September 21: International Day of Peace
This is a good day to reflect on the importance of peace in the life of every inhabitant of our world, to consider a peaceful world based on social, economic and environmental development, where it is possible to guarantee the exercise and protection of human rights.
It is true that the recognition of human rights is the first step to achieve peaceful societies. As a nation, we first need to make historically vulnerable populations such as women, girls, boys, and indigenous people visible; their inclusion and the exercise of their rights is the path to sustainable development. Likewise, the non-violent approach to peaceful conflict resolution when disagreements arise makes it possible to reduce injustices in our environment and facilitate access to justice for all people through ethical and competent institutions at all levels.
Recovering better to create a more equitable and sustainable world
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has distanced us from this goal by increasing social asymmetries, since it is precisely the most disadvantaged populations who have been mainly affected by the pandemic. While it is true that globally, more than 680 million doses of the vaccine against COVID-19 were provided until April 2021, in more than 100 countries, their population had not received a single dose.
The UN establishes for the International Day of Peace 2021, the slogan “Recovering better to create a more equitable and sustainable world” and refers to the need to ensure a collective recovery after the pandemic, to ensure that all territories are included equally, leaving no one out. Territories with armed conflicts almost always lack basic services and therefore cannot meet the needs of their population.
From Espiral por la Vida A.C. we work with children and youth in learning to resolve conflicts peacefully through dialogue and assertive communication; in commemoration of this date, we call for us to collectively establish dialogues and solve the conflicts present in our daily reality.
World Literacy Day September 8, 2021
In Espiral por la Vida we want to remember that the International Literacy Day is commemorated since 1967; it is a date to reflect on the importance of literacy, as an element of human rights and to achieve a more literate society and advance the agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals.
This year in particular, the World Literacy Day is: “Literacy for a people-centered recovery: bridging the digital divide”, as undoubtedly, the pandemic of AIDS-19 has led to an increase in a number of inequalities, however, with greater emphasis, inequality in access to education.
In many territories it has not been possible to continue with the teaching process for school-age children and adolescents. The digital divide and the difficulty in accessing the Internet has been considerable in the last year and a half of the pandemic.
In the case of the Mexican Republic, it exemplifies that, despite the work done to reduce illiteracy, there are countless people who are still in this situation. By 2020 in Mexico, according to INEGI figures, almost 4 and a half million people over the age of 15 do not know how to read or write. If we reflect on this data, the problem increases with the impossibility for people to attend their educational centers due to the pandemic.
The situation is even worse in the state of Oaxaca: 12 out of every 100 Oaxacans cannot read or write. The average illiteracy rate in Oaxaca is much higher than the national average, where 5 out of every 100 Mexicans cannot read or write.
For all of the above reasons, Espiral por la Vida A. C. continues to work on projects that promote the reduction of the digital divide. We have proposed a series of projects with the aim of promoting the enforceability of the rights of participation of Indigenous Women, with emphasis on reducing the digital divide. This is one of the first steps taken so that indigenous children, adolescents, youth and women can better influence the life of their communities and municipalities.
August 19 is World Humanitarian Day
Oswaldo Herrera Ávila
While this global pandemic has shown us the most perverse side of the economic, political and social inequality that exists throughout the world, highlighting the privileges and opportunities that some have over others, and likewise, evidencing the fragility of governments, but especially, that of the human being, by reminding us that our time on this earth is ephemeral and that bad actions and decisions have repercussions for future life. This pandemic has also shown us the other side of the coin, by demonstrating the humanity that still exists in human beings, by telling us that there are more of us who are good.
In this sense, around the celebration of World Humanitarian Day, we recognize the work, commitment and love that humanitarian workers have for the world; strengthening the bonds of solidarity and emphasizing that United We Are More.
This August 19, we not only pay tribute to those who have been killed or injured in the performance of their humanitarian work, but we also raise our hands to give thanks to all the people who dedicate their lives to helping others; to the people who teach us by example that the only way to move forward is with the commitment, participation and support of all!
