Support Grassroots Earthquake Recovery in Mexico

by Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer, A.C. Vetted since 2017 Site Visit Verified

We are happy to share an update regarding “Women Rebuilding their Communities” Fund to support long-term recovery projects in communities affected by the earthquakes in September 2017. Since our last update, the impact of the lack of government response continues to be felt, and Fondo Semillas and other key actors are beginning the process of implementing medium and long-term projects in the region.

The open call for proposals from groups in the affected states closed on April 15th. We received 85 proposals of projects to be carried out in Oaxaca (39), Mexico City (14), Morelos (13), Puebla (10), Chiapas (6), Estado de Mexico (1), Guerrero (1) and Campeche (1). The primary themes highlighted in the projects include: emotional support to affected populations, rebuilding homes and local economies, and women’s leadership in the rebuilding process.

The selection committee, composed of experts in reconstruction from institutions such as Oxfam Mexico and the United Nations Development Programme, women from the affected communities, and strategic local organizations, gathered to conduct an initial evaluation of the organizations and the proposals received. There were several key selection criteria used, including that the groups must be led by women from the areas directly affected by the earthquakes, and that groups must have a work plan that addresses systemic change. Given the fact that elections will be held in Mexico on July 1st, it was also important to ensure that the selected groups were not linked to any political parties.

After 3 rounds of analysis and deliberation, a final selection was carried out on May 21, and the 25 groups chosen to receive funding will be announced at the end of the month.           

We are so grateful for your trust in Fondo Semillas and your support of Mexico's rebuilding process. We will be reporting soon with the final results of the grantee selection and initial activities of these projects! 

The Women Rebuilding their Communities program was designed as a long-term response to the destruction following the earthquakes that occured in southern and central Mexico in September 2017. Now after the immediate aid has ended and much of the attention has been refocused elsewhere, we are getting ready to fully implement our reconstruction program, based on a complete stakeholder mapping and needs assemssment with concrete data and information from the affected areas.

In order to understand more fully the situation in the affected states, in December 2017 we collaborated with the organization Ambulante to initiate a mapping of the stakeholders and actors that are participating in reconstruction efforts in the country, as well as a needs assessment. This information will help us to define the most strategic way to use the resources and to support the communities.

This mapping is one of the most complete pictures of the situation available in the country, and we want to share some of the principal findings. If you want to learn more about the methodology that was used and see the complete results, click here.

  • More than 450 actors participating in the reconstruction have been identified, and they have been classified in accordance with their area of influence and their thematic priorities. The list as of January 26th can be downloaded here. This will continue to be updated, and the most up-to-date version can be requested by emailing: luz.rodea ( )
  • 725 municipalities in nine states are in a state of disaster or emergency: Oaxaca, Chiapas, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Morelos, Guerrero, Mexico City, the State of Mexico, and Veracruz.

  • Seven of those states (all but Tlaxcala and Veracruz) have been declared in a state of emergency by the government disaster relief agency (FONDEN), but there are 50 municipalities that are in the categories of emergency and extraordinary emergency that are not receiving support (all of these are in the state of Chiapas).
  • According to the available information, there are 60,302 housing units that have been completely destroyed, but there is no information about the total number of people affected.
  • The support for the immediate emergency is already being withdrawn from the affected communities.
  • The existing reconstruction plans are limited to housing. There is not support for initiatives such as economic revitalization, food security, prevention of future natural disasters, rehabilitation of water and sanitation systems, rebuilding social cohesion, etc.
  • Only a small percentage of the resources have been provided directly to grassroots groups and organizations, even though those groups have a fundamental role in ensuring that the reconstruction initiatives are successful.
  • Women are leading the reconstruction activities, whether through groups that they already belonged to before the earthquake, or because they organized themselves and started to work following the tragedy.

Next steps

Taking into account the previously mentioned findings, the call for proposals to receive grants from Fondo Semillas will be launched on Thursday, March 1, 2018, and can be found on our website. The results of this selection process will be announced on April 30.

We want to thank all of the people and institutions who contributed to carrying out this needs assessment and mapping, especially Valeria Brabata and Mercedes Caso, the UNDP, UNICEF, Oxfam Mexico, World Vision, #Epicentro, CADENA, TECHO, Fideicomiso Fuerza Mexico, and all of the groups and community organizations in the affected states.
Thank you to all who have donated, and keep an eye out for further updates as we move forward with the call for proposals and selection of women led organizations who are leading in the reconstruction of their communities. 

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Organization Information

Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer, A.C.

Location: Mexico City - Mexico
Website: https:/​/​​en/​
Project Leader:
Jenny Barry
Mexico City, Mexico
$285 raised of $700,000 goal
8 donations
$699,715 to go
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