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Indigenous Health Clinics and Schools - Delegation to Chiapas Appeal

Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group | 18.02.2010 09:35 | Zapatista

Thank you to all those who have supported the Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group in 2009 and best wishes to everyone for 2010!

In March this year some members of the Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group will be traveling to the Autonomous Zapatista communities in Chiapas to visit the communities and see how their struggle for a dignified life is progressing, to observe the current state of human rights in Chiapas, and to discuss how we here in the UK can continue and improve our support for the Zapatista movement of Mexico's indigenous south.

Zapatista Children with new school books Photograph: A. Conde, M. Reilly and M-S
Zapatista Children with new school books Photograph: A. Conde, M. Reilly and M-S

THANK YOU to all who have donated to the group in the past. To date over 23,000 pounds has been raised for the Zapatista health service and the autonomous health clinic of '16 de Febrero', which is up and running and serving no less than forty villages of that autonomous municipality. The construction of the clinic is a great achievement but funds are still urgently needed for medicines and medical equipment etc. so we are asking you, if you can, to make a donation to the group, before 10th March 2010 so that your donations may be given in person, directly to the communities Health Promoters by members of our group on their visit in March this year. ALL donations will then be spent on the health clinic in '16 de Febrero', along with the 11 other autonomous health clinics in the Highlands zone of Chiapas (one of the five Zapatista areas in Chiapas).

The following is what one of the Health Promoters had to say to our group during the group's visit to the Guadalupana health clinic, the central clinic for the Highlands, based in the Zapatista centre of Oventik, in 2004:

"Before we developed our own health system the situation was very bad. Many people died from preventable diseases such as Diarrhoea, parasites, Tuberculosis, Measles, etc. Most illnesses suffered by the indigenous people come down to a lack of nutrition. People are ill from hunger."

"They have some Maize and some beans and little more. This leads to many illnesses such as intestinal problems, respiratory problems, skin problems, low immunity..."

"We are emphasising preventative medicine. In our situation that means building things like latrines, having better nutrition. The health promoters advise the people how they can spend the little money they have well, to buy food that is good for them."

"We work and live here full-time [N.B: without salary]. We hold surgeries during the day and are on call for emergencies at night. The training of the health promoters is very important. When a doctor comes here it is only for a limited time, so the most important thing is for them to pass on their experience and knowledge. Then the more experienced and advanced health promoters teach other local indigenous people to be health promoters. Its like a process of multiplication"

- If you are able to make a donation you can transfer it to our bank account using the following details:

Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group
Clydesdale Bank
Sort Code: 82-45-05
Account: 60129411

Or send a cheque, made out to 'EDINBURGH CHIAPAS SOLIDARITY GROUP', to:

Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group
c/o ACE, 17 West Montgomery Place,

In all cases please make sure to email to say the amount you have donated, how, and when, so we can check the donation arrives safely..


Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity Group
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