World events such as the fires that ravaged Australia for months (January, 2020); the typhoons, cyclones and storms in the Asian islands and in various counties of the United States (May, 2020); the great disasters caused by earthquakes and tremors throughout the American continent (January-June 2020) or more recent events such as those that occurred in Lebanon; are situations that surpass our own individualism; that even against our selfishness and egocentrism, socially sensitize us, humanize us and make us be empathetic and collaborative with those who suffer these situations.
The human being is naturally a social being and it is in the face of these events where these characteristics emerge. Humanitarian aid, empathy, solidarity and mutual support are a sign of the constant struggle to regenerate and strengthen the social fabric and bonds that we have lost as a society over time. This is taught to us by humanitarian workers, who have left all comfort and privileges behind to serve others.
So too, it is here, in the face of the fight against the global pandemic of Covid-19, that the signs of solidarity allow us to know that humanity still exists.
The work of doctors, nurses, orderlies or cleaning staff, among many others, are added to the list of these humanitarian heroes, because despite the difficulties, deficiencies and adversities, they provide assistance and protection to millions of people. It is no longer just a paid job, but a social commitment, a human work that has surpassed more than 3000 health professionals -248 in Mexico- who have died in battle and service against Covid-19 (Amnesty International, 2020).
On this day we pay tribute to the commitment of all humanitarian workers who leave their lives in this profession and mission.
From Espiral por la Vida A.C., we recognize their work and follow the path they have opened, adding our work to strengthen networks of collaboration, solidarity, a spirit of service and support among children, adolescents, women and people who require it.
Our commitment is for Life, for sustainability for future life, for the defense of human rights and for the well-being of all.
August 9: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
Oswaldo Herrera Ávila
On December 23, 1994, the United Nations General Assembly decided that August 9 of each year should be celebrated as the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous peoples are the inheritors of their worldview, culture and language.
Each indigenous people is diverse, however, they all have in common being the guardians of their ancestral territories and their own forms of organization.
Indigenous peoples struggle to maintain their values, which are often divergent from those prevailing in the societies in which they coexist, unscathed. It is estimated that there are more than 476 million people belonging to indigenous peoples in 90 countries around the world. Indigenous peoples represent 6.2% of the global population according to the United Nations Development Program and are subject to a series of inequalities that the current contingency, provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic, has revealed and exacerbated: 47% of working indigenous people have no education; 86% work in the informal economy; people belonging to an indigenous people are three times more likely to live in extreme poverty than their non-indigenous peers.
In Mexico there are currently a total of 70 indigenous peoples, according to the Cultural Information System, with the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca having the largest indigenous populations, making Mexico a multicultural territory where cultures, traditions, languages and diverse needs converge. The United Nations has made a call on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples to: – Leave no one behind in order to promote a new social contract to eliminate the existing gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous people. – The right of indigenous peoples to participate in decision-making must be respected as a pillar of reconciliation between indigenous peoples and States. –
The new social contract must seek the participation and genuine partnership of all. – Sustained in equality of opportunities, respect for the rights, dignity and freedoms of others, as well as in the constitution of a system with social and economic benefits for all. Espiral por la Vida A.C. has been committed from the beginning of its work to promote the recognition of the knowledge that indigenous communities offer us, as well as respect for their rights, through our various projects that focus on: – Promote the defense of the human rights of girls, boys and young people belonging to the indigenous peoples of the state of Oaxaca. – Strengthening the leadership of indigenous women in government positions. – Form youth leadership for the promotion and defense of the rights of adolescents and young people. – To influence the generation of public policies that promote the exercise of women’s political rights, from a diverse and intercultural perspective.
In spite of the world contingency, which although it is true has exposed a series of inequities, it has also brought us closer to our indigenous peoples and we have turned our faces to values such as mutual aid and the common good that are present in the cosmovision of indigenous communities.
From Espiral por la Vida A.C. we continue our work -virtually and in person when possible- respecting the current health regulations. We work through each project, with the desire to promote a more just society in which the existing social gaps between indigenous peoples are eliminated and we maintain that it is possible to achieve a more just world through the recognition of rights.