I admire the resilience and strengths the community of Tlamacazapa, Guerrero, have developed. Despite the fact they do not have resources they need to build a stronger source of income or access to purified water, they have an outstanding determination to provide for their families. The women of the town hold powerful positions because they often take the role of a mother, daughter, domestic worker, and basket weaver. The reason we had the opportunity to visit Tlamacazapa was thanks to Xochitl Ramirez, a leader of Atzin, a non-governmental community development organization. Xochitl was kind enough to provide us with an informational talk about Atzin’s impact on the community and how the community has changed. However, as Xochitl stated, a talk was not sufficient to gain a wider perspective of Tlamacazapa’s situation. When we reached Tlamacazapa, we received a warm welcome from all of the community organizers, who are all women from a wide range of ages. They introduced themselves and their roles in Atzin. Most of the community organizers were part of the kitchen staff, special education program or elementary school preparatory program. I am amazed at the fact Atzin has done a wonderful job encouraging women to become involved at such a young age because these girls serve as role models for their peers and mothers, who can access the adult literacy programs also offered by the organization. Aside from Atzin’s wonderful work in empowering people to transform themselves and others, the willingness of the community to pull through difficulties is astonishing. Residents carry 20-50 liters of water almost daily, from the well to their homes and wait long hours when water is scarce. In a house visit, I encountered a male who had suffered an incident and lost both of his legs. Nevertheless, he began basket weaving to substitute his job of exporting products to larger cities. It is important to acknowledge the impact globalization, poverty and patriarchy has on Tlamacazapa – as long as we put forward the peoples’ effort to regain hope.
Community Organizers ("Promotoras") of Atzin, students, Cemal professors and staff. The picture was taken after our circle gathering of introductions.
|The cleanest water well where the community of Tlamacazapan obtain their water for washing dishes and sometimes, drinking. It is a very long hike up the town to obtain it.|
~Laura A. (student)
 Xochitl Ramirez, Atzin Community Organizer. Lecture on Mar. 19, 2014 in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico.
Atzin was founded in 1997 by Dr. Susan Smith and other volunteers.