Brand new women
Women are the very core of the association. According to Maria, many women -even very young- arrive at Yach´il Antzetic because they are pregnant without being married or victims of sexual violence. Sometimes their own families are responsible. These women are alone, isolated and with no support at all. They reach the association determined to undergo an abortion or leave the baby there for adoption. But then suddenly something changes and women find out a brand new world at Yach´il Antzetic: their world. They start discovering their body and feelings, their self-consciousness rises, they explore themselves and the relationship with their own babies. It is a holistic process empowering women with skills and abilities which make them brand new. They are aware of their rights and able to take decisions about their life.
We listen carefully to Maria’s tale and she introduces the main activities there: hand-craft products, self-financing, community life and humanized deliveries. The association -and namely Maria (a partera, a word meaning midwife)- makes everything possible to allow each girl to experience the delivery in the best health and emotional situation. They finally become aware of themselves and able to take decisions. The main tools to raise self-consciousness are: respect of their metis origin and tradition, obstetrics teachings, fitotherapy, sexual studies in order to fully discover their potential and gender skills. Afterwards women will also be aware about their own health rights, food, sex and reproduction. Those who prefer adoption deeply reflects on their own rights as mothers, minors rights as well as the rights of the foster family which is strongly supported during the welcoming process of the new-born inside the family itself.
Maria stresses that over the years the adoption and cesarean section rates dramatically decreased thanks to a higher self-consciousness and humanized deliveries. Indigenous people are victim of discrimination and more and more doctors go for cesarean sections -even when not necessary- since they receive extra funds for every surgical operation.
The association also runs external activities such as education projects and initiatives to raise awareness about women’s` rights, gender equality, non-violent communication, sexuality and reproductive health in local communities and schools. Mexican society almost considers rape, violence and kidnapping as a normality. Six women out of ten have been victims of violence and at least six women die every day, according to official statistics.
Yach´il Antzetic has recently started to work with couples. Maria affirms that usually men are suspicious at the beginning but then -after some meetings- they play an active role and are ready to reconsider those gender parameters they have grown with. It is a slow process generated by the word of mouth which also brings there girls from the surrounding countryside.
Unfortunately two years ago the funds devoted to the centre were cut and this made everything more complicated: people have been fired since then and pregnant women only receive a one-month course (15 days before and 15 days after the delivery) while before they used to enjoy a three-month care.
Maria and the other employees there work desperately to keep the centre open all day long in order to welcome those girls who arrive there after hours spent walking and walking. After delivering the baby many girls prefer to stay in town and not to come back to their old communities. In this case the centre will help them to find a job and a safe place to stay
It´s emotionally rewarding to listen to the stories of women who have finally found themselves despite all odds, who have finally found their own way, who are blossoming together with their children, who want to help other women to become brand new women.
As they did themselves.
Thank you Maria.