Espacio de Encuentro de las Culturas Originarias, A.C.

Proyecto: Recuperación integral de comunidades de alta marginación afectadas por los sismos, mediante participación ciudadana y derechos humanos, en el Istmo de Tehuantepec, Oaxaca


San Mateo del Mar, San Juan Guichicovi, Oaxaca y Santo Domingo Tehuantepec, Oaxaca

Tzinnia Carranza López

We are a social organization of women and men who work mainly in Oaxaca, where we have volunteer promoters in the eight regions of the State. We develop projects, create local capacities to achieve local self-management, and support ourselves with didactic communication methods. When we felt the earthquake, our whole body and consciousness shook. People were flooded in San Mateo del Mar. The earthquake did not arrive alone—it was accompanied by a torrential rain that made things worse in the municipality. Everything was unsafe: there were no houses, the earth had liquefied, rain whipped people’s bodies and anxiety had stopped us in the middle of the night. We saw water rising up to the road, fallen walls, raised floors, huts on the floor and broken toilets. We saw an emergency facing us.

In Nativitas Coatlán, Mixe community belonging to the municipality of Tehuantepec, houses collapsed, the elementary school came crashing down and the church cracked. More than 90 homes wound up uninhabitable and the psychological effects still did not yield. In San Juan Guichicovi, the quake left visible and hidden damage. By the Pachiñe river, people live under a hidden fracture in the mountain; the hill is disjointed and washed out by the wind and rain.

We turn to these communities due to the ties that unite us. We could not stand still in the emergency. Days passed and the courage grew. The inability of the authorities at all levels made evident the oblivion in which the most vulnerable communities in the State live. Rage arose from the impotence of seeing the predacious lurking, due to the need to ensure a sense of security. They were days of reflection that led us to talk and dream to see the possibility of reinventing ourselves in multiple collective forms.

We dreamt of new forms of relationship between the individuals and the environment, new forms of encounter and exploration of our collective articulation through a look that lets us be seen, heard and felt. We are here.