Indigenous Women Weavers From Chiapas To Visit Portland

Co-op co-founder Celia Santiz Ruiz will speak how indigenous women have responded to economic impacts of free trade, militarization and crushing poverty that has hit the Mexican countryside following the implementation of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Indigenous women in Chiapas suffer from a severe lack of access to primary education and economic opportunities. Chiapas rates dead last among the Mexican states in women's illiteracy, more than doubling the national average (28.9% Chiapas vs. 11.3% nationally). In indigenous communities, the number is closer to 60%. Traditional back-strap loom weaving is often the only profitable skill that Chiapaneca women wield.

Weaving cooperatives give women the chance to market their work at fairer prices than they would receive if selling individually. Co-ops like Jolom Mayaetik also offer women opportunities like access to education, comraderie, and space for protesting social and economic injustice.

The presentation includes a slideshow, Q&A, and beautiful cooperative-made weavings for viewing and sale! Free and open to the public.

homepage:: http://portland.indymedia.org/

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