Peace & Dignity Project Proposal for Support


PROPOSAL
FOR SUPPORT 2002

WORKING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF PEACE & DIGNITY PROJECT, USA

  • Work towards increasing the financial independence of the food cooperative through the initiation of a staffed office in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. Peace & Dignity Project is working with Proyecto Paz y Dignidad to secure funds to operate a staffed office that will help the indigenous people in the area as well as run the cooperative.

  • Secure funds or a donation of a truck for transporting food.

  • Help secure funds for Proyecto Mujer to begin building the living quarters (albergue) near the urban area of Tecate for native students attending junior high or high school who live in rural areas where there are no schools.

  • Help secure funds for all Proyecto Mujer programs and projects.

  • Form a team of native men to learn how to build rammed earth buildings, using the living quarters as set forth below as both the hands-on portion and as a means of earning a living that will continue beyond this compound.

  • Together with Proyecto Paz y Dignidad and Culturales Populares (a Mexican federal agency with an office in Tijuana), create a Dia de Los Muertos celebration to be held annually in Tecate, Baja California.

  • Together with Proyecto Paz y Dignidad and Sycuan Indian Reservation, create a Kumeyaay workforce from Mexico that will work at the casinos to help support their families. This program will include job training and development; housing during the week near the casinos; and English language acquisition at DQ University. Natives 21 and under must have a high school degree from Mexico.

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WHAT IS PROYECTO PAZ Y DIGNIDAD, TECATE, BAJA CALIFORNIA NORTE, MEXICO?

IN JANUARY 2001 a group of Kumeyaay native women, led by Laura Cota Lopez, asked Peace & Dignity Project to help them establish an asosiación civil (civil association) so that they could work more effectively in Mexico and seek funding from the agencies that are available to local Native American non-profit organizations. In September 2001 the paperwork was complete and Laura Cota Lopez, Julia Meza Thing and Thelma Pamela Perez Meza became the founding directors of Proyecto Paz y Dignidad in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico.

MISSION

PROYECTO PAZ Y DIGNIDAD IS WORKING to improve the conditions of the native people through educational programs, medical programs and self-sustaining development, especially the elders, youth and mothers. These programs and projects include the responsibilities of running and the expansion of Cooperative Yumana and the founding and operation of Proyecto Mujer.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF PROYECTO PAZ Y DIGNIDAD

COOPERATIVA YUMANA EXPANSION

  • Expand the three distribution points reached by the cooperative to include the following three distribution points:
    • The Misteco (Oaxaca) natives living south of Tecate in the predominantly agricultural farm workers from Ensenada down through Manadero and San Quintin;
    • East to Mexicali and San Luis Rio Colorado to serve the Cocopah Nation in El Mayor and San Luis Rio Colorado;
    • And west towards Tijuana to include Maclovio Rojas.
  • Expand the services of the cooperative to include nutritional education, especially in the area of mothers and babies, and to increase the amount of nutritious food available to the young and the elderly. Hold rotating workshops weekly at the twelve different distribution points.
  • Add services that will be available to the members of the cooperative so that they can receive discounts at certain designated clinics and pharmacies, as well as for legal or other help as needed.
  • Work with Native Sun Company (Hopi) or other entity to learn more about solar power and how we can use it in the rural areas to create a supply of electricity. Possibly create a maquiladora to build the solar equipment and employ the native people in the area of Tecate.

