The State of Hidalgo in central Mexico reflects the country’s reality. 50%+ of its population lives at or below the poverty line. Hidalgo is one of eight Mexican states with increases in both poverty and extreme poverty between 2013 and 2014. And, as the 6th most marginalized state in the country, 15% of its municipalities have a “low” level of human development (similar to that of Liberia in Africa). The majority of these are in the three indigenous zones of the State (Huasteca, Mezquital and Sierra Otomi-Tepehua). In 2014 and 2015, our program mirrored the demands of indigenous leaders living in the 1st, 3rd, 9th and 22nd most marginalized municipalities in Hidalgo. For example,
• Women wanted more knowledge. Thus, workshops on their 2014 development agenda themes were delivered in 2015.
• Women want to unite their region through shared opportunity. Thus, we incubate the first regional cooperative and link the initiative to pilot projects in the health and environment sectors.
• Women want well-run citizen advisory boards. Thus, we legalized the Boards’ constitutions and seek to conduct training in 2016 on right organization management.
• These women want to meet government decision makers. Thus, we produce the regional meetings and seek to organize a state-wide conference in 2016 to connect all of Hidalgo’s indigenous women leaders and “Link” them with government.