Mexico is a powerful emerging economy with an abundance of resources and established macroeconomic institutions. The country has made considerable progress in the last decade. Unemployment rates have steadily decreased as more Mexicans participate in the labor force. Women are playing a larger role in government.
While progress has been made, there is still work to be done. Despite generous social welfare programs, including the National Crusade Against Hunger, poverty continues to persist. Within the highly patriarchal social structure of indigenous communities, women have the least power and least access to productive resources. These structural causes of poverty are a challenge to overcome, but are not insurmountable.
In 2020, we began piloting a new approach focused on partnership and advocacy that will bring entire municipalities of indigenous, rural and historically marginalized communities across the country to self-reliance. Our work focuses on five states — Chiapas, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, Estado de México and Yucatán.
Over the next 10 years, we plan to have impact across all 20 states. Within this strategy our emphasis continues to be on self-reliance at the community level, measured by indicators that fall into seven distinct categories: leadership and governance, government cooperation, sustainable development, mindset shift, food security, women’s empowerment and revenue.
Additionally, THP-Mexico serves on the official delegation to several bodies of the United and works on the National Voluntary Report to keep the government accountable to its progress on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Our programs combine work with elected leaders across all levels of government to recognize and support marginalized communities with community-level programming focused on empowering leaders, particularly women, to advocate for themselves and for the resources that they need— based on their own assessments and desires for their community. From our work to date, we have seen inspiring outcomes including:
- Communities building a positive recognition of women’s public participation and acknowledgement of the historical inequity women have faced
- New relationships with municipal authorities that recognize the autonomy of the communities
- An organic “train the trainer” chain where women who have worked with The Hunger Project are training other women, creating new roles as leaders and providers
Progress in La Mazateca
After working with THP, community leaders in Oaxaca have made significant progress exercising their rights.
Right to Food Community members have established backyard orchards in 7 municipalities and organized Community Dining Rooms for families in Cerro Alto.
Right to Water Community leaders have organized Community Committees for the Right to Water and have built rainwater harvesting systems.
Right to Health THP worked with community members to install ecological toilets, which are environmentally friendly and reduce the risk of disease throughout their villages. Additionally, we worked to install ecological stoves, which reduce the amount of smoke indoors.
Right to Education Community committees organized by THP-trained catalysts maintain school classrooms.
Right to Development After participating in THP training, community leaders confidently advocated for the construction of roads and the delivery of services from the local government.
Mobilization of Indigenous Women
The Cooperativa J’pas Joloviletik has worked with THP-Mexico since 2008 to mobilize women for economic empowerment. The cooperative helps women realize that they have a voice and shows them how to assert it through leadership opportunities.
Through the Cooperativa women produce and sell handmade textiles at a fair price. These artisans started a thread shop so they could shop locally for supplies, leading the entire process from registering the shop legally to constructing the physical building.
Their leadership and activism extends beyond their livelihood. Women active with the cooperative are using their organizing skills to lead the creation of family gardens using organic compost and conducting seed exchanges with neighboring communities. This action supports the nutrition and food security of their families.
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The Hunger Project
110 West 30th Street, 6th Floor,
New York, NY 10001
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