By: Chelsae Crivello
The social work and migration and globalization groups went Luz y Libertad, a Christian Based Community. Luz y Libertad is a group of women in Cuernavaca that work to make the religion of God a reality, which is justice, liberty, respect, truth, solidarity and care. They explained that a Christian Based Community is “a church in the movement, not a movement in the church”. We had the privilege of talking with five women who helped run this group. These strong women were very inspiring and not only have they worked hard to create this group but they have also been verbally assaulted from husbands and other members of their church.
These women started meeting once a week just to reflect on the work of God and over time they realized that they needed to do more. They created three groups within Luz y Libertad, a nutrition workshop, craft workshop, and a self-esteem workshop. The nutrition workshop teaches women how to nourish themselves inexpensively. They teach women how to cook with soy and they also teach them how to make bread and pastries so they can sell them if they need the money. The craft workshop teaches women how to make crafts to sell so they can start to financially support themselves without their husbands. The self-esteem workshop creates a space where women can engage together and become aware of social cultural conditions. All of these groups teach women to become less dependent on their husbands because sexism is deeply rooted in the Mexican culture. For example, the women explained that after 25 years of working it is almost impossible to find a job so these groups teach women how to financially support themselves and not have to rely on the husbands for money.
Other than all the wonderful programs and community building they have done within Cuernavaca, Luz y Libertad was also able to go to a conference in Canada. One woman said, “Although we didn’t speak the same language, we still spoke the same language”. They felt very privileged to go to a conference to share the same passions other people had around the world.
After talking with the women of Luz y Libertad the students got the chance to eat their delicious food and reflect on the conversation. It was very inspiring listening to the women of Luz y Libertad. They are all very strong women and work hard to better their community, as one woman put it, “If everyone put their grain of sand in we would have a different future”. For me as a social work student, it was an honor listening to these women. They have been through a lot, they have been attacked by people who do not agree, and have not been rightfully acknowledged for all of their work but they still keep on going.