Women of the Cooperative
Chiapas is the poorest state in Mexico. The indigenous women, of Maya heritage, suffer from institutionalized poverty, discrimination and lack of opportunity. Their culture is alive and well, and they are determined to learn and grow so as to be productive in their communities and in society at large.
“Mujeres de Maíz en Resistencia” is a cooperative of seamstresses that are from twelve communities in Chiapas. Every two months members meet in San Cristobal to share new knowledge, design patterns, sew, and practice computer skills. They have accomplished an extraordinary amount despite the abject poverty in which they live. Most indigenous women are married by the time they are fourteen or fifteen. The typical house has a dirt floor, a comal for cooking tortillas, and most have a small milpa (corn field). There are no resources for long term education goals.
Ma. del Carmen Cano Álvarez is the coordinator of the cooperative. She organizes meetings and workshops for the women and helps with the marketing of their products. She facilitates the long distance communication between the women of the cooperative and Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation. She establishes the budgets for the scholarship recipients and monitors finances for us in Chiapas. She is pictured here with Judith at the presentation of the Lilla directory which features sixty-two organizations that work with indigenous women in Chiapas.
For more information about the cooperative with whom we partner, watch this! We suggest you watch it twice…it’s short…. once to read the subtitles and once to enjoy the creativity.