Thousand Currents Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of its partner DESMI
By Mónica Carillo Zegarra
Thousand Currents, a philanthropic organization that for 35 years has supported organizations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, congratulates DESMI (Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas/Social Economic Development of Indigenous Mexican) on its 50th anniversary for its outstanding leadership and commitment towards strengthening the autonomous processes of indigenous peoples and peasant farmers in Mexico.
Throughout the 25 years we have been collaborating with DESMI, there have been many learnings that have had an impact and continue to influence the perspectives of Thousand Currents.
Through proposals such as Solidarity Economy—based on indigenous practices such as bartering and collective work—DESMI has promoted the establishment of dozens of food producers and cooperatives, which have been able to address some of the health and education priorities in the Mexican indigenous communities of Chiapas.
DESMI also has responded to the invasion of indigenous lands by transgenics with effective proposals, such as the Centers for Agroecology Education. They train peasant farmers on organic agriculture and protecting native seeds. In this way, they contribute to the implementation of sustainable cultivation methods that promote soil fertility and avoid the use of toxic substances that harm the environment and farming families.
As part of this perspective and of the understanding of women’s role in food production and in educating families about malnutrition, DESMI has trained hundreds of women on growing vegetable gardens.
We remember the celebration of the Global Exchange Human Rights Award received in 2014 by the general coordinator, María Estela Barco Huerta in recognition of her outstanding work in supporting the rights of indigenous communities, community-based development, and food sovereignty.
DESMI’s strategies and commitments have influenced Thousand Currents, as well as our other partners from other continents and our collaborators in the United States. This sharing has taken place in various gatherings and learning exchanges organized by the Buen Vivir Fund and the Thousand Currents Academy.
We are thankful for DESMI’s legacy and hope to continue contributing to their growth based on the principles of mutual support, collective work, and the autonomy of Mexican indigenous peasant farmers.