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Indigenous Women Field Corps

Our 2021-2024 program confronts the effects of the pandemic on PSYDEH’s work and with Indigenous women and their communities. One of the program’s objectives is to provide direct, personal support to these women and their areas on a more consistent basis. The new Professional Indigenous Women Field Corps (IWC) is designed with this goal in mind.

What is the IWC?

IWC members with office staff, Huehuetla, Hgo.

The IWC consists of four field professionals, one field coordinator, and community organizers, all based in the Indigenous areas in which we work. They are supported by PSYDEH’s office staff and 1-2 volunteer trainers working in three-to-six month shifts out of our new field office we call Casa Siempre Viva. We have already hired the field professionals and rotate community organizers while learning many needed lessons from our first round of pioneer trainers with Mateo Caraballo (Spain) y Nani Szeibert (Argentina).

The IWC delivers regular actions including one-to-one personal/professional coaching sessions with Indigenous women leaders in up to 35 communities as well as strategic assistance to these women’s small community-based collectives.

IWC training, Casa Siempre Viva, Tenango de Doria, Hgo.

Why now?

PSYDEH sees and hears how many Indigenous women in the areas in which we work feel isolated and abandoned, not supported as leaders. Their remote geography makes collaborating, let alone communicating, hard. Historically, resource constraints meant that women partners received sporadic in-person consultation from PSYDEH. 

This was especially true during the 2020 phase of the pandemic when we were in lockdown for months-on-end; we went through long periods of disconnection and isolation. Even now, the pandemic continues and climate change effects like more intense and regular hurricanes complicate communication. Since many women do not have mobile telephones and digital tools, and those who do lack consistent signal and electricity, no fieldwork almost always means no contact. For Indigenous women partners to succeed in our program, and more generally sustainably solve their own and their communities’ problems, they/we need the IWC.

More on PSYDEH’s 2021-2024 Program

We know of no other network of Indigenous women-led collectives working with civil society to grow self-reliance in Mexico. Our program focuses on providing the tools women can use to produce their own rights-oriented solutions to their own social and economic problems during and after this crises period, with ideas discussed in their own unprecedented regional forums and codified in their own unprecedented development agenda.

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