June is Pride month in countries all around the world. It’s no different in Mexico which celebrates its Pride Parade at the end of the month.
But to kick off the start of Pride season, the city painted a pedestrian crossing in all the colors of the rainbow!
The pedestrian crossing that was painted crosses one of the city’s most important streets – Avenida Juarez.
Avenida Juarez runs right in front of the famous Palacio de Bellas Artes, a very popular tourist attraction in the city. So tons of people are going to see this colorful display of orgullo!
A group of volunteers painted the zebra crossing and it was sponsored by YAAJ Mexico and Copred to begin the commemorations of Pride Month.
The rainbow pedestrian crossing has made news across the country.
From Quintana Roo to Tabasco and Chiapas, everyone has been talking about the Pride display.
I mean it’s only the second time that the city has paid respect to the LGBT community in this way. So it really is a big deal.
While painting the crossing with the colors of the pride flag, Geraldina González de la Vega told SoyHomosensual that “with this act, we symbolically inaugurate June as LGBT Pride month. It is about making visible that all people have a place in a diverse Mexico City.”
Rainbow pedestrian crossings to celebrate Pride have become more common around the world.
Like this gem out of Oxfordshire, UK.
Or this one out of the Phillipines.
It’s amazing to see so many cities around the world step up to celebrate their diversity.
Much has been said about the vulnerable position that indigenous populations in general, and indigenous women in particular, are in when it comes to protecting the intellectual property derived from their traditional designs.
The Mexican Congress recently passed a law through which companies that steal designs from indigenous communities will be subject to hefty fines. The culprits are generally big international brands such as Zara and Carolina Herrera, which should know better when it comes to presenting designs as their own when they are clearly very “heavily inspired” by the work of craftspeople who earn a small fraction of what they should, only to see their designs being sold in hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
So it comes as a welcome surprise to find out some indigenous Mayan women have gotten together to profit from their millenary wisdom and dexterous hands to launch a startup that promises to become a way of living for many of them.
An entrepreneur, una jefa de jefas, named Nancy Zavala launched a small company, Zavy, that employs Mayan women.
The company’s mission is to help women achieve financial independence through their work. Zavala knows that the key in a small company is specialization and they have focused on a particular product: camera straps. So far 20 women have joined Zavy. As Zavala told El Universal, these women feel a sense of accomplishment as their children see them work and their husbands, who previously “did not allow them” to do so, now also want to help. Women from other Mayan communities have approached Zavala, wanting to join in.
This is a great step for many Mayan women who not only live in an environment with very clearly and strictly demarcated gender roles, but are also part of an indigenous group in Mexico that has historically been discriminated against. Zavala put her heart, soul and money in this enterprise: the first straps were produced entirely with her savings.
Their camera straps are garnering attention among semi professional and professional circles.
The craftswomen receive 50% of the profits and the rest is reinvested in the company to buy materials and strengthen their web presence. They have been able to sell to Mexico. the United States and some Latin American countries. These camera straps are seriously cool and we can see any professional photojournalist use them…. Pero por supuesto.
We did a search on Etsy and found that plenty of pages not run my Mayans are selling “Mayan camera straps.” They either copy the design or “repurpose” other artefacts such as belts or clothing with traditional Mayan embroidery. This is like adding insult to injury: they are reselling objects that took hours for someone to make and sell for a fraction of what these repurposed straps sell on Etsy. This is why initiatives such as Zavala’s are so important.
Nancy founded Zavy to honor her Mayan heritage.
Nancy was born in the small community of Saye and she grew up watching her grandmother make blouses, shirts and other products in the traditional Mayan style. But she knew that in order to achieve financial independence she had to study. And so she went to university and became one of the members of the 1% of indigenous Mexicans who finish a graduate degree. She got a Bachelors in Project Development, a huge achievement in and of itself. But her journey did not end there and she wanted to inspire other women and get them to be independent as well. And so Zavy was born.
