Indigenous Resilience: Earthquake in the Wake of COVID-19 Consejo de Comunidades Indigenas de Sierra Sur (COCISS)
***This mutual aid project has ENDED***
On June 23rd, an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 struck Oaxaca, Mexico. The impact was severe in Sierra Sur, Oaxaca—a large Indigenous populous region in Mexico, which is also home to our Zapotec people.
Through mutual aid from Twitter and Instagram, we have been able to complete two phases. During PHASE I, clothes, and 2 tons of food were distributed to the communities impacted. During PHASE II, 10 tons of food were distributed.
We are now in Phase III and our primary goal is to fundraise to rebuild 75 homes that were destroyed by the earthquake by September 16th—which is also celebrated as Mexico's "Independence" Day. An estimate of $350 (USD) rebuilds one home. (1) There were a total of 1,000 homes that were destroyed during this earthquake, however, we know that earthquake relief efforts take time.
The Mexican government loves to show our Oaxaca superficial love and support. Our state helps generate millions of dollars in revenue from tourism, which continues to further marginalize and displace our Indigenous peoples. To this date (August 20th, 2020) no governmental aid has been provided to our people during this pandemic, and now for our earthquake relief efforts.
We hope to raise enough funds to rebuild the 75 from the 1,000 homes that were damaged. We hope to continue our community grassroots work. (2) The work on the ground is led by a small Indigenous-led organization, Consejo de Comunidades Indigenas de Sierra Sur (COCISS) (3). The rebuilding of our homes prioritizes our elders—as they are the most vulnerable during this pandemic.
We want to thank everyone who shares, amplifies, and donates. We have learned that during these times, it is through mutual aid and community support that we can continue supporting our communities and our people. This pandemic is exacerbating the impacts, disparities, and injustices that have already existed among our communities.
(1) Some homes require more funds to rebuild (i.e. walls) and some homes require fewer funds to rebuild (i.e. just their roofs) The estimate is an average calculated per home.
(2) We have fundraised enough for 57 homes through Venmo, Paypal, and Cashapp. We created this GoFundMe to help us with updates & tracking our progress publically. We have 18 homes that still need to be rebuilt to reach our goal of 75 homes! **57+18 = 75 HOMES!