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Xinachkalko: help raise funds for Nahuatl center

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Purpose of fundraiser: 
This fundraiser is going 100% towards supporting an autonomous community center being created in the town of Cuentepec, Morelos, Mexico. The name of this center is Xinachkalko, “the place of the house of the seed”, where knowledge is sown to flourish. Images below show the construction that is underway however, this fundraiser will help to keep the construction going on top of helping with other initiatives listed below. 

The creation of this center is important for the exchange and flowering of ancestral and contemporary knowledge of native languages ​​and cultures.  Particularly, the Nahuatl language of the Cuentepec community through: workshops in dance and music, courses, and trainings. Also, help with preparation of teaching materials for reading and writing the Nahuatl language, as well as national and international meetings between native and non-native language speakers.

Currently, the community of Cuentepec is faced with a series of internal conflicts such as the loss of identity, alcoholism, drug addiction and organized crime, especially among the children and young people. Having a community center such as Xinachkalko will help counter these issues the community faces.

a)   Language:
       - collect oral tradition among the elders of the community.
       - create a dictionary of 10,000 lexical entries of modern Nahuatl.
       - develop different monolingual recreational materials in Nahuatl for children.
       - create and collect Nahuatl literature.
       - develop recreational materials for teaching Nahuatl to non-speakers.

b)   Culture:
       - create a space for pre-Hispanic dance and music.
       - create traditional healing spaces, which includes mesoamerican herbalism and temazcales.
       - create circles of ancestral knowledge by the elders of the community.
c)    Food sovereignty:
        - create spaces for community farming
        - continue the cultivation of native foods: corn, beans, chili, peanuts, tomatoes, squash, etc.
        - build a common knowledge through the work of the land.

Below you will find additional information and historical content about the Nahuatl community in Cuentepec, Morelos .

With your support and contribution we can make this a reality.  Please take the time to share this important mission with your network. Together we can support the last Nahuatl speaking community in Morelos. 

Background on Community of Cuentepec
Historically, the State of Morelos has had as its original language Nahuatl, most of its municipalities and communities still have names in this language, however, over the centuries, Nahuatl has been lost almost throughout the State, few are the places that preserve this wisdom, the majority of the elders no longer transmit it to the new generations. Despite so many obstacles to its preservation and dissemination, there is a community where most of its inhabitants continue to use Nahuatl as their main language to carry out their daily routine; we refer to the community of Cuentepec, in the municipality of Temixco. The town of Cuentepec is located northeast of the state of Morelos with a total population of 3371 inhabitants, of which 93% are Nahuatl speakers (INEGI 2010). The strength of this language is manifested in people and especially children, who occupy it as a means of everyday communication.

The main activity is self-consumption agriculture, its primary source of subsistence. Corn is the main crop, followed by beans, peanuts and recently sorghum that is already gaining ground because it is a little more profitable in economic terms to everyone else. Most of the farmers have temporary land, so the planting season is not the whole year, but only during the rainy season. In the dry season, the farmer's lands become infertile, yellow and dry; With this, the farmers are forced to leave the town in search of work, which is mainly masonry for the construction of houses. This is the profession exercised by the majority of the men in the community. This work needs first of all physical strength, so it is not necessary to use Spanish, nor do they require any minimum degree of study to carry out such activity, it is therefore the only alternative for the majority.

Importance of Indigenous languages
There are approximately 6,500 to 7,000 languages spoken in the world. However, in 2016, the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues determined that 40% of those languages were losing more speakers than they were gaining, and that most of these were languages of Indigenous peoples. This dwindling number of fluent Indigenous speakers is a direct result of various assimilation and education policies that historically forbid, and still do not adequately support, learning and teaching Indigenous languages. Still, Indigenous peoples have preserved their languages and are creating new programs to teach them to current and future generations. These models take different approaches, but are all geared at strengthening Indigenous identity, community, and connections to land.

Tlasohkamati (thank you)

Fundraising team: Team Xinachkalko (1)

Analú María López
Chicago, IL
Victor Arroyo
Team member

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