The Oaxaca Mask Project Report #3: Thanks to the Makers–Our Heros

As it is said, It takes a village, and we have one!

Women are sewing masks in Oaxaca city, Teotitlan del Valle, Tlacolula de Matamoros and throughout the USA. Mask-makers in the US are friends who have responded. They are mailing me masks. I will then send the masks via DHL to Oaxaca using funds raised here. Thank YOU!

Masks from Shuko Clouse

I want to give a shout out to teacher Cristy Molina Martinez who lives in Teotitlan del Valle. She is organizing work with two seamstresses there to make 400 masks for fast distribution. One of the seamstresses is my friend Rosario Lazo, who has a sewing machine that I gave her several months ago. This project will give work to Rosario and who needs to feed her family. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Mask pattern — one version of many

I especially want to thank Kalisa Wells who paired me with Cristy.

Masks made in Tlacolula

Cristy went to Oaxaca city yesterday to buy 100% tight weave cotton cloth. She bought the remaining yardage at Entretela, an excellent fabric shop on Arteaga. All the other fabric stores are closed, she says. Others say the same. Cristy then went deep into Abastos Market to buy the filter cloth.

We talked about how to best get the masks distributed and used. We think it’s most effective to go through the village municipal leaders and Cristy will talk with the community president and head of public health to help. This is because there is a lot of disbelief, especially in the older population.

Contact me to donate masks.

Help The Oaxaca Mask Project. Donate here: paypal.me/oaxacaculture

Karen Nein, Eldorado, New Mexico, is making 100 masks to send directly to San Martin Tilcajete. We are paying for the DHL shipment to Jacobo and Maria Angeles Ojeda who will distribute them there.

Hollie Taylor masks with nose fastener

Hollie Taylor, from Chapel Hill, NC, is making 50 masks for adults and 50 masks for children, that I will ship to Oaxaca. I’m set to receive them on April 24.

Shuko Clouse, Los Angeles, California, has made and collected 95 masks. I will receive them on Friday, April 24, too. and combine this gift with the one from Hollie.

DHL can get a box to Oaxaca in three to five days!

Public health education message in Zapotec, translated by Janet Chavez Santiago

As fabric and supplies dry up in Oaxaca, these USA mask gifts become even more important to keep the supply chain open. I have a pattern if anyone needs it — in English and in Spanish!

Thanks to Mask-Makers, Organizers, Distributors

  • Rocio Bastida Cruz, in San Felipe del Agua, is sewing 200 masks.
  • Alvin Starkman is taking 100 masks to Tlapazola and Guila tomorrow.
  • Eric Ramirez Ramos is having 100 masks made in Tlacolula for local use.
  • We received 100 masks yesterday from Cherie Verber in Patzcuaro. She tells us it is the last because of safety concerns to mail.
  • We are trying to identify makers in San Jeronimo Tlacochahuaya

News today is that Mexico is entering Phase 3, the height of the pandemic. Still many people are incredulous. There is definitely more to be done for public health education! And, of course, it is no different in the USA where state governors are talking about opening up! Suspend judgment.

Teotitlan Municipio Government Message prohibiting outsiders from entering

5 responses to “The Oaxaca Mask Project Report #3: Thanks to the Makers–Our Heros

  1. I could be completely off-base, but I wonder if it would help reduce barriers to acceptance if something escapulario-like was somehow incorporated into the mask — even just the design on the cloth. Or a pocket just large enough to hold an escapulario. And then if local priests would encourage wearing a “third escapulario”, it just might get some traction.

    • Interesting idea, Dwight. I’ll put it out there for comment. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Village officials are making every effort to encourage the population to practice social distancing and use masks. Tomorrow, the head of public health in Teotitlan del Valle will hand out our masks at the village market. We shall see how it goes.

  2. Oops, make that “link.”

  3. Norma, could you post a ink to the mask pattern you referenced? Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *