AGUSTINA ACOSTA FLORES
Otomí Founding Partner, Flor del Bosque
Community of San Jose del Valle, Tenango de Doria, Hidalgo
I am a happy woman who likes to share and serve the people of my community. I live in the region of the Valley that is why my community is called San José del Valle in the municipality of Tenango de Doria. In my community, they plant coffee, avocado, orange, bananas, and lemon. I like to embroider the Tenangos and since I was a child I learned from my mother. I have embroidered many Tenangos and I sell them in the municipal capital and also in Mexico City.
Very young I had to become responsible for my parents since my brothers left my community to be able to work and support my parents with economic resources. This prevented me from being able to continue studying since in my community we only had an elementary school. Now we have a secondary school, but I only studied until elementary school.
I have always been a person who likes to learn new things and when I was invited to participate in the PSYDEH workshops it was like another door that opened in my life. It motivated me a lot, I invited more women from my community to the workshops that PSYDEH does and I managed to form a group of 10 to 15 women in my community and other nearby communities. After a year of participating in different workshops about our rights as women and native peoples; we began to form our women’s council and we spoke among the compañeras who participated in the workshops. At the end of 2014, we held an election in which my compañeras elected me as their counselor as well as 3 other compañeras from different communities. This is how we formed the Council of Indigenous Women of Tenango de Doria, “flower of the forest”.
I am very happy to have met PSYDEH and to have been part of many good things that have taken place in the Otomi-Tepehua region, such as the Regional Meetings where we have met more than 200 women from the four municipalities; men have also participated in these meetings and municipal and state authorities have listened to our demands. Another thing I have liked is that I have met foreigners from many countries who collaborate and visit our communities with goodwill.
Unfortunately, since 2018 I have had to leave my community to attend to my mother’s health since in my community there are no medical services that she needs. Now I live in Pachuca and I live with my partner; I continue to embroider Tenangos but I miss being able to participate in the workshops, meetings, and gatherings that PSYDEH continues to do with my companions. I feel proud to be a counselor and someday I will be able to work for my community again and continue training and learning how to be a woman leader.
Meanwhile, I will continue smiling and being happy with what I do, I will continue supporting the women and men who want to lead.