Day 3: The Pedagogy of our people

The food is scarce. Hunger, the threat of rain and longing for the heat of home forces us to break the dynamic of the uncertain, to overcome and reorganize ourselves. The truth is that there, inside us, is the story of our Ikoots and Binnizá grandfathers who resisted and built the communities where we are from. Although after the earthquake most people left their homes to take refuge in other villages, now, after days, what is most missed is the shelter that gave us life and warmth: our own community

For us, today was a very active day. After we announced yesterday that we would have an urgent meeting with the students, some committees in the neighborhoods of Ixhuatán did the same. This morning (September 10), the Fourth Section and Barrio Ostuta agreed to force the mayor to face the people; that was the first achievement of the neighborhoods. Ours was to agree with the students that we will still have school activity (even without classrooms) and learn from the disaster, and learn from the people.

At the call of the highschool, about twenty students arrived, who recognized themselves as children of the sun or children of lightning and committed to give light to the darkness of the maneuvers that are being prepared from above against our people. We refer to the altruistic simulation of politicians and companies –that have always lied- and the capitalist ambition that is now called Special Economic Zones (Zonas Económicas Especiales), with mines, hydroelectric dams, wind power and all those businesses that foreigners and governments want to do with our rivers, lands, wind and mountains . Our pedagogy is also the resistance of our people.

Some droplets of solidarity have arrived in the bank account to receive donations. We immediately put then to service. With those first support that arrived from far away, we bought here in Ixhuatan rice, soup, beans, oil and other supplies to take to our brothers from Pueblo Viejo, San Francisco del Mar. Generously, two people helped us to get there, one lending their van and another supporting gasoline to travel an hour towards the sea. Solidarity, like the earthquake, also has aftershocks. That's what our friends say and we see it that way.

In Pueblo Viejo, about one thousand Ikoots live from fishing. After the earthquake and the threat of the tsunami that never arrived, almost all the people sought refuge outside the land of their grandparents, in Pueblo Nuevo, Reforma or Niltepec. Only 150 stayed to live the effects of the earthquake that shook our lives since September 7.

The church built and dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi since the seventeenth century is found with the main arch split in two and a part of the dome turned into rubble. However to relieve our brothers from the town, none of the saints broke, all of them are in their place. The dredge that has served for the 40 meter channel that they construct collectively was damaged by the tremor, like the roads and the services.

On our way, we saw at least 20 houses that were heavily damaged, some sunken, others without ceilings or walls, others cracked and others falling to the ground, but mud houses still stand, practically without damage. The same happened to the hall that with tequio (collective work) and by decision of assembly the people built in their town a community junior high. As a "José Martí" High School we have been supporting this process for two years.

Like them, we think it necessary to go back to school because we have to reactivate the people’s lives, because we cannot stay in fear or paralyzed. Pueblo Viejo is a fishing community that resists, builds strong houses, strong schools and strong ties, which is now being rebuilt collectively. And, we, together with the students are learning from it. The message from them to those who left is full of wisdom "to return to their villages, we need hands, strength and heart to rebuild what we have lost."

This is the time for our indigenous peoples, this is the time to rebuild the communities we have been.