2. Mexico – The Mazahua of Michoacan
In the state of Michoacan, we are working with the Mazahua community in the town of Crescencio Morales and with ECOLIFE Conservation to protect and promote the Mazahua culture and language. Living in the buffer zone around the famous Monarch Butterfly Reserve, the Mazahua are proud and strong but their land and culture are under great threat. Climate change and economic realities are such that many Mazahua leave to find work in cities and abroad and the forces of commerce, modernity, and deforestation are having a profound effect on the connection of the community to their roots. The culture is stretched and loses relevance and the Mazahua language is increasingly not known by the young. We are creating a community cultural centre in Crescencio Morales as a gathering place for the community and a focus for workshops, crafts, textiles, music and dance, a classroom for teaching the Mazahua language and a vibrant living, breathing destination for locals and tourists to learn about Mazahua culture, the Monarchs and local conservation.