COVID-19 in Rural & Marginalized Areas, Episode Eleven
In episode ten, we discussed how the pandemic is effecting Hidalgo’s local elections in 2020. Here, in episode eleven, we use today, International Indigenous Women’s Day, to confront head-on some of the awesome challenges these women and their communities face in this phase of the pandemic, as well as what PSYDEH and local women partners, among others across the Republic, do to meet these challenges.
MEXICO & HIDALGO & PSYDEH
Awesome challenges include how an indigenous person has a seven times greater risk of dying from COVID-19 than that of a non-indigenous person, with the average death rate in their communities at 17.5% compared with 10% in non-indigenous communities.
Or, indigenous communities dependent on tourism are caught between a rock and a hard place, economic well being or personal health. This outstanding Spanish language article teases out this issue, how the global pandemic leads to local devastation few discuss.
Or, the four-pronged threat of being an (i) woman, (ii) poor, (iii) indigenous during (iv) the pandemic leads to increases in health challenges and decrease access to things like water, justice, and protection from violence across the Americas.
All is not lost, however.
Different communities and leaders across the Republic, in PSYDEH, and our local women partners confront these wicked challenges. For example, Zapatista-run areas in Chiapas do what many rural, indigenous communities are doing across the Republic to manage health risks, shut down physical mobility, and use local methods for protecting personal health.
Or, indigenous women in Oaxaca run healthy eating campaigns via social media when also promoting food autonomy from homes, with the intention of improving health conditions and smartly navigating COVID-19. In other areas of Oaxaca, women collaborating with the nonprofit Centro Profesional Indígena de Asesoria Defensa y Tradición and the local municipal government recently issued a municipal-wide plan to confront the “silent” enemy during this period, gender violence, discussed in this Facebook video.
Within PSYDEH’s sphere of influence,
(1) We hope to soon launch a multi-pronged project organized around trustworthy information, local food autonomy, and economic sustainability while inviting communities to use the pandemic to think medium and long-term around some of the underlying challenges exacerbated by COVID-19.
(2) Colleagues Diana Ramírez and Fidel García Cuevas, and their important radio program “Vive tu comunidad” (Live your community) produced by the indigenous community radio station Ximai, recently produced this bi-lingual spot in Spanish and hñähñu.
(3) PSYDEH local woman partner, Isabel, nurse and co-Nahua leader of YOLKI INO YOLO, one of the indigenous women-led organizations we incubate, who is highlighted on our testimonials page (a celebration of our new e-book “Narrativas“), sat down recently with PSYDEH General Coordinator Jorge Echeverria to produce this interview on her observations about COVID-19 and her and other local communities.