Day 5: The assembly that teaches

The back hurts, just a little, the neck. A seat is taken to listen and the eyes start to close out of the habit. We get accustomed to see the landscape of wrecked houses. Several of those, the ones in bad condition were demolished. The memory of a love last seen over that other corner shows now nothing but a pile of red bricks. The house that once stood there may one day reach oblivion, but so will the love that was born under its former empty shadow?

El Barrio (The Borough) is still teaching and learning. At 8 in the morning the Administrative Committee of El Barrio welcomed us. They set a meeting with the government delegate, who didn’t arrive. The Tourism Minister is accounted responsible for Ixhuacán, but he never showed up. The Committee had already learned that plain words are dust in the wind. A document has to be addressed with clear, specific ideas of what is being requested. Such document was written and delivered later that day. The provisions in the borough were no more than 300 kg and it had to suffice for 300 families in record.

The habitual dynamic in the borough mostly consists of eating or sleeping at the shelter, going back home to clean and looking for our lives. Our provisions? The municipal government delivered 3 milk packages and a box of cookies, just like the ones provided by DIF (a state institution focused on offering help for the development of poor families). The rest was donated by fellow countrymen that collected from people in the region. There is no humanitarian aid from the government or any other organizations yet. For good reasons, the people distrust the institutions; they want to personally deliver provisions in the hands of the most affected people. The borough determined that provisions are not to be given away house by house, because that creates competence. They agreed that the deliveries would be given to the shelter and the food will be distributed among those that arrive and ask for it.

The “youngster” from the Highschool decided to go over the the Ostuta neighbourhood to make a census about the number of affected homes. So far, we have been unable to systematize the data.

Among the ruins, Ixhuateca Radio 91.1 FM was reborn. The transmitter was reinstalled and so, in these hard times, we reached all standing homes with music.

The marine corps? Yes, they are here. They suddenly arrived, without notice, and started to sweep some streets. They picked up debris from the main streets. There was something up their sleeves. There was a scorching sun above our heads that afternoon. The shelters announced the food they had just prepared.

Angels? The governor? It turns out that angels exist and they are Green. So was announced by the governor of Oaxaca. The marine corps, he explained. The Tourism Minister, he said. The improvised shelter in the municipal auditorium (where there is not a sole person) he mentioned. The medical units, the street sweeping… that was for picture-taking, not humanitarian aid. The picture of a governor that arrived 5 days late to talk about green angels that would go to the houses to conduct a census. A governor that explained that the Tourism Minister was now in charge in Ixhuatán a moment before getting into his helicopter.

The governor was called names: “the puppy”, “killer”, “represser”. His bodyguards chased after those who dared to shout. César, the major, was reproached for not working and Wicho, the former major, was asked to give back the resources he stole. It is alarming to see the Tourism Minister in Ixhuacán. What is his mission? Why was the President concerned enough to send him? Let’s hope he is not here to hand over the land to some company that wants to transform us into a transnational tourist destination. It is known that this kind of disasters are used to introduce their plans and projects, so we continue to warn and ask people not to become fascinated with a late visit of a governor who wants to open the door to transnational companies in the state of Oaxaca, according to the Special Economic Zones program.

We are thankful to all those who are collecting provisions in other cities. Such supplies will soon arrive to our community. We are thankful to those who are donating to the highschool’s bank account. We can see that there is support from several countries. We ask you to send us a photo of the bank receipt (via whatsapp or inbox) to have a record of those donations.

We are told in the streets that our people is not asking for much. What could be helpful, however, are metallic plates for roofing and tubes for support and scaffolding. These elements provide a roof and with it, some shadow and cover from the rain. Houses? These will come later.

The will of the highschool is to be an intermediary: we will receive resources and we will distribute them among the people that really need them. For those of you that prefer to contribute with currency, we have these bank accounts: 5579090015702070 (Banco Santander). Number 26022057386, CLABE (inter-bank key) 014100260220573865, under the name of “Mikh Dalia Korey Aquino Álvarez”. Also 0070814694 (BANSEFI bank) with CLABE 166616000708146947 under the name “Patronato Pro Escuela Preparatoria por Cooperación de San Francisco Ixhuatán, Oaxaca A. C.” our address is Cecilio López Trujillo Street, 4a sección, in San Francisco Ixhuatán, Oaxaca.

This is the time of our indigenous peoples. This is the time to claim our autonomies and rebuild the towns that, along with their people, have existed for centuries.