Mexico indigenous women visualize cultural diversity

The life and culture of the native peoples are alive in the voice of their women; For five years now, a group of indigenous people has been trying to tell their stories, from their perspectives and ways of seeing the world, to show the diversity and plurality of the peoples and not just be part of poverty and marginalization statistics.

The News Agency of Indigenous and Afro-descendant Women Notimia was born in 2014, in view of the need to make visible the indigenous peoples of the country and now has 12 women, who are responsible for the project and give life to the platform. Photo: Flickr
The News Agency of Indigenous and Afro-descendant Women Notimia was born in 2014, in view of the need to make visible the indigenous peoples of the country and now has 12 women, who are responsible for the project and give life to the platform. Photo: Flickr

On April 4 they will present, with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the project "Indigenous and Afro-descendant Communicators: Strengthening News Agency Notimia", at the Cultural Center of Spain, located in the capitals historic center.

In this regard, the general coordinator of the Agency, Guadalupe Martínez, explained to Notimex that the project consists of three lines of work and a five-year plan to strengthen this medium.

They will work on developing a code of ethics to define working methods but from the point of view of indigenous peoples, as well as highlighting the importance of doing journalism with a gender and intercultural approach. Another of the axes of work is training for women who integrate the platform in journalistic matters, as well as a greater connection between indigenous women in the country and the world.

Two meetings will be held; one in Mexico at the beginning of November 2018 and another one in mid-2020 in Guatemala, as well as a diploma course, that same year, which will have a platform of teachers who are mostly indigenous working in the media, journalism, and social networks.

The project emerged in 2014 when a group of indigenous women organized to hold three meetings of indigenous women, in which they found the need to open spaces for dissemination regarding projects, aspirations and the visibility of indigenous women.

Notimia, formally created in 2017, is the result of three meetings of Indigenous and Afro-descendant Communicators held within the framework of cooperation between the Cultural Center of Spain in Mexico and the Alliance of Indigenous Women of Central America and Mexico; The project seeks to be promoted by the AECID due to the interest of various institutions interested in its Indigenous Program.

"Indigenous peoples are usually talked about with statistics that have to do with indicators of poverty because they are indigenous, but they never talk about the contributions that indigenous women are giving. In Mexico there are 68 villages, 365 language variants, more than 15 million indigenous people, of which more than 50 percent are indigenous women and public policies for them are a vacuum."

Guadalupe Martínez, of Nahuatl origin, pointed out the importance of more specialized media, in this case, with a gender focus, because there is little information regarding the location and work performed by these women.

For this reason, Notimia seeks to make this segment of the population visible, share experiences and highlight issues that no one is looking at, as well as develop works related to human rights, violence against indigenous women, ecological and spiritual violence, as well as ways of feeding and treatment of diseases.

The treasurer of the organization, Celerina Patricia Sánchez Santiago, added that the Agency seeks to make people aware of the particularities of indigenous peoples.

"We are not groups, we are peoples, when we speak in terms of people as a nation we also have territory, culture, language, which is what has been made invisible in this country, it is what we want to claim, we can make news and disseminate everything that we are."

The also poet of the village ñuu savi, of the Oaxacan Mixteca, pointed out the importance of plurality because for many years it was thought of a Mexico with only one language and culture. However, in the country, there are 68 indigenous peoples, each with different ways of seeing the world, uses, customs and ways of organizing.

For all these reasons, it is very important to inform from an indigenous perspective, to consider these particularities, with a feminine perspective that also evidences the importance of women in indigenous peoples and their contributions; in such a way that the agency does not seek to run after the daily note, but to account for the tasks of the indigenous peoples from within.

In addition to the 12 women responsible for the project, behind Notimia, there are another 60 women who collect information from their communities, as well as five Afro-descendant women who seek to make visible the existence of these groups in different states of the country.

The idea is to strengthen the project and make society look at indigenous people from another perspective, by evidencing ancestral knowledge, artistic manifestations, environmental care, and many other aspects that make up these peoples and that not only have to do with the folklore of his clothes and crafts.

Thus, the women who collaborate in the platform share various topics in order to strengthen the agency and achieve the link of those involved with an intercultural and gender approach.

"Let us be, let our voice be, we women are the most backward (...) we are a human species with deficiencies and many virtues, in the news, it is important to make known our ancestral ways of making art, of the relationship with nature."

The News Agency of Indigenous and Afro-descendant Women of Notimia seeks to be independent and generate its own resources in the face of the need for non-indigenous people to know the worldview of indigenous peoples with a gender focus to achieve equity and thus achieve peace.

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