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PROYECTO MUJER

  • Establish and build living quarters for native youth attending school away from home. These native youth will include junior high and high school students from around the Tecate area. Many rural areas do not have any junior high or high schools available, increasing the already high drop out rate for Kumeyaay and other natives in the area. Plans include building a rammed earth structure to house 40 students with a dormitory, kitchen, study/computer area, showers and workshop areas.
  • The rammed earth project will be a learning/training project to begin a self-sustaining business that will continue after the living quarters are built. Traditional land of San Jose de Tecate has been designated for the living quarters by Julia Meza Thing and Thelma Pamela Perez Meza from their property to be used solely for this purpose.
  • To provide an area in the student compound that will be used to raise native plants to continue with the education of the students in herbal healing and medicine. These plants will be on sale to help support the traditional cultural activities.
  • To increase the number of native speakers by incorporating language learning into the program that will be available at the living quarters. Thelma Pamela Perez Meza, one of the few native Kumeyaay speakers, will be the teacher along with her mother, elder Julia Meza Thing. As other indigenous youth join the compound, native language speakers will be available to teach language.
  • Preserve oral history and storytelling of the Yumans-a project to digitalize in visual and audio manner, family pictures and histories of the Kumeyaay and other aboriginal peoples in and around the Tecate municipality.
  • Develop a Yuman Research Center and Repository to hold artifacts and the above recordings and videos.
  • Create a medical program whereby elders, youths and mothers can be attended to one weekend per month per designated area. The medical program will include workshops for family planning, domestic violence, STDs, HIV/AIDs, diabetes and other health issues that are particular to this area.
  • Establish a fund for scholarships to help native Kumeyaay students who wish to attend the university pay for books and tuition.

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WHAT IS COOPERATIVA YUMANA?

COOPERATIVA YUMANA is a food cooperative started by Peace & Dignity Project in September of 1998. This cooperative operates in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico and serves the food needs of its members. Members consist of anyone who needs good food at a better price. A membership costs $100 pesos per family or household (approximately $11) and dispensas are available for $250 pesos (basic nutritional food to feed four for about two weeks). Originally started to assist the indigenous people in the area, the poverty level in Mexico is so high that we quickly realized the need for good food was far greater than we thought. Our sister organization, Proyecto Paz y Dignidad of Tecate, Mexico, has secured discounts with local pharmacies and doctors to help our members in other ways. Proyecto Paz y Dignidad is taking over the responsibilities of operating and expanding the cooperative and is actively seeking funding in conjunction with Peace & Dignity Project to support the infrastructure.

From 1998 through the present, Cooperativa Yumana has continued to help over 150 families throughout the Tecate area, although the recent 2001-2002 recession has drastically reduced the volume. The greatest percent of members are currently Kumeyaay families. The expansion of the coop will help to bring more services to the Kumeyaay who have been separated from their relations by an imposed border.

WHAT IS PROYECTO MUJER?

PROYECTO MUJER IS THE BRAINCHILD of the director of Proyecto Paz y Dignidad, Laura D. Cota Lopez. Laura, a Kumeyaay native, volunteers much of her time and service to help the native elders and native children with disabilities. To this end, she wants to establish and secure funding for Proyecto Mujer so that her services can be used in conjunction with Proyecto Paz y Dignidad to help the native women, elders and youth in the areas of education, employment, family issues and medical services.

The other founding directors of Proyecto Paz y Dignidad, Julia Meza Thing and Thelma Pamela Perez Meza are some of the last fluent speakers of their native language, a dialect of the Kumeyaay idioma. They are currently struggling with a legal battle to regain land that was stolen from them and need help. However, they are so committed to sustaining the language and tradition, they want to lease their land for a small sum to Proyecto Paz y Dignidad in support of their commitment. They also want to teach the native language to the youths who will be living in the albergue (dormitory) that will be built on their land. Together with the help of others, these native women are working to keep their tradition and culture alive.

