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Unión de Comunidades Indígenas de la Región de Istmo de R.I.

Proyecto: Reconstrucción después del sismo en la sierra mixe zapoteca del Istmo


Istmo de Tehuantepec, Oaxaca

Luis Martínez Villanueva

We are the Union of Indigenous Communities of the Isthmus Region (UCIRI, by its acronym in Spanish), composed of Zapotec, Mixe, Chontal and Chatino groups. This organization was born in 1983 in the isthmus of Tehuantepec’s mountain range, as a response to the exploitation of intermediaries and local chieftains of our main product: coffee, as well as to the lack of opportunities for small producers and their communities.

Currently, coffee production fell due to the attack of the coffee plant rust, which affected nearly 80% of the production, and, on the other hand, the earthquake affected more than 600 families in our communities. The earthquake showed how fragile life is against nature, but at the same time it showed that we can revive and reorganize ourselves from the communities, with our neighbors and family.

UCIRI was motivated to assist communities because the support promoted by the federal government has not been efficient and most of those affected are not taken care of as promised.

We are infinitely grateful for having recovered our small heritage and having a decent housing, so rain does not pour anymore on our clothes, dishes and furniture.

The solidarity of the people has been most significant—they have helped us in times of misfortune. I hope that this solidarity is not lost once we overcome this terrible situation. Our prayers will always be with you.