Liliana Caracoza, a Globalist youth journalist in Veracruz, Mexico, updates us on her reporting with indigenous women and the organization helping them access legal rights.
My first international reporting trip kicked off at 6:20 am in the Mexico City Airport. I was nervous, but my fear started to disappear when I spotted a sign with my name written in green, below a welcoming smile from Jesús, my contact at the organization I was going to work with.
Traveling through Mexico City on the way to Veracruz, I watched people hurry toward the subway, breathed in all the smells of the city and laughed at the bad jokes from the taxi driver.
We headed to the bus station, where thousands of other people were waiting, and caught a bus to Tulancingo, Hidalgo.
Jesús told me about all the sacrifices and challenges that Agrupación de Derechos Humanos Xochitepetl faces. He said the organization — which provides legal aid to indigenous communities — struggles with money, resources, and opportunities to make the voices of indigenous people be heard. They work in a context of corruption and bad habits by the local justice departments towards indigenous people.
In this region most of the women have kids and are completely dependent on their husbands. To access the legal system, many will just walk to the nearest court, which can take 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the community the live in.
The second leg of the trip, from Tulancingo, Hidalgo to Huayacocotla, was intense as I got to know more and more about the issues.
Going up the mountain range, the houses seemed like they were made of cardboard and the ladies and children smiled and waved their hands at us.
When we arrived, I was received by Rosenda, her family, and part of the organization’s team. A wedding for her nephew and a baptism of his first son were in full swing.
The house was full of people with the smell of the spices of mole and the sound of the violins playing the original songs of Veracruz, “La Bamba” and “Guapangos.” I couldn’t stop admiring the emotions that the singer and the violin were creating.
The next day underneath the sun and the cold wind, Jesús, Rosenda, Alba and their kids gave me a tour of the mountains and the amazing view.
I can’t wait to learn more about this community and give voice to the stories that people have forgotten.
Florinda Ramirez Tolentino is a lawyer who recently graduated from Comunidades Educativas Unidas, a University in Huayacocotla. She is a leader of her Nahuatl community working to empower women like herself. (Photo by LIliana Caracoza)
Alba Maldonado Sánchez is a lawyer and legal representative Agrupación de Derechos Humanos Xochitepetl, a nonprofit providing free legal care with a special focus on domestic violence. (Photo by Liliana Caracoza)
Alfredo Mata Ledezma is the guard of the organization offices. (Photo by Liliana Caracoza)
Globalist youth reporter Liliana Caracoza lands in Mexico City to begin her first international reporting trip, to Veracruz, Mexico.