The Women Of Candelaria
Above photo: ROAR Magazine.
Women from Candelaria in Chiapas, Mexico, explain how they took back control over their own lives and have collectively achieved social and economic independence.
Dispatches from Resistant Mexico is a series of short documentaries from southern Mexico, each depicting one of the thousands of pockets of resistance throughout Latin America that are in struggle against what the Zapatistas call “the capitalist hydra.”
These individuals and communities affirm a way life in opposition to capitalist economics and values. They fight the devastating neoliberal “development” and “mega-projects” that loot resources and land from indigenous communities and threaten forms of life that have survived despite 500 years of colonization.
The resistance shares many of the principles and goals of the Zapatistas: autonomy from the capitalist economy, communalist self-government rooted in indigenous collective traditions, an end to the subordination of women and a respectful, life-affirming, non-dominating relation to nature. Indigenous women are at the forefront of many of these ongoing struggles.
In this sixth dispatch of the series, we are introduced to the farming community of Candelaria, Chiapas, which includes many Zapatista sympathizers. The community has been under siege by an armed group invading their lands. As the community organized to protect their fields, they sought help from DESMI (a group that promotes autonomy, agroecology and women’s rights).
DESMI offered workshops to the women, and from this the women began to organize autonomously, transforming their daily lives. Now, they say, they can no longer live with a boss who makes all the decision. In this short they prepare chorizo and talk about their transformation.