Creating Economic Opportunities for Zapotec Women through Tradition & Community
Vida Nueva | Women's Weaving Cooperative
Vida Nueva is a group of Zapotec women from Teotitlan del Valle, an indigenous Mexican community with centuries of weaving history. Our patterns and techniques have been passed down from generation to generation, and each tapete expresses our unique culture. They use only natural dyes, which is very time consuming. Historically, only men were permitted to weave, but in the last 55 years women have also begun to share in this rich heritage. Despite our numerous creative, social, and political contributions, it is still difficulty for women to gain equal respect and recognition. Therefore in 1996 we formed Vida Nueva (New Life), a weaving cooperative for women. They are proud of their history and traditions, and they are committed to preserving our Zapotec heritage.
In addition to weaving, the women serve their local community through various projects. Some of these projects include special stoves that reduces the smoke from wood-based cooking, tending to elder women on Mother's Day (May 10th), and tending to environmental problems.
(from the organization's Facebook page)
Many of the customs and traditions of the pueblos indigenas of Mexico come from the colonial era, when their social standing was tied to their economic wealth - whether they owned land and had economic prestige - including traditional forms of dress, huipiles, which identified women specifically as from a certain region and indigenous group, and the increasingly popular tourist event, La Guelaguetza.
Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca