that we are experiencing throughout the country, we have had to carry out prevention actions, not leaving aside the issue of rebuilding the community of Río Pachiñé:

1.- Right to information

For us is important that our communities have right to information in mixe indigenous language, so that they can take care of and prevent the contagion of Covid-19 and the prevention of family violence. For that reason we are doing informative campaigns through motorcycle taxis with loudspeakers, where we transmit audios with information about COVID 19 in mixe language; also, we have made cartels, videos (that we diffuse for Whatsapp and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/295301543840571/videos/228763278371688) and radio capsules that we transmit in local radio.

2.-Psycho-emotional care.

In colonia Juan, Río Pachiñé was necessary to recur to psychological therapies because many families are affected yet for the ground situation that generate instability in their lives and, also the problem and anguish was sharpened with social and economic consequences of COVID-19. Many families feel fear, anxiety and some have lived family violence.

In our region the violence against women is a very serious problem, only in this sanitary contingency we was attended 68 women victims of violence from different municipalities.

3.- Management with the authorities

The Reconstruction Committee has played a very important function in the community: they promoted three ground studies that were useful for request the intervention of Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano (SEDATU) for to definethe community situation. The SEDATU answer was to do a fourth ground study that confirmed that the ground in colonia Juan is not suitable for habitation, unless it is rehabilitated with retaining walls and new houses are built according to certain guidelines.

The Reconstruction Committee in coordination with Nääxwiin and a geologist of Universidad de la Tierra in Guerrero, we have managed to convene the three levels of government (municipal, state and national) for the official delivery of the fourth study carried out by SEDATU in the community. Also, has been requested that SEDATU do in the community a consult with the persons affected for the ground problem, so that they have information about the situation of the ground and thus decide whether who to stay on the same place or prefer to be relocated.

4.-Economic recovery

After six month working in the tilapa farming, has been achieved harvest the first mojarras for self-consumption. Only a part was sold to supplement the food of the 12 families that experienced this first exercise. For now, they stopped the second round of tilapia rearing, as they are now busy deciding what will happen about their stay in Colonia Juan.

 

COVID-19 prevention in community scope
COVID-19 prevention in community scope
Psycho-emotional attention in pandemic times
Psycho-emotional attention in pandemic times
Advancing management with authorities
Advancing management with authorities
The first harvests of tilapia
The first harvests of tilapia

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In recognition to Reconstruction Committee work in colonia Juan, Río Pachiñé, we want to share with you these personal learning of some Committee members.

Edgar:

For me, this experience has been very productive over these two years and five months of work in the Committee. In the personal aspect, this work has changed my emotions, now I’m more positive, I have met much people, I’ve learned to offer my help and now I known that there are many people who want to support the issue when humanity needs arise. I have discovered that we need to join forces for obtain all that we want. The reconstruction matter is too big and together we have achieved many things like: that women have a space where cooking food and the construction of wood-saving stove that is a great advantage because it help us in the family economy because reduce the firewood buy and consume, and further, we take care our health and the environment because we deforest less tree; also, some artisan women have recovery their work tools and they already sewing and that way also to contribute to family income when they sell their crafts. Men and women are beginning a tilapia production project, that we can use for vary the family food and if we achieve to learn about tilapia production, later we can sell the mojarra. Also, we achieve that the authorities will listen to us. With local authorities we had a dialogue table with SEDATU, federal institution that in January begun a deeper soil study and in March they will should deliver to us the results for to know if we leave the community or we stay and so recovery our life and broken dreams after the earthquake.

Don Beto:

Today I can say that I have learned to much, I’m not died yet, we can work and to do beautiful things. I forgot the earthquake; I have that episode like history. Sometimes I think that the earthquake allowed us to meet much people, joined us and sometimes it disunited us because the majority in the colonia is part of a religion and our religion don’t allow us to organize, but I think that you have to sow and cultivate joy. This work in the committee it has served me, I met a lot of people, when we was in the shelter we received 120 visitors, there is persons that want to support us and that encourages me and more when arrive the Nääxwiin girls that always have been with us, since the earthquake occurred.

Cris:

Thanks to God and Nääxwiin my life changed, I changed emotionally. Before, I was very scared, I was ashamed to talk and the workshops have helped me, I don’t knew that as a woman a have rights, with this work I have learned to much, I didn’t leave my town, always I worked in home and for to be part of Committe I went to Ciudad de México, a city that I didn’t know. All this work is beautiful, I learn, know, see and I get excited. My family recognize that already I changed, they tell me that they have seen me on Facebook. They were recently told me that if I was not afraid to say that I said about the governor and I told them that I said what I felt and what happened. I have met another person’s and organizations that are working in their community reconstruction and that motivated me to keep going, because great challenges await us, we are waiting for the last soil study done by SEDATU.

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The right to information is a priority theme
The right to information is a priority theme

Two years after the September 7 earthquake, the families in colonia Juan, Río Pachiñé, have could gone ahead, despite that they know that lives in an unstable soil. This was possible thank to the effort and work development for Comité de Reconstrucción de Río Pachiñé in coordination with CDM Nääxwiin. The families have recovered their trustfulness, security and begin to participate in the reconstruction integral plan. The strategies that we have done have been the next:

  1. Right to information

The work team have development various activities for keep informed the inhabitants in Colonia Juan about the risk situation that prevails yet in the Colonia. We have realized informative meetings, workshops, informational booklet, articles and videos in coordination with other actors like: Vázquez, PhD student in CIESAS Occidente who wrote the article “La incertidumbre del teterete: Río Pachiñe dos años después del sismo” https://www.animalpolitico.com/blog-invitado/la-incertidumbre-del-teterete-rio-pachine-dos-anos-despues-del-sismo/;the civil association México Une who created the video “Aquí estamos, aquí seguimos” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntk0W6TKGvA)and Animal Político newspaper journalists who created a video (“Rìo Pachiñè tras el sismo, vivir sobre arena” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-k0-O9CyNg&feature=youtu.be) and an article: “Rìo Pachiñé, el pueblo de Oaxaca que vive en riesgo y esperando reubicación a dos años del sismo” https://www.animalpolitico.com/historias-sismos-2017-mexico-reconstruccion/rio-pachine-reubicacion-sismo.html

 

2.- Emotional therapies to earthquake affected families.

 

After the 2017 earthquake the Nääxwiin work team received emotional therapies, because we had been affected by the earthquake situation. This emotional tool its have strengthened with the Fundación Origen A.C. alliance and capitation. Fundación Origen have offered emotional tools capatitation to work team Nääxwiin and to some member of Comité de Reconstrucción de Río Pachiñé, with the porpoise to offer a better accompaniment to the community.

 

We achieved offer psychological attention to 22 families that decided heal their emotions. For the families in Colonia Juan in Río Pachiñe isn’t easy to accept the psychological attention, because the most families profess a christian religion that prohibit to receive this kind of support, but after try in a few occasions we achieved to have individual sessions and in group. The emotional recognition helped to each of the people to control the anger, sadness, joy and to know express themselves adequately. Some families recognize that the lived violence isn’t normal and the therapies helped much to overcome this situation and other cases have been channeled from Nääxwiin, to the center of attention of women victims of violence, to give better help to the women who want it.

3.- Workshop with women about self-esteem and empowerment

The CDM Nääxwiin is an indigenous women organization that works for women's rights defense and is for this point that we are interested that all women becomeinformed about their rights and to achieve their empowerment for that they can participate in family and community decision making. In this way, we have realized four workshop with women about self-esteem, self-recognition and women's rights. In the beginning women had embarrassment to give their opinion and to participate, but little by little they were losing their embarrassment. As we moved with the workshop we realized that they was losing the fear, because begun to talk more, shared their ideas and they were integrated into teamwork. They have overcome the fear that did not let them live in peace because they were very scared every time the earth shook. They recognize that as women they also have rights and can participate in the reconstruction of the community.

 

4.- Links and articulation with different actors

 

We have linked with other organizations like Socorro Popular Francés y Fondo Semillas for support to craftswoman groups and totoperas, but also for to benefit women that lost their kitchens. México Une, another organization, helped us to create a video for make visible the colonia risk situation. Other links were with a CIESAS academic and Animal Político journalists, both of them made two articles about Colonia Juan in Río Pachiñé. In addition we madeconnections with Fundación Origen organization, who offered us emotional tools training and also with Fundación Comunitaria who articulated us with the geologist Dra. Pérez who conducted a third soil study.

5.- Management with the authorities

In many occasions we have communicated the colonia Juan risk situation to different authorities, but they ignores the problem, simulated that they work but with much bureaucracy. In front the emergency, the Comité de Reconstrucción requested help to Dra. Pérez, professor in Universidad de Ciencia de la Tierra de Guerrero for realize a geological study in the community. Dra. Pérez and a work team did a study in the zone. Now we are in process for to have a meeting with Secretaría de Desarrollo Agrario, Territorial y Urbano for to know the study results.

 

6.- Economic recovery and construction of wood-saving stoves

 

A way to motive the families to participate in community reconstruction was through the recognize of the kitchens situation, because, these kitchens wasn’t included in the government census for to be located in the outside of the houses.

 

a) We supported 30 families for to construct their kitchens and wood-saving stoves

 

Have been trained 5 persons (3 women and 2 men) in the adobe making and construction of wood-saving stoves. This have been an achieved because there are other women in the community and region that are interested in the ecotechnics, because is a good alternative for the families lives. This ecotechnic, help to reduce the women workload, because they taken advantage of fire to cook tortillas, coffee and other foods in a short time. Also, is been consumed less wood, that means less work, less cost and a contamination reduction; and this stove help to prevent respiratory diseases because it is women and girls and boys who stay longer in the kitchen.

 

b) We have supported to 20 craftswomen and totoperas who in the earthquake lost their work tools and they needed recovery it for return to their job and them to reactivate the familiar economy.

 

c) We are beginning a fish farming project with women and men in the community.

 

For the families it haven’t bee easy to recover their lives after the earthquake because unlike another places where the people only lost their houses and already recovered them, this community have the damaged soil and they know that in any time have to be relocated and start over again. While that happens, today the community is in process to restore normalcy in their ways of life and continue working to have an economic income. The majority work in the field and for that reason they are interested in to boost the production of tilapia mojarra to diversify the production of food to improve the diet of women and men and especially girls and boys, and also, to generate economic incomes for their families. We have beginning the project in a motivated way and had a first training for to construct a fishpond. But it takes to gives continuity in a second project for strengthened the project.

 

 

 

This project has taught us that the community people can be resilient. Participating in the project makes them more aware of the situation; they can understand the articulation importance with other actors and the benefit that it has to considerate the affected families necessities for to advance in the goals.

 

 

 

We appreciate the GlobalGiving support to this project and be part of the reconstruction plan in the community.

 

 

 

 

 

We offered psychological attention to 22 families
We offered psychological attention to 22 families
We have realized four workshop with women
We have realized four workshop with women
We articulated with other actors like  geologists
We articulated with other actors like geologists
We have talked with different authorities
We have talked with different authorities
Women construct wood-saving stoves in community
Women construct wood-saving stoves in community

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Committee meeting
Committee meeting

The integral plan for Río Pachiñe reconstruction is developing in coordination with the Reconstruction Committee. In these three month we have focused our work in to review the reconstruction plan proposed for the community; offer emotional contention; to diffuse information about the community conditions two years after the earthquake; to support in the family economy reactivation and to make arrangements with the authorities.

As part of reconstruction strategies in Colonia Juan in Río Pachiñe, our integral plan in these three months has been guided toward the points that we will describe then.

I.- Reconstruction plan review

Our work with Río Pachiñe community always has been collaborative, for that, in this period we have gathered with Reconstruction Committee for follow our workplan and to review the pending strategies, tasks and actions.

After a deep analyses with Reconstruction Committee, is decided to change the informative strategy, because the people don’t want to know about the ground problem. The Colonia Juan inhabitants say that they are recovering their “normal” life and to talk about that topic causes them discomfort, so instead of keeping them together they move away. After to see this situation we decided to make an informative pamphlet where we talk about the Nääxwiin and Reconstruction Committee actions for recovery the community, instead of describing the consequences that the earthquakes caused in the community.

The families are conscientious that they live in a damaged land, some of they have fear and others resign themselves that it is the life that they had to live and that are put in the hands of God. The majority of the families profess a Christian religion denominated Espiritualista, Trinitaria y Mariana, which don’t allow to be organized for to talk against authorities or the government. The Reconstruction Committee have become aware about the importance of being heard so that the authorities look at them; they know that alone they won’t achieve.

In the same sense to continue with our reconstruction integral plan and, at the same time, to strengthen our ties with other organizations in the GlobalGiving network, we decided to ask advisory to México Une A.C for to create a video that will make visible, beyond the community, the problem of the ground and the life of the families of this colony. Also, we contact to Isadora, who work in Cooperación Comunitaria A.C., to request the technical advice of a geologist for to make a final review of the land to have an official opinion and thus insist to the government in the prompt relocation.

II.- Emotional contention

Nääxwiin is offering psychological attention to 18 families that decided to heal their emotions. For the families in Colonia Juan in Río Pachiñe isn’t easy to accept the psychological attention, because the most families profess a christian religion that prohibit to receive this kind of support. However, the families recognize that they need therapy, because they don’t overcome the damaged in their lives provoked for the earthquake.

