Projects

Mexican Artists Helping Us
Rosa Maria Nunez
Daria Hernandez
Victoria Rubio
Trio Los Seguidores de La
  Huasteca

Project History

Currently, Chilocuil is the only village to benefit from the work of Mexico Creativo but it is planned to extend the project to other locations in the future.

Mexican Artists helping us

Rosa Maria Nunez

Rosa Maria is an artist living in Mexico City. She organises printing workshops with children and embroidery classes with the women in the community of Chilocuil. More information can be found in the 2003 section below.

CV – under constructiion

Daria Hernandez (Embroidery)

Under construction

Victoria Rubio (Embroidery)

Under construction

Trio Los Seguidores de La Huasteca

The Trio los Seguidores de la Huasteca is made up of the director, Maurilio Hernández Nicanor (violin), Alejandro (Juan) Peña Hernández (huapanguera guitar) and Joaquín Morales Hernández (jarana).

They have recently started to give classes voluntarily within the community with a set of instruments donated by Mexico Creativo to enable them to pursue their wish to pass on their musical knowledge to the rest of the community.

Their work includes community performances at key rituals and festivals throughout the year, teaching within the community in order to ensure the survival of musical traditions across the generations, the development of new music within those traditions and research and revival of music which is falling from the cultural memory.

The financial assistance requested is in the sum of £3000 sterling for one year. This would amount to £1000 per person per year for general subsistence and essential materials for their work such as maintenance of instruments, paper etc.

2004

We will continue to pursue our long term plans

2003

Sara's visit to Chilocuil

Sara has been supporting Mexico Creativo from its beginning and decided to visit Chilocuil herself. She had the opportunity to experience Mexican life hands-on, away from all modern extravagances which many people sometimes take for granted in today's world.
Read the report


Workshops in Chilocuil

Rosa Maria is holding printing workshops in Chilocuil. She uses a very simple method to produce art. You might have learned to do this in school as well and spent a few hours doing it before going home returning to you TV or Football club. In Chilocuil, Rosa Maria brings a welcome change to the children. They learn to carve patterns into linoleum and to produce amazing prints with a small number of colours. They learn to produce something themselves. Eventually, these artistic produce may serve to bring income to the village.


Printing with children

Mexico Creativo has hired the services and talents of the Mexico City based artist, Rosa Maria Nuñez who created an art workshop for the children of Chilocuil.

The workshop encouraged the use of local materials such as seeds, which are freely available in the countryside. This was crucial to the aims of the project as paper and pencils are in short supply.

The workshops started in 2002 and due to their success continued in 2003 in Chilocuil and surrounding communities.

Embroidery Classes for local women in Chilocuil

Mexico Creativo has provided embroidery materials in order to set up embroidery clases in the community.

Two women, Daria Hernandez and Victoria Rubio were provided with the materials in order to give free classes to the girls and women of the Chilocuil community.

Funding

With the help of a grant from the International Performer's Aid Trust, we were able to support the work undertaken by the trio ‘Los Seguidores de La Huasteca) and even purchase instruments for the trio.

Provision of Traditional Instruments

We were able to assist the 3 musicians to purchase instrument. This allowed them to bring some traditional music back to Chilocuil.

2002

Internet Training/ Communication Skills

November 2002: Mexico Creativo has given key members of the community who are actively involved in the project a crash course in the Internet.

By teaching them e-mail, the lines of communication between their remote community and the outside world have vastly improved. Despite the nearest Internet cafe being half an hour's walk from Chilocuil, the number of emails that we have received indicates the initiative has been a success!

Access to Traditional Music

November 2002: Mexico Creativo has assisted a trio of indigenous musicians and the community of Chilocuil in order to increase access to traditional music.

The trio of indigenous musicians - "Los Seguidores de La Huasteca", from the Huasteca region of Mexico (north east of Mexico City), obtained a grant of £500 from the International Performers Aid Trust (IPAT) with the help of Mexico Creativo.

A set of traditional instruments were provided to the trio by Mexico Creativo to teach traditional music to the children and other members of the community.

Arts Workshops in Chilocuil

December 2002: Mexico Creativo has hired the services and talents of the Mexico City based artist, Rosa Maria Nuñez who created an art workshop for the children of Chilocuil.

The workshop encouraged the use of local materials such as seeds, which are freely available in the countryside. This was crucial to the aims of the project as paper and pencils are in short supply.

Due to its success, future art workshops will be held in 2003 in Chilocuil and surrounding communities.

Embroidery Classes for the Chilocuil

November 2002: Mexico Creativo has provided embroidery materials in order to set up embroidery classes in the community.

Two women, Daria Hernandez and Victoria Rubio were provided with the materials in order to give free classes to the girls and women of the Chilocuil community.

First program

Mexico Creativo – Project 2002 & 2003

The first project envisaged for Mexico Creativo centres on a small rural indigenous community called Chilocuil in the region known as La Huasteca to the North West of Mexico City.

Chilocuil is a small Nahua community that maintains many traditional aspects of Nahua culture cut across with elements of the globalised 21 st Century. Chilocuil is a bilingual community, the older generation speaks Nahuatl between themselves while the younger generations move gradually towards Spanish so that the children know some words in Nahuatl but believe that there is no worth in it, referring to it as a “dialecto” rather than recognising it as a valid language in its own right.

Corn is central to Nahua community. It forms the basis of all nutrition and is viewed as a deity. The festival surrounding the corn harvest is known as “Tlamanes” and takes place in September / October time. The festival of “Tlamanes” is key in the cultural calendar of Chilocuil and offers an opportunity for the community to come together through music, dance and feasting, but it is a celebration that is threatened by poverty and a creeping sense that there is little value in anything that reflects indigenous culture.

The project planned for autumn 2002 would have a number of strands, on the short term around the festival of Tlamanes and on the long term sowing the seeds for future work:

Short Term

•  Organising a visual arts workshop for children and adults where people can create work related to the festival of Tlamanes
•  Organising a creative writing workshop (poetry / songs / stories) in Nahuatl and Spanish relating to Tlamanes
•  Supporting local musicians, e.g. instruments

As a record of the project and to feed back into the future work of Mexico Creativo, a video of the work undertaken will be made as well as a photographic record through copies of the photos taken by the community. A follow up visit will be planned in six to twelve months to monitor the long term objectives and build on the first project.

Plans 2002

Mexico Creativo will visit the community shortly to identify key people within the community with whom we can work in setting up a bilingual literacy and/or music programme, which will form the first project.

We will also look at the needs of the community and discuss with them how best to take forward the project. As part of the first year's project Rosa Maria Nunez - an artist from Mexico City - will develop a visual arts workshop for children in the community to address issues of identity and culture. We will also be providing basic materials such as paper, books and writing/drawing materials to the community.

In providing materials to Chilocuil we are looking at ways of making your money go as far as possible (by negotiating with Mexican publishing houses and stationers and seeking sponsorship and donations wherever possible). However we aren't asking for donations of books and art materials from the UK or Europe for two reasons:

We can keep transport costs to a minimum and contribute to the local economy by sourcing them in Mexico.

One of the trustees, Susie, is to be going to Mexico on 30th October 2002 and will set up the first project while she is there. We'll keep you posted.

2001

The First Visit - Face to Face with the Sacred

What Susie experienced was like being on a different planet. The life in and the village of Chilocuil did not have any similarities with her ‘normal' life. Simply explaining what a cello or classical music was appeared to be a problem but no hurdle to enjoy the welcoming gestures of the villagers and event participate in a curative ritual … Who would think paracetamol would be used to cure Typhoid? On the other hand, there is astonishing scenery …
Read the whole story here