The Foundation Infantil Semilla A.C. is an organization and shelter dedicated to improving the living conditions of indigenous children in Durango. It is a safe, secure and non-violent space that provides comprehensive care to migrant indigenous children and adolescents from 0 to 14 years of age, as well as food, clothing, medical and psychological care, education, cultural and artistic workshops, recreational activities and the opportunity to learn a trade, in order to foster their overall development in harmony with respect for their culture, language and traditions.
On the initiative of Teresa Janette Payan, the Foundation was created in 2008 in the state of Durango, at the current address Libertad # 507 Esq. with Mascareñas in the city of Durango, with the mission of being a bridge between civil society and our vulnerable indigenous communities, which allows us to respond to the most urgent needs of the children in our community, and thus make sure that each child has the basis for his or her development.
Here are the two communities that live mainly in the state of Durango and are hosted by the Foundation:
In 2015 6.5% of the population in Mexico spoke an indigenous language. In particular, in the state of Durango , there were 1,509,117 indigenousess, where 51% were women.
The Southern Tepehuans (O'dam in their own language) today inhabit the southern part of the former Tepehuan territory in parts of the Sierra Madre Occidental, in the state of Durango and in small areas of northern Nayarit and Jalisco. The differences between Tepehuanes in the south and north, manifested clearly in their language, dress, social organization and religion, as well as their ideas, beliefs about the world, material aspects of life and culture. Even in the South, within the same language, there are dialectal (phonetic and lexical) differences.
In the southern Tepehuan communities you can find flora and fauna, such as the ocelot, armadillo, coralillo snakes, Tilcuate, plants such as Guamúchiles, plum, sapodilla and arrayan.
As for handicrafts they elaborate backpacks made of threads (loom or cross-stitch) and nets (ixtle or plastic cord), hats, benches, reeds, pots, grills and raw clay plates.
They also work on objects that are not systematically marketed such as dolls and rustic mud animals to play with.
Certain traditions prevail and represent part of their cultural wealth. Healers use the heat they get from rubbing their hands together and do "cleansing" of bad energy with eagle or hawk feathers. Any healing is much more effective if done during the mitote (ruckus).
All these elements, natural, social and economic, represent their culture. They have inherited it and it is reflected in their crafts, color, religion, stories, flowers, designs, roots and their whole life.
The traditional territory of the Wixaritari (singular: Wixarika) or Huichol community covers portions of four states: Jalisco, Nayarit, Durango and Zacatecas. It was estimated for 2003 a population of 43,929,000 most adult males (and, to a lesser extent, females) are bilingual or have a good knowledge of Spanish.
Productive activities are mainly for subsistence farming, fishing or hunting, especially deer. The crops are corn, squash, amaranth, beans and chilli.
The Huichol artistic expression is reflected in their handicraft production, which is characterized by the symbolism of the whole culture, such as the religious sphere, their cosmogony, nature and their parts. One of the main characteristics of their religion is the association that exists between corn, deer and peyote.
That is why in handcrafted pieces can be found drawings of animals, like the deer, the coyote, the peacock, including the macaw. On the other hand, the peyote is very important for the Huichols, even for their festivities, so it is an element of its artistic expression.
The clothes, mainly of women are not neglected and the "peyote" is thus present in pieces like necklaces, earrings and key chains.
There are important links in the process of making and selling the crafts, which must be supported by strategies and solutions for these indigenous Huichol and Tepehuan families effective to improve their income and have a better quality of life. Therefore, the Foundation Infantill Semilla A.C. carries out this process by creating strategies, in each link that begins with the invitation to the artisans to continue making the art and commitment that will be supported throughout the system until the sale of their pieces. The Foundation makes gifts in kind and economic to their families, including their children. It knows very closely and for more than 15 years, the needs of the craftsmen and craftswomen, it does not end there, one also creates a support with regard to the acquisition of the raw material, what allows them to buy at a better price without difficulties of existence.
When the piece is finished, the Foundation helps to sell the craft at a fair price without intermediaries. These principles are an integrated support to protect the art and indigenous culture.
It is important to highlight the efforts made by the artisans, because apart from the difficulty encountered during the manufacturing and selling process, they also struggle against discrimination, facing difficult situations such as migration, family disintegration, aggression and lack of food.
It should be noted, being aware of the value and act in such a way that these families have a better life, we will choose handmade pieces, made in Mexico. The Foundation with the support of the people and their generosity, will continue to create strategies to support indigenous families and act on behalf of children.
You can help by sponsoring a child and contribute to their growth, development, integration into society, through a financial aid of $3 MXN (0.15€) per day or 5€ per month for their clothes, food, shoes, school supplies, but also acquire the pieces made by the communities, handmade encouraging fair trade and promotes the socio-economic development of the latter and helps them improve their daily lives