Compa Lucha, Chenalhó, Chiapas
Compa Lucha was created in 2016 by more than 50 women from the Abejas communities in the municipality of Chenalhó, Chiapas. The women come from four communities - 13 are from Yaxgemel, 25 from Acteal, 4 from Tza'jalche, and 15 from Kextic.
Las Abejas began in the early 1990s and are rural communities that declared themselves autonomous from the government. Consisting of evangelists and Catholics, they are pacifists and sympathetic to the Zapatista movement but are not part of it.
The municipality of Chenalhó has seen, and still experiences, many conflicts in its indigenous communities, mostly due to territorial conflicts and quarrels between political parties. The area consists of beautiful mountains where the locals cultivate their milpas in which they grow corn, beans, squash, and other agricultural products, as well as coffee, and many of the women in the area weave and embroider. Many communities are located in remote locations, on dirt roads in the mountains with little or no cellular signal.
The women here are engaged in weaving and embroidering traditional huipiles, which, like the embroidered capes, are for personal use or to be sold. Although there are women in this group who weave or embroider more modern dresses that can be sold in San Cristóbal de las Casas or in other parts of Mexico.
Compa Lucha has two representatives for each of the four communities that are part of the group, who take turns leading Compa Lucha for two years and then return to work in their homes. The representatives are the ones who go out to sell the group's work. Each woman is paid for each piece she creates - the two representatives are not paid; only their expenses are reimbursed by the group. Yet the representatives must still weave to earn money, and their income is obviously reduced during the two years they are in charge of Compa Lucha.
Attending the Fair is a huge opportunity for these women who desperately want to increase their contacts with the outside world and are excited to learn new ways of doing things and see with their own eyes how most of their clients live.
Zenaida Hernández Gómez
Whatsapp 919 125 43 39