In these therapies sessions the psychologist has identified cases of physical, psychological and sexual violence, that have been channeled to Nääxwiin, to the center of attention of women victims of violence, to give better help to the women who want it. The process is slow, but important and we will continue strengthening as of the Fundación Origen training that we will receive, with whom we are already linking to receive a training of psychological tools for team members of Nääxwiin and the Reconstruction Committee, only that these sessions will take place in the next three months.

III.- Information diffusion

We made a pamphlet with texts and images that show the actions that is doing the Reconstruction Committee in coordination with Nääxwiin. This form of present the information was accepted for the families, so we see that now they are more involved in the different activities that realize the Committee and Nääxwiin, and we discreetly take advantage to continue talking about the issue of damaged ground.

Together with the Reconstruction Committee and México Une A.C., we made a video to document the permanents risk and damages that confront the Río Pachiñe families, to live in a damaged ground, sequel that left the earthquake of September 7, 2017. Just two years later we uploaded to Youtube the video created: Río Pachiñe. Aquí estamos, aquí seguimos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntk0W6TKGvA); and we diffuse it in the social networks for make visible the Colonia Juan situation. In view of that, Marisol Cruz López, in charge of the National Reconstruction of SEDATU, has contacted the Committee to inform that the reconstruction issue is still pending in the community.

Through Fondo Semillas we contacted with Animal Político newspaper, who also are documenting the earthquake situation in the istmo de Tehuantepec region. Moreover, Susana Vázquez Vidal PhD student in CIESAS Occidente, wrote an article that was published for Animal Político newspaper: https://www.animalpolitico.com/blog-invitado/la-incertidumbre-del-teterete-rio-pachine-dos-anos-despues-del-sismo/

VI.- Economic reactivation and wood-saving stove construction

The kitchens, to be located out the houses, weren’t considered in the government census. For that, part of our plan have been focused to reconstruct kitchens, because for community women this is an important space, where they spend almost all the time. There, they make their totopos and foods for the family. Until now we have constructed 15 kitchens.

We have trained six women and three men in the adobe elaboration’s and wood-saving stove construction. Until now we have constructed 18 wood-saving stove. This is an alternative not only for women, but also all the family. Through of these stoves the workload families is reduced, because the firewood is no longer obtained in a close way, these stoves also has three burners which that take better advantage the use of the firewood and women have more time for themselves and to do other activities such as totopos, crafts, etc. An other advantage is that with these stoves the smoke goes to outside, and so the women no longer breathe it directly, which prevents respiratory diseases.

The idea of training a group of people in the community is so that wherever they are, whether in the same colony or in another relocated place, they know how to build their own adobe stoves and thus make better advantage use of their region resources, because the only thing that they need bought is the chimney pipes. The construction of the stoves is done by tequio, in this way the people support each other and is a way to recover the tequio in the community.

As part of reactivation economic project, ins this period we have met with 35 women totoperas, artisans, the beneficiaries of wood-burning stoves and kitchens to give a workshop aboutself-esteem and self-care.

V.- Arrangements with the authorities

After the visit of different governmental instances to the community in May, 2019, it was determined the placement of stakes to monitor the landslide, which raised doubts. The Reconstruction Committee asked to the technicians sent by San Juan Guichicovi municipality: how long timewill the ground be monitored?, to which the technicians responded month or years. This answer provoked more uncertainty in the community and for that is we requested the collaboration of the geologist Dr. Rosalba Pérez Gutiérrez, professor-researcher at the Autonomous University of Guerrero, who visited the community a month ago to do a study and we are waiting for these results.

During the two days that Dra. Rosalba with her team were in the Colonia Juan, they made observations in visible cuts of soil in different parts of the zone and took measurements at different topographic levels. The direct observation was accompanied by the measurement of the resistance of the ground through a penetrometer of French origin, PANDA (Pénétromètre Autonome Numérique Dynamique Assisté).

The fracture created in the land also occurred for the ground composition in the Colonia Juan, that according to Dra. Rosalba Pérez it hasn’t a good cohesion. In the direct observation of the cuts of soil she observed a sequence of material composed of sands and clays, which do not have a compaction, which generates pores that filter the water and the air.

VI.- Meeting with GlobalGiving

We assisted to a GlobalGiving meeting the past August 26 in Juchitán, Oaxaca. There we shared our work and show the video Río Pachiñe. Aquí estamos, aquí seguimos, created in collaboration with Reconstruction Committee, Nääxwiin and México Une.

