To make sure you can realize which events occurred in this area, to make sure you can feel the atmosphere of this place as us, read that story… Discover how unity, strength, bravery and audacity made a community uplifting their situation… everything thanks to WOMEN!
Indigenous Women from Cuetzalan, in Puebla State, changed their destiny without denying their culture
This story starts in the 80’s. In the villages of Cuetzalan and around, the economic situation is difficult. Families live from agriculture and from that point of view, everything tends to show that they cannot complain. Located at 800m above the sea leavel, the area is fertile. It rains very often. Many rivers flow everywhere around and everything is green.
However there is a need of getting other income. Houses are in a bad conditions. There is a need to get equipped in order to also release the daily life.
A region where handicrafts are everywhere
Women want to sell their handicrafts in the nearest cities. Unfortunately, alone, men cannot accept. Danger, pride, man domination? Whatever, it is impossible!
That situation allows an association to be born: Masehual Siumej Mosen Yoalchuacauni. Few women decide to get together and start to talk. They decide to join to go together to the city. Bingo, that’s swing! It is a new step for Nahuatl women. This impetus makes them discover a social life as well. They find people to talk to especially about their daily situation which is far away of being easy.
Most of them do not know how to read and write. They have to take care of the house and kids. Not too many occasions of going out. Health, human rights, psychologic state are totally undertaken.
The association grows and social aspect comes to the initial objective. But things do not get easier neither because men accept women’s meeting in the community as long as they don’t lose confort. Then women have to take care of everything before going for meeting… Everything needs to be ready as always.
Step by step, in Cuetzalan, things evolve after all
In 1997, indigenous women decide to take opportunity of governemental support to start a touristic project. At that time, architecture and culture of Cuetzalan start to be known in Mexico and over. Tourism starts.
After buying a land, united between them and supported by husbands ; 10 rooms go alive as well as 2 shelters (dorms). Things are still not easy but women have an official place for their meetings, for selling their products to the tourists at a better price (clothes, accessories, herbal produts, soaps, etc) and for complementary incomes.
20 years later, Tesalotzin hotel is even bigger. Today, 100 families are involved in the project. Money from tourism is used for buying new materials or for renovating villagers’ house. In Taselotzin; benefits do not come in cash but in material advantages. Women who did not know how to read and write learnt. The daughters now systematically go to school and even go for career.
But in addition to that, the position of woman changed in the community. They are respected. Tesalotzin is a great success and they can be proud of it. More than contributing to the local families; the hotel is also eco-friendly. Tesalotzin is located in abundant vegetation. All products used are natural.
For visitors staying at Taselotzin, it is an immersion in indigenous culture. Between decoration, way of life, food; everything is made to discover this culture coming from Totoconal civilization.
Rufina (the general manager) welcomed us with simplicity and humility and what they succeded is just amazing. Let’s spread the world and make all indigenous culture all over the world able to uplift themelves while keeping their culture distinct.
And few pictures of Yoalichuan Ruins - Totonaca Civilization - 10km from Cuetzalan
We are Ela & David, 2 citizens of the world. In quest of a new way of living, more respectful from the environment and the Humans, we travel slowly to discover new cultures, to look for inspirations and with a wish of sharing. Wants to know more?