After the earthquakes of September 7 and 23, 2017, and in response to the call by the Comité Ixtepecano de la Defensa de la Vida y el Territorio, we took part of our team to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec with the aim of replicating our reconstruction methodology, which was implemented across the mountains of Guerrero after the 2013 natural disasters.
We start by identifying damages, analyzing natural resources, and listening to the affected population in order to understand the environmental and cultural relationship they hold to their habitus. The project comprises the reconstruction of houses, kitchens, traditional stone ovens and comixcales (clay ovens), and the construction of the first Arts and Trades Center in Ciudad Ixtepec. The structures we use reclaim natural and cultural elements of the Ikoot and Binnizá peoples, as well as technologies that can resist both earthquakes and the strong winds of the region.
We seek to involve and engage the community in the reconstruction process: from drafting a proposal that fits their needs, to a direct collaboration in the construction process. Families learn to build quality spaces with confidence, using traditional knowledge and locally produced materials, all of which strengthen their self-sufficiency and resilience.
Reconstruction is not only material, but touches the feelings, memories, and hopes of each family. By strengthening a traditional structure, building a home or an oven from scratch, we also alter the reconstruction process of each individual.”
Our work supports the reconstruction of housing, productive and environmental infrastructures, in order to take part in rebuilding family stories, traditional knowledge, the human-nature relationship, and paths toward self-sufficiency.