Nancy is 28 years old now and she is doing her Master’s degree in Merida, the capital of her home state of Yucatan. We are sure she will keep using her knowledge to empower indigenous women.
And Zany is just one among other initiatives that aim to help Mayan communities.
With some classmates, Nancy established a foundation that helps communities develop through applying their traditional knowledge into businesses. In addition to Zany, Nancy and her friends helped Mayan communities establish Biozano, a company that produces natural, organic makeup.
Some of the women had to drastically change their careers due to unfortunate accidents.
Such is the case of Cecilia Dzul Tuyb, who used to be a police officer before a car crash prevented her from walking for several months. She was risking depression but found solace in traditional knitting. She was contacted by Nancy Zavala and the rest, as they say, is history: Cecilia has found a community of fellow women who do not want to depend economically on anyone else and who value their independence.
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My husband and I have been married for a little over three years now and he is still learning so much about myself and what it means to be Latino. I’m not talking about me having a big Cuban family all stationed in Miami (3-0-5 ??) or the fact that the best jokes in Netflix’s “One Day At A Time” are in Spanish. I’m talking about the little things that to me have always been a normal part of life. This is what has continuously caught him off guard…
If you ask him, I’m already turning into my abuela because of the things he is finding out, which to me is a compliment. Here are just a few of the things that he is starting to understand about our future together.
1. Seasoning your beans is hard AF but abuela makes it look easy.
No matter how many times I try or how many techniques I use, my bean always turn out bland AF. This wouldn’t have been a problem if he didn’t have my abuela’s frijoles negro because now he has a reference point as to what beans are supposed to taste like. Though, he doesn’t cook so my bland beans will have to do.
2. That whole personal space thing is a white construct.
One of the first things he realized about being married to a Latino is that all that personal space he once had is gone. I even go into the bathroom to talk to him when he’s in the shower because that’s ?? how ?? I ?? was ?? raised. ??
3. Family obligations cannot and will not be avoided.
Even if it means that you have to spend $800 to travel 3,000 miles back home for a weekend for your nephew’s first birthday, there is no getting out of family events. #BasedOnTrueEvents
4. My family raised me to be super eco-friendly (and very frugal).
The first time my husband saw me washing a Ziploc bag he asked if we had run out and that he could get some from the store. My response: “But, like, why do you want to waste money like that?”
5. Selena was and will always be La Reina.
I know. I know. How did he not know this before is what you’re thinking, right? But you can’t hold it against him. I don’t think Selena had a very big following in West Virginia. There was no way he could have known that she is more relevant now than ever. Not to mention that she still wins Latin Billboard awards and I play her music nonstop.
6. My abuela’s obsession with reusing containers has been passed down.
After he came down from the initial shock of thinking that I left the sour cream in the Tupperware cabinet overnight, he made a joke about me becoming my abuela. I’ve never been so proud.
7. Calling a loved one “gordo” is not offensive.
Because, you know, someone calling you “my little fatty” is not okay. Imagine his shock when he heard a family member call me “gordito” in front of him. He was shook.
8. Every chore I do is just an excuse to put on Celia Cruz and dance.
Sure, I can cook in silence but nothing makes my time in the kitchen more enjoyable than some “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” or “La Vida Es Un Carnaval” blaring in the background. Plus, he is starting to learn some of her greatest hits.
9. Seventy-five percent of Latino cooking is just making that sabor.
To quote my husband: “Oh. So ropa vieja is like making pot roast then you make the flavor (sofrito). Yeah. White people are too lazy to make all that flavor.”
10. Being extra and loud is just in our blood.
I still have that trophy on our desk in the living room and he has mentioned moving it a couple times. Then I stubbed my toe, fall to the floor in tears, and he remembers why it is so prominently displayed.
11. Hot Cheetos are life.
He didn’t know they were so versatile but he’s not upset that we get to eat them all the time.