Strengthening the Capacities and Networking of Guardians of Diversity in Mexico

The Slow Food Indigenous Peoples’ network advocates for traditional food systems as a practical response to the climate crisis, striving for food security and sovereignty, and for better living conditions for Indigenous communities. This project began with a participatory approach, empowering Indigenous activists to defend the food heritage and sovereignty of Indigenous communities across Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Working alongside the Kellogg’s Foundation (W.K.K.F.), Slow Food has collaborated with communities in Chiapas and Yucatán as well as other Mexican regions previously involved in collaborative projects. Our work has empowered young people and women, equipping them with practical and theoretical tools to protect biodiversity, safeguard their territories and nurture traditional food practices.

  • The Context

    Residing in 80% of the world’s diverse areas, Indigenous communities are at the forefront of threats to their culture and biodiversity. Issues like cultural assimilation, limited opportunities, land encroachment and violence endanger their vital role as guardians of life. In Mexico, three such areas are at risk of exerting these impacts on their Indigenous communities.

    Although international policies have made progress in recognizing Indigenous rights, poverty remains a pressing concern. In Mexico, 69.5% of self-identifying Indigenous population face poverty (27.9% facing extreme poverty), and 43% of Indigenous language speakers lack primary education (according to data from IWGIA).

    This persisting structural inequality subjects Indigenous communities to marginalization, dispossession, racism and rights violations. Climate change further exacerbates matters, with Indigenous communities on the frontline of a growing set of challenges. Food security and sovereignty become vulnerable, especially affecting the most susceptible sectors: women and youth.

  • Main Goals

    This project will deliver on its objectives through the following activities:

    • General training (online) for 100 community activists (community members of the network and allied organizations in Mexico) through the Indigenous-to-Indigenous method. 
    • A specialized course (online and face-to-face) to train 25 activists as agents of change, promoting sovereign Indigenous food systems that are good, clean and fair and accessible to all. 
    • The funding of 5-15 local initiatives (grants) to strengthen community projects for the protection and promotion of food heritage and contribute to food sovereignty. These complement the specialized course.
    • The organization of a national Indigenous Terra Madre (ITM) event in collaboration with our strategic allies. This will be held in Chiapas or Yucatán.
    • Specific training for Presidium communities of the milpa system in Chiapas, including exchange between the communities to strengthen the project’s processes.  

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