Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas

Off the greed: Returning to just and sustainable local economies

Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas
Social Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans (DESMI)

Mexico | Founded in 1969 | Thousand Currents Partner since 1992 |

Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas (DESMI) strengthens community processes of Indigenous Peoples in the Northern, Southern and Highland regions of Chiapas in defense and care of Mother Earth and its territory. This is done within the Solidarity Economy framework, which emphasizes a women’s rights lens and incorporates agroecological and ethno-veterinary practices to achieve food sovereignty as a key aspect of self-determination.

The vision is to be an organization of women and men devoted to the construction of Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich’el ta muk’ (Buen Vivir) and to the autonomy of peasant farmer communities as an alternative to the capitalist system.


Lekil Kuxlejal-Ichel ta muk’

Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich’el ta muk’ (Buen Vivir, or the good life in the Tzeltal language) is based on an indigenous cosmovision. Conceptions in Mayan culture refer to the process of building a good life, meaning a model of a dignified, just, and full life that involves all living beings in the cosmos. It is a way of life in harmony with the whole environment, in which each being participates in the goodness of the universe. It is also a process for developing collective consciousness – a consciousness that gives life to empathy, compassion, love and justice.


Solidarity Economy

DESMI brings communities together as a fundamental basis for collective work, which emerges from communities or individuals who want to get organized. Collectives are a starting point for the formation of what we call political consciousness.

The collectives are spaces of mutual learning, sharing knowledge, service to the community, and spaces to put democratic participation into practice, as this involves the exercise of opening the floor and the exercise of our rights. It also involves generating systems of production, distribution, marketing and responsible consumption based on ethical principles, social justice, ecological justice, and solidarity. In this way, the often unpaid work of women, young people, and children are made visible and valued and relations between producers and consumers are promoted. Thus, the solidarity economy is a fundamental part of the construction of the Lekil Kuxlejal-Ich’el ta muk’.

 Learn more about DESMI’s work on our blog.