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THREE-YEAR PLAN

EXPANSION OF COOPERATIVA YUMANA

Over the next three years, Proyecto Paz y Dignidad and Peace & Dignity Project hope to expand the food cooperative and make it more independent and self-sufficient. Our goals for the next three years are as follows:

YEAR ONE

  • Open offices in Tecate to maintain the records for the food coop, buy and receive food and other goods and expand the services available to members. Membership expansion goals are to expand from 150 families to 450 families/households.
  • Secure funds for a large truck for transporting food from vendors to the warehouse and then to distribution points as necessary.
  • Establish and maintain distribution points for coop food in Valle Las Palmas (already established for one year), Aviación (Tecate) area, Ensenada area and San Quintin area.
  • Create photo id cards for coop members that can be used in conjunction with the discounts available from various businesses, including doctors, lawyers and pharmacies.
  • Maintain a database of the coop members, including what and when they buy to understand how much nutrition is being put into their diet. Hold weekly rotating nutrition classes for the local native women to understand how to have a better diet and how to prepare healthy food. One workshop per month at four distribution points.
  • Begin to work with a solar company such as Native Sun, (a Native American solar power company) to research the capability to establish a relationship and explore options in partnership to manufacture solar panels and other solar equipment in Tecate.

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YEAR TWO

  • Maintain and expand offices/warehouse in Tecate to maintain the records for the food coop, buy and receive food and other goods and expand the services available to members.
  • Maintain four established distribution points and establish four more distribution points for coop food in Maclovio Rojas, Mexicali, El Mayor and San Luis Colorado to serve the needs of the natives in these areas. Expand membership from 450 to 850 families/households.
  • Secure funds for a second large truck for transporting food from vendors to the warehouse and then to distribution points as necessary.
  • Create photo id cards for 400 new coop members/households to be used in conjunction with discounts obtained in the areas opened from various businesses, including doctors, lawyers and pharmacies.
  • Expand rotating workshops from weekly to twice a week to the areas needed to educate the people regarding nutrition and healthy food preparation. Maintain database of nutritional statistics on members for further research. One workshop per month at eight distribution points with 3 teaching personnel.
  • Create a maquiladora with Native Sun or other manufacturer to manufacture solar panels and other solar equipment.

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YEAR THREE

  • Maintain offices in Tecate to maintain the records for the food coop, buy and receive food and other goods and expand the services available to members. Membership expansion goals are to expand from 850 families to 1,250 families/households.
  • Work with Yoreme nation in Sonora and Sinaloa to establish and maintain four distribution points for coop food in needed areas. Expand membership from 350 to 450 households/members. Maintain eight established distribution points.
  • Secure funds for a third large truck for transporting food from vendors to the warehouse and then to distribution points as necessary.
  • Create photo id cards for 400 new coop members to be used in conjunction with discounts obtained in the areas opened from various businesses, including doctors, lawyers and pharmacies.
  • Expand rotating workshops from weekly to three times a week to the areas needed to educate the people regarding nutrition and healthy food preparation. Maintain database of nutritional statistics on members for further research. One workshop per month at twelve distribution points with 5 teaching personnel.
  • Maintain partnership with Native Sun or other manufacturer to manufacture solar panels and other solar equipment.

