Posted on October 22nd, 2009 by Marc Choyt
by Marc Choyt, Publisher
In a recent post, I wrote about an artisan owned distribution model project by the New World Mexican Women who lived in the state of Guerrero. They have started an economic empowerment project based on developing a direct relationship with the buyer, rather than going through distributors.
During my visit, I stayed in the small village of Tecalpulco, twenty minutes south of Taxco. It was a lovely place with old stone houses, a plaza and church. I was hosted by Irene Corral, a saintly woman, late in her years, who was sweet, kind and generous. The accommodations were simple—an old mattress laid out on a dirt floor. On the way to the bucket shower each morning, I walked past ducks and chickens. The old adobe home seemed like a little paradise, with a stone paved patio and arching bougainvillea flowers under a deep blue sky.
This village had been a major producer of inlaid shell jewelry in the eighties and nineties, until the industry moved to other countries. Now, most of the men have gone to the north, many crossing the border near Nogales, Arizona, where they work as illegal laborers.
The village women love these men and have their children. They wait, year after year for them to return. They have now published a book of their letters to loved ones in both English and Spanish.
In American today, the issue of immigration is always considered from a US-centric view. Immigrants are out there, often on the fringe of our society. On the news, they are a statistical phenomena without a human face. Their immense loss and suffering of uprooting from one’s own country to go to the US is often hidden, because Americans, out of their own ignorance, always assume that the US is the the best place in the world to live.
For some people, that may be true. But many of those who have left their motherland would do anything to go back. At the very least, they live their lives in poignant ambivalence over what they have left behind.
These letters explore the toll of Mexican migration to the US from the voice of these woman who are experiencing broken families, a perspective never voiced in our mainstream media in the current debates over immigration.
How I miss you! You said you were only going to Arizona to get money for our house, but now you have been away and did not come back when your sister got married. Don’t you love me? You told me you love me. You love me. I know you love me, and our life together…”
In the expression of the immense pain of separation, or dreams shattered, there is no bitterness, but rather a purity of hope which provides a clear mirror into the trails of our human condition.
When you called on the telephone, I was so happy to hear your voice and to know that you had passed safely over to the other side of the border. Good luck. God will help you. Your mother is here with me I will take care of her until you return. Work hard, don’t drink, save money, come back to me and the children.”
In addition to these fifty one letters, the book also has twenty handicraft jewelry projects, with easy step by step instructions, that you can make with simple tools and wire.
The book is perfect bound, 7.44” by 9.68”. You can get a copy of the book, which is 135 pages, at http://www.lulu.com/content/6240940
To find out more about the New World Mexican Women GO To: