Studies and plans to aid the indigenous communities

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

The Instituto Municipal de Allende para las Mujeres (Allende Municipal Institute for Women, IMAM) will conduct a study on gender equity in the 27 indigenous communities in the municipality, which should assist in formulating strategies to help eradicate violence against women. The municipality of San Miguel de Allende has the highest number of indigenous communities in the state, according to Alonso Zurita, director of the Center for Indigenous Development from Guanajuato (CDI).

Roxana Patán, director of the IMAM, said that the goal of this study is to obtain basic information such as women’s ages, marital status, occupation, level of education, family connections and incidences of violence to generate strategies to prevent, eradicate or best know how to deal with violence against the women (if it exists).

According to Patlán, San Miguel is the only municipality granted federal resources (300,000 pesos) for this study, money which will be received this week. She noted that these indigenous communities include about 9,000 inhabitants, and more than 50 percent (5,000) are women. For that reason they are seeking to improve the quality of life of these women, “because if we improve their lives, we improve the life of a family,” she said. The results will be published in November. To conduct the surveys, the local government will hire women from the same communities, who will be trained and will receive a salary.

Martín Salgado Cacho, director of Social and Human Development, said the local government will start working with representatives of these communities to develop better programs and get resources from the state and federal government. To procure resources, the municipality will create a council to work with the 27 communities. In the past, he said, some persons who knew how to access the programs helped the people, but they charged for it. They are also preparing a proposal for a bicycle path to connect the communities.

Professor Magdaleno Ramírez Ramírez, who lives in Cruz del Palmar, is the president of the State Council for Indigenous Communities and has attended several meetings with staff from the CDI, who have informed him of the easiest ways to obtain public resources. Ramírez said that he is interested in recovering the Otomí language and is preparing a project whereby the elderly, through family reunions, will help the younger generations learn the native language.

Among  these indigenous communities are La Cieneguita, La Cuadrilla, El Lindero, La Palmita, Presita de Santa Rosa and Los Barrones.

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