Also, we received the Nicté, María and Chese visit, who could see and listen the complex situation that the community lives in the Colonia Juan in Río Pachiñe.

Emotional contention
Emotional contention
Psychological therapies
Psychological therapies
Wood-saving stove
Wood-saving stove
Wood-saving stove capacitation
Wood-saving stove capacitation
Geological study
Geological study
Damaged houses analysis
Damaged houses analysis
Land analyse
Land analyse
Meeting with geologists team of Guerrero
Meeting with geologists team of Guerrero
Global Giving visit
Global Giving visit
Global Giving visit
Global Giving visit

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Damaged land
Damaged land

Since happening the earthquake in September 2017, we have seen the authorities absent and his few acts to attend the risk problematic. Thanks to the work of Río Pachiñé reconstruction committee and Nääxwiin, the authorities have approached to verify the earthquake damaged area and see the cracks still latent. It is sad to see the families reality because some families have constructed on land damaged and their houses are presenting cracks already, that provoke more insecurity in the families life. Some people express that they don’t have the authorities support and they would wish be relocated, however, the authorities believes that is necessary a third study that is in process right now.

For Nääxwiin is important to work in a reconstruction integral vision, hence the plan that we have developed:

1- To work the emotional aspect with the affected families that don’t overcome the traumatic stress yet that they lived during earthquake and for the risk situations that they still living because the ground is damaged, that cause cracks in the new constructed houses.  In many times the families don’t want to remember it happened, they express that can’t sleep well in some times and that they feel sadness and worry about the new cracks that appears because the ground trembles still in the zone.  Also, we have identified that many people have suffered pressure for to construct their houses by their families and community. Another problem that we have noted is the conflicts and family violent generated to live many families in a same house for a prolonged time.

Nääxwiin have begun individual psychological therapies starting for an emotional diagnostic to attend the emotional damages. For many Mixe people is difficult attend the aspect psychoemotional because believes that the therapies are only for persons with mental problems.  To attend emotional aspects in Río Pachiñé is a slow process but important, that we will continue strengthening from the training that Fundación Origen will offer to us.

2- The information is a necessity for the community for that they will know risks and can take precautions in raining, earthquake, etc. situations. We have done reunions and informative talks about the neighborhood risks, however, is haven’t enough and we believe necessary to create another form to inform and to create awareness about the ground risks and the organization necessity for to claim the authorities support.

We are creating a brochure that will offer information about how the community was affected after the earthquake occurred in September, 2017. In this brochure will appear the affected houses; the ground situation and how project the community to reconstruct the neighborhood starting for a model house construction; and different actions for economic and social strengthening. 

We are linked with México Une organization for to document and make visible, through a video, the risk situation and permanent damages -like emotional aspects- that neighborhood Los Juanes live in Río Pachiñé. The video is still in construction process and will serve for that authorities see the necessity of a plan integral -like this thought-out by Nääxwiin-for to obtain the community recovery.

3- Nääxwiin is attending some economic necessities of earthquake affected families through direct supports to women dedicated to make corn totopos and that lost his ovens. Other women that we attend is a women artisan group that they lost her tools to make her crafts. Also, we are training a group of women and men for to construct wood saving stoves with the intention to reduce workload because the wood is not possible obtain near the community.

4- The model house construction proposal is going slow because just now the authorities are defining a third ground study for to define if the families will stay in the same ground or will be necessary their relocation. The step that we have done with Río Pachiñé reconstruction committee is known about another constructions experience with adobe and bajareque, like the house constructed by Comité Ixtepecano with Cooperación Comunitaria support.

5- Nääxwiin with Río Pachiñé reconstruction committee are following the management with authorities for that they attend the urgency of ground reconstruction o families relocation. For now, we have had municipals, state, and national authorities answers, who have done two visits and tour for the community and have determined that the neighborhood needs a third study. We are waiting that this study beginning.

Cracks visible in the ground
Cracks visible in the ground
Risk information to families
Risk information to families
Mexico Une works with us in a video
Mexico Une works with us in a video
wood saving stoves construction
wood saving stoves construction
Craftwoman
Craftwoman
Visit to adobe house construction
Visit to adobe house construction
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Organization Information

Centro para los Derechos de la Mujer Naaxwiin A.C.

Location: Matias Romero, Oaxaca - Mexico
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Naaxwiin AC
Matias Romero, Mexico

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