The Oaxaca Mask Project Progress Report #4: Getting Masks to Villages

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The Oaxaca Mask Project

Thanks to the 58 donors of The Oaxaca Mask Project, we are making and distributing masks beyond Oaxaca city, getting them into villages. Seamstresses we are working with have made or are in the process of making 1550 masks. We have received $3,636 to date and all of these funds will be spent by Thursday this week.

To keep the project going, more support is needed.

Donate Here: www.paypal.me/oaxacaculture

We are keeping seamstresses employed and people safe with your gift.

Moreover, friends have made and donated 420 masks that I have shipped to Oaxaca via DHL. Some have also sent the finest cotton quilting fabric that can be sewn there, too. As 100% cloth resources are scarce in Oaxaca, this is an extra-special gift.

50 more masks coming from Sam (Frances) Robbins, Columbus, Ohio

Alvin Starkman, the founder of Mezcal Educational Tours, has been a huge help. He has distributed 30 masks to Cuilapam de Guerrero, 20 to San Martin Tilcajete, 25 to Teotitlan del Valle, and 25 to San Marcos Tlapazola. He is also sending 25 masks to the interns at the IMSS Hospital #21 in León, Guanajuato because they return to work May 1st with insufficient gear. 

Red clay pottery makers Gloria and Maria, San Marcos Tlapazola

Today, he is picking up another 100 masks from San Felipe del Agua maker Rocio Bastida, to distribute later this week to Santa Catarina Minas, San Baltazar Chichicapam, San Pablo Gúilá, San Dionisio Ocotepec and Santiago Matatlán.

Seamstress Ines Lopez Hernandez and her children, Tlacolula de Matamoros

Zapotrek owner Eric Ramirez Ramos is working with seamstress Inez in Talcolula de Matamoros; 100 masks are ready today for him to distribute and we have ordered 100 more. This work is a lifeline for her and her two children.

Gail Pellett, who lives in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, is working with a seamstress there to make and distribute 100 masks.

See the Teotitlan del Valle public health video or watch below.

In Teotitlan del Valle, on-the-ground organizer Cristy Molina Martinez gave 46 masks to the president of the Union of Moto-taxis to distribute to all the tuk-tuk drivers. Cristy and Luvia Lazo made a public health information video, and the village president participated in helping distribute masks at the Sunday public market.

Rosario Lazo, is sewing masks in Teotitlan del Valle
Zapotrek guide Rocio Buitron will help Eric distribute masks today

Yesterday, I ventured out with Jacob to the local DHL shipper. The shipment contained 150 masks made by Sam Robbins, Shuko Clouse of Mano del Sur, and Yumiko Wilson. I also included fabric Claudia Michel, and Susie Robison, owner of Cheerio Textiles. Later in the week, I will send fabric and masks made by Sam Robbins (who used to own a quilt shop), Hollie Taylor who makes Protest Pearls, and from Barbara Kuhns in Arizona.

Our DHL box to Oaxaca, Mexico
Shuko Clouse with a bundle of masks

Last week, I met Shuko Clouse, of Mano del Sur, halfway between her house in El Segundo and Jacob’s house in Huntington Beach. We found a leafy, unpopulated park in Long Beach and sat a safe six feet away from each other, talking over a Bento Box picnic lunch. She gave me 100 masks to ship off to Oaxaca that she and Yumiko made. We wanted to hug, but didn’t!

Yumiko Wilson wearing a mask she made for us

Thanks to everyone for your caring and support. Your help is providing jobs for people who sew, and health care safety for those who accept our gifts.

These are difficult times in Mexico, just as they are in the USA. There is both fear and disbelief. The Washington Post reports that Mexico is on the brink of economic collapse and pushing more people below the poverty line.

We are making a very small impact, and yet, we do the best we can with available resources. Everything we do will help someone stay healthy. Thank you.

For more information follow Oaxaca Cultural Navigator : Norma Schafer

Source: oaxacaculture.com

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