Hi Friends, another message from Tyler here…
I am returning to the states tomorrow (!)… and I am happy that my last week in México has been so full and so meaningful. I want to share this important story:
I am just barely rested from 12 hours on a series of buses that carried me away from Jojutla, Morelos, a place which was devastated by the most recent earthquake. I had returned for 3 days because I wanted to visit once more some dear friends and compañeros in that small city where I had spent most of October helping with post-earthquake recovery efforts, and also because I wanted to take a peek at traditional Festival of the Dead activities – everyone told me that Morelos has some of the most elaborate and beautiful celebrations.
I did not actually see much of the festivities, as I was caught up in the daily struggle in Jojutla, helping my new friends with necesities like repairing furniture, loading up a truckload of food waste to feed some cows, recycling rebar for a little cash…
I handed over all the extra pesos I had when I left, too little to last more than a few days, but in that ongoing disaster zone where so many have lost their work and now have no income in addition to having destroyed or damaged homes, every little bit of support is needed.
I intend to stay in touch with these compas – tough, smart, ambitious, and strategic, my favorite kind of people! – and I hope that in the future some of the fruits of my fund-raising effort can be re-directed to Morelos, to support the alternative education and art studios of Casa Comunitaria Julio Chávez López, the local economy vision of Brigada Hormiga Jojutla, and the many other glimmers of hope among the rubble. I will make a personal commitment to act in solidarity with these new friends in Jojutla, in whatever ways are possible from afar. In fact, I have had an important realization about the meaning of the “Solidarity Not Charity” motto that we talk about so often. Really, it is this simple: in most cases, Solidarity looks like Friendship. Solidarity means building lasting relationships of love, trust, and camaraderie.
I highly encourage everyone to take a moment to send a message of solidarity and hope (and if possible, to share a little money) to these compassionate and brave people who are doing everything they can to lift up their communities – every little bit of support is needed.
As I reflect on the struggles of others who need assistance and solidarity, it feels inappropriate to pitch my fund-raiser today (if you pay any attention to my fb posts, you will see lots of mentions about the upcoming training tour). But I will make an ask on behalf of another Mutual Aid Disaster Relief team who are raising funds to send water filters and other critical needs to Puerto Rico. Another team is traveling to the island right now. Please read about the Solidarity with Puerto Rico Fund-Raiser, and then share and contribute. You can also contribute directly to the projects in Jojutla, you will just have to ask them how to do it (follow links to Facebook pages above).