Identity, culture, and migration
There has been a historical process, we understand that outside our territory there is unfair competition, we attack each other, the capitalist model absorbs us and we end up slaves of the model in the city. So, what I analyzed was that, to see how with the Community Council we can help improve the quality of life and thew well-being of the community.
We had a clear idea of the economic model we wanted from the very beginning, and how it would include the black people with low literacy and education. Staying in our territory and building the future of well-being that we dream of is important, because we know we are not welcome elsewhere. We go to the city and women end up in bedrooms and kitchens, men in construction; or in the past people would go North, in the 80s and 90s. People would go as stowaways to the U.S., or more recently, to Central
and South America. That is why we build our future here in our territory.
We have lived here from wood cutting, but it was very controlled, because when we see a big tree we can cut it down, when is a small one we can not. That is what we call ‘thinning’, we take the big trees and let the small ones grow. Then we declared some areas as conservation zones and we don’t cut wood there at all. Now that we are a Community Council, we have legal title to around 35.000 hectares of collective territories. We are all owners of this territory, and we can work with the government to create
projects that will give us our livelihoods.
When I was ten years old, my mother taught me how to make a corn wrap (envuelto ). There are a lot of things you can do with corn. I learned to cook when I was 12 or 13 years old. Before they called us cooks, but now with study and thanks to the community council, they call us “sazoneras ” (seasoning ladies).