Rural Mexico and Climate Change
Mexico is constantly being reminded about the realities of climate change. Hurricane Grace, which recently pushed through the center of the country, is another example of the heavier-than-normal rainstorms the country has been experiencing in 2021.
Local PSYDEH women staff and partners report landslides, high river and stream levels, downed trees, and flooding in low-lying areas, as well as region-wide power and telephone network outages. Approximately 3,000 people in the Laguna region of the municipality of Tenango de Doria were completely cut off due to damage to local roads and highways in the region. In the municipality of San Bartolo Tutotepec, roads were severely damaged by landslides in various parts of the highway, which caused the closure of some sections and the cutting of electricity and telephone lines to the community.
Fortunately, our local-based field team did not report any loss of life or damage to their homes. Local indigenous women partners say the same beyond losing electricity and phone signal for weeks. Indeed, the hurricane made already challenging fieldwork in August (due to the coronavirus Delta wave) much more complicated. Local transportation infrastructure between communities, as well as power and telephone lines, while mostly reconnected, remains suspect. So much so that local communities organized a shut down of a major transport access route to protest the government’s inadequate attention to basic infrastructure.
PSYDEH does not sit idly by. Pursuant to local demands and this emergency as well as the ongoing pandemic, we reconfigure our 2021-2022 COVID-19 recovery program to balance delivery of sustainable, long-term impact-focused empowerment work with short-term impact-oriented direct benefits. Despite and because of climate change, we must act collectively with local Indigenous women to generate concrete social impact actions to improve daily life.
Check back in September for more on our reconfigured program!