An Open Letter from Maddalena Forcella, textile-fashion designer
I am writing to ask you to consider making a gift of whatever size to remove the toxic, cancer-causing asbestos from La Flor de Xochistlahuaca women’s weaving cooperative work space in Guerrero, Mexico.
On the webpage it explains everything: the roof of asbestos that needs to be destroyed and rebuilt because it is very toxic and a carcinogen and operates like an oven creating uncomfortable working conditions in the extreme heat. In addition, there is a great video about the cooperative and the weavers and the gifts that will be given with each donation. Please take a look.
Goal: $45,000 USD
To Date Raised: $7, 541 USD or 17% of Goal
The goal is ambitious and we need the help from all of our friends – especially those textile lovers and those interested in artisan craftsmanship. I know most of us don’t like to receive petitions for money, but in this case, I know that it is worth it. And, I know that I owe it to the weavers, to their hope for a better future and for their wish to have a work space that is healthy and dignified for the excellence of their textile art. I ask you to please consider participating.
I thank you from my heart and I thank you on behalf of the artisans for your willingness to support this project either through a donation or by sharing it with friends or on Facebook or in any other way you are able: https://igg.me/at/laflordexochistlahuaca
Thank you again for your support and time, I really appreciate it.
Norma’s Note: Maddalena has worked with this group for three years to build their economic development and marketing capacity; this is her last project with them. They live on the border between the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero. Their handmade weaving work is exquisite, and their health matters! Please support them with whatever size gift you can afford.
En Español de Maddalena Forcella
Les escribo pidiéndoles unos minutos de su tiempo para que chequen la campaña de fondeo colectivo para renovar el espacio de trabajo de las tejedoras de La Flor de Xochistlahuaca, en Guerrero . Después de tres años de trabajo con el grupo, este es el último esfuerzo que hacemos juntas, el objetivo es ambicioso, así que necesitamos de la ayuda de todos nuestros amigos, especialmente de los amantes del textil y la excelencia artesanal; se que no es lo máximo recibir peticiones a contribuir a una buena causa, pero en este caso se que vale la pena, y se lo debo a las tejedoras, a su esperanza de un presente/futuro mejor y a su deseo de tener un espacio de trabajo digno de la maestria de su quehacer. Entonces doble agradecimiento por si quieres hacer una donación, o ayudarnos a difundir la campaña a través de este enlace entre amigos y conocidos, en Facebook y cualquier otro medio a tu alcance: https://igg.me/at/laflordexochistlahuaca
En la página se explica todo, el techo de lámina de asbesto, que debe ser cambiado ya que es super tóxico y cancerígeno, ademas de ser un horno cuando se esta debajo, también hay un bonito video y fotos de la cooperativa y de las tejedoras, y los regalos que las artesanas enviarán a los donadores.
Les mando un gran abrazo y mis agradecimientos sinceros
Oaxaca Safety and Day of the Dead: Come or Cancel?
I’m hearing about people thinking of canceling their Day of the Dead trips to Oaxaca this year. Someone said they were afraid of the Zika virus. I haven’t heard of any cases being reported here. Fear is powerful.
Teotitlan del Valle, Dia de los Muertos
I returned to Oaxaca five days ago. It was an easy flight from Orange County, California (SNA) to Mexico City on Southwest, then a connection to Oaxaca on Interjet. I arrived in Teotitlan del Valle without incident. Not even an airplane snivel.
Out and about on Sunday in Mitla, I saw tourists. They are mostly Europeans, Germans, Swiss, French, Dutch. Fearless world travelers.
The children’s comparsa, Muertos
We are rounding the corner to prepare for Dia de los Muertos — Day of the Dead. Oaxaca is famous for this celebration of life and its continuum. Hotels are usually booked a year in advance.
But fear is in the air. People are asking once again, Is it safe? Should I come? Should I cancel?
The 2016 Guelaguetza is behind us. Observing from my son’s California living room, I heard various numbers: from a 31% to 53% occupancy rate in Oaxaca hotels. This is devastating news to a tourism-dependent city. Yet, I also heard the auditorium was packed with Mexicans and Europeans. Only the Americans missed out.
My own altar, in memory of dad. This year, we add our mother.
Why are we so afraid? I think this is an important question to ask ourselves as protectionism and insularity dominate the political rhetoric in our social discourse. Are we willing to stay put, stay home, close ourselves off from an invigorating world that offers exploration and discovery, and is probably no more or less safe than going to the local mall. Fear is self-protection. It is also paralyzing.
Even Frida returns to celebrate
I subscribe to Improvised Life. Sally Schneider talks about how important it is to lean into the fear that puts a stranglehold on us. Onward.
It’s true. Oaxaca struggles with its own political upheavals and social justice issues. The zocalo is a gathering place for dissidents and right now, it’s not pretty. The federal and state governments are prone to take impulsive, though calculated aggressive action against demonstrators. We are aware of where these potential flash points can happen and we steer clear. Just like we wouldn’t go into a U.S. neighborhood known to be volatile.
Offerings on the altar. Favorite foods, beverages, pan de muertos
Yesterday, my inbox contained a message from a Day of the Dead tour leader to his clients who seem to be softening on their commitment to visit. In summary:
We hope for the best. Meanwhile, life in Oaxaca continues to present its wonderful mysteries, artistic expression, great culinary taste sensations, and an unparalleled opportunity to meet artisans where they live and work.
Sand paintings, part of the transition, Muertos
I urge you to come and not cancel. Day of the Dead is an extraordinary opportunity for examining how we feel about life and death through the eyes of indigenous people. It is with love, not fear. It is with respect for ancestors, not grief.
Oaxaca welcomes you! If you are afraid, buy travel insurance. You should, anyway (smile). Wherever you go.
Over-the-top decorations throughout Oaxaca’s centro.
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Oaxaca Mexico art and culture, Safety
Tagged afraid, day of the dead, demonstrations, fear, health, Mexico, Oaxaca, safety, tourism, travel, Zika virus