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Sharing knowledge: a meeting of indigenous midwive

We want to organize a regional meeting of Mayan midwives of the state of Chiapas to be held 27-28 of February, 2014. The participants come from 11 indigenous communities of the state of Chiapas. This project will carry out a 2 day meeting of representatives (1 man and 2 women from each community) in San Cristobal de Las Casas and produce a video that will be used in the communities as a pedagogical tool. . Chiapas is one of the states with the largest indigenous population and is also one of the poorest states in the country despite the fact that it is rich in natural resources. Despite the importance of it having a large indigenous population (27%), indigenous knowledge is not respected – and in particular, midwives knowledge are not legitimized by Western medicine although Due to financial difficulties the midwives have not been able to meet since 2010. The midwives have asked us to organize this meeting because they feel that their knowledge is being lost and the impact of this loss is felt by the indigenous communities. This loss is due to the fact that the younger generation does not show an interest in learning traditional medicine and midwives have increasingly less patients. The direct beneficiaries of the meeting would be 33 individuales who represent 11 communities. During the meeting, they will exchange information regarding health problems in the communities, solutions to these problems and they will exchange their knowledge regarding medicinal plants and birthing techniques. The indirect beneficiaries of this meeting would be the people of the indigenous communities. When the midwives return to their communities they will take back with them enhanced knowledge and greater confidence in their work. In this way, the health of their patients will be improved. They will also share their knowledge with other midwives (and apprentices) in their communities.

Funded by Awesome Without Borders (February 2014)