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PROYECTO MUJER

YEAR ONE

  • Operate the projects and programs of Proyecto Mujer.
  • Native Student Living Quarters
  • Establish and build living quarters (albergue) for native students who need to attend junior high or high school and live away from home. Traditional land has been designated for the school/living compound. Build a rammed earth structure to house 40 students with a dormitory, kitchen, study/computer area, showers and workshop areas. Traditional land with a 99-year lease for 20 hectares.
  • Rammed Earth Employment Project -- Use the above rammed earth structure to be the first learning/training project for the team of workers who wish to begin a career in this business. Start a native-owned company that will work with possible native partners from the US side who have construction business and wish to expand their business by offering rammed earth construction.
  • Family History Preservation Project -- Seek partnerships or associations with universities (UC Santa Barbara Chicano Archives, SDSU and others) or reservations to do enthnographic research, set up paradigms, to begin to digitally preserve native family photos and record oral history and stories of ten families, including recording of songs and language use, permissions, etc. Have family members begin to gather memorabilia, photos and artifacts of the ten families to photograph and videotape. Gain permission/releases from the elders and the family members to be part of this project.
  • Yuman Research Center & Repository -- Begin fundraising efforts to create a rammed earth structure that will also serve as part of the training for the rammed earth project named above. A special facility will be created that will be used to preserve the artifacts of the Yuman people.
  • Medical Aid Program -- Establish fundraising efforts to buy a passenger van for transporting the sick and infirm to medical clinics; supply van with equipment and supplies to attend to the sick and infirm. Initiate a program for health checkups to be held in conjunction with nutrition workshops described above and health-related workshops described below to begin to evaluate and prioritize the health problems of the natives and native elders. Establish instructional workshops in health-related issues to educate the native people regarding diabetes, family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, tobacco and other health issues as they arise. One workshop at each of four distribution points.
  • Native Scholarship Fund -- Establish fundraising efforts to create an fund for annual scholarships for native students wishing to attend the university. This annual fund will cover tuition and book costs.
  • Días de Los Muertos Annual Celebration -- Day of the Dead (Dias de los Muertos) will include a teach-in on November 1 about the multi-traditions to create sensitivity and respect for the many native celebrations of Day of the Dead. Hold "campo santo"; workshops throughout the month of October on papel picado, sugar skulls, paper flower coronas, pan de muerto and the preparation of the panteones (cemeteries) to welcome the spirits on November 1 and 2. On October 31, a celebration and altar building will take place in the center of town with schools of the area building their ofrendas to lead up to the main altar in the gazebo. A Muertos marketplace featuring sales of flowers, coronas, papel picado, sugar skulls and pan de muerto with music and a raffle to raise money to rebuild the Kumeyaay cemeteries/campo santos will be held two weekends in the month of October. On November 1 and 2 families go to offer their ofrendas to their relations at the "campo santo" of the Kumeyaay.
  • Worker Program -- Initiate program in conjunction with Sycuan reservation to hire Kumeyaay to work at different casinos in the San Diego area. This will include housing for 20 workers with English acquisition classes at DQ University.

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YEAR TWO

  • Operate the offices of Proyecto Paz y Dignidad and run Cooperativa Yumana. Operate the projects and programs of Proyecto Mujer.
  • Student Living Quarters -- Complete rammed earth structure (albergue) to house 40 students with a dormitory, kitchen, study/computer area, showers and workshop areas. Begin staffing for kitchen, maintenance and management staff. Buy operating supplies (food and janitorial). Hire three of the six planned personnel. Establish an area to sow native plants and work with native seed companies to sell or buy seeds/plants as needed. Establish an area in which to sow a garden to grow food for the students and sell the surplus. Initiate animal husbandry and ethnobotanic programs.
  • Rammed Earth Project -- Continue learning/training project for the team of workers who wish to begin a career in this business. Establish a native-owned company to win contracts with possible native partners from the US who have construction needs or businesses and wish to expand their business by offering rammed earth construction.
  • Family History Preservation Project -- Continue documenting the ten-family histories, stories and songs in photograph and videotape. Expand project to include 10 more families.
  • Yuman Research Center & Repository -- Continue fundraising efforts to complete rammed earth structure that will also serve as part of the training for the rammed earth project named above. A special facility will be created that will be used to preserve the artifacts of the Yuman people.
  • Medical Aid Program -- Continue fundraising efforts to buy a second passenger van for transporting and caring for the sick and infirm. Expand efforts to Cocopah nation. Expand program for health checkups to be held in conjunction with nutrition workshops described above and health-related workshops described below to begin to evaluate and prioritize the health problems of the natives and native elders in the expanded areas. Maintain and care for sick and infirm in current area. Begin medical aide program for those natives interested in furthering their education. Continue and expand instructional workshops in health-related issues to educate the native people regarding diabetes, family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, tobacco and other health issues as they arise. One workshop at each of eight distribution points. Begin domestic violence education.
  • Native Scholarship Fund -- Continue fundraising efforts to add to an annual fund for scholarships for native students wishing to attend the university. This annual fund will cover tuition and book costs.
  • Días de Los Muertos Annual Celebration -- Day of the Dead (Dias de los Muertos) will include a teach-in on November 1 about the multi-traditions to create sensitivity and respect for the many native celebrations of Day of the Dead. Hold "campo santo"; workshops throughout the month of October on papel picado, sugar skulls, paper flower coronas, pan de muerto and the preparation of the panteones (cemeteries) to welcome the spirits on November 1 and 2. On October 31, a celebration and altar building will take place in the center of town with schools of the area building their ofrendas to lead up to the main altar in the gazebo. Music and a raffle to raise money to rebuild the cemeteries of the Kumeyaay will be held, as well as sales of flowers, coronas, papel picado, sugar skulls and pan de muerto. On November 1 and 2 families go to offer their ofrendas to their relations at the "campo santo" of the Kumeyaay.
  • Worker Program -- Expand program in conjunction with Sycuan reservation to hire Kumeyaay to work at different casinos in the San Diego area. This will include housing for 35 workers and English acquisition classes at DQ University.

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YEAR THREE

  • Continue to operate the offices of Proyecto Paz y Dignidad and run Cooperativa Yumana. Operate the projects and programs of Proyecto Mujer.
  • Native Student Living Quarters Program -- Accept 40 students for the living quarters and language preservation project. Continue buying supplies to operate the facility. Expand staff from three to six. Continue to sow native plants and work with native seed companies to sell or buy seeds/plants as needed. Expand garden to grow food for the additional students and sell the surplus.
  • Rammed Earth Project -- Continue to use native-owned company to win national and international contracts with possible native partners from the US side who have construction business.
  • Family History Preservation Project -- Continue documenting 10 more family histories, stories and songs in photograph and videotape.
  • Yuman Research Center & Repository -- Continue fundraising efforts to preserve the artifacts of the Yuman people, which have been collected or donated. Manage and run facility.
  • Medical Aid Program -- Continue fundraising efforts to buy two more passenger vans for transporting or visiting the sick and infirm. Continue with Cocopah nation and expand area to cover Yoreme in Sonora and Sinoloa. -- Expand program for health checkups to be held in conjunction with nutrition workshops described above and health-related workshops described below to begin to evaluate and prioritize the health problems of the natives and native elders in the new areas and continue to maintain the health care programs initiated in the past two years. Continue and expand instructional workshops in health-related issues to educate the native people regarding diabetes, family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, tobacco and other health issues as they arise. One workshop at each of eight distribution points. Maintain education program initiated in the past two years.
  • Native Scholarship Fund -- Continue fundraising efforts for scholarships for native students wishing to attend the university. This annual fund will cover tuition and book costs.
  • Días de Los Muertos Annual Celebration -- Day of the Dead (Dias de los Muertos) will include a teach-in on November 1 about the multi-traditions to create sensitivity and respect for the many native celebrations of Day of the Dead. Hold "campo santo"; workshops throughout the month of October on papel picado, sugar skulls, paper flower coronas, pan de muerto and the preparation of the panteones (cemeteries) to welcome the spirits on November 1 and 2. On October 31, a celebration and altar building will take place in the center of town with schools of the area building their ofrendas to lead up to the main altar in the gazebo. Music and a raffle to raise money to rebuild the cemeteries of the Kumeyaay will be held, as well as sales of flowers, coronas, papel picado, sugar skulls and pan de muerto. On November 1 and 2 families go to offer their ofrendas to their relations at the "campo santo" of the Kumeyaay.
  • Worker Program -- Expand program in conjunction with Sycuan reservation to hire Kumeyaay to work at different casinos in the San Diego area. This will include housing for 55 workers and English acquisition classes at DQ University.

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Peace & Dignity Project
P. O. Box 4265
Chula Vista, CA Abya Yala 91909-4265
Tel: (619) 420-8063

For more information, contact our Director.


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