Take a look at this article.
Recently, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) analyzed the living conditions in Mexico. Their results show that districts are economically polarized, and Chiapas, the home of Natik’s programs in Mexico, is dead south.
Looking at indicators like health care, social mobility, and education, some regions of Mexico, like the Federal District, prove to have good educational and healthcare systems. These regions are comparable to industrialized countries like Egypt or Australia.
Others, however, do not rank so highly. Chiapas is worst of all, ranking absolutely last in social mobility and education. It has the same standard of living as underdeveloped countries in West Africa, like Gabon, where the average resident lives on less than a dollar a day.
Such disparities within countries, sadly, are common and caused by the same exploitation and segregation that has attenuated the third-world. Likewise in Chiapas, many communities have not been able to integrate due to geographic, cultural, and linguistic barriers. Just as communities in Gabon, communities in Chiapas have been marginalized and sapped of their fiscal resources. Residents suffer poor health care, incomplete educational systems, and economic immobility as a result.
This is a dark story, with harsh statistics. But while the report deals with a grim subject, there is hope. By examining the trends in economic development in Chiapas and in similar regions of the world, the UNDP has projected that Chiapas can rival the Federal District economically by 2054.
While in some respects this date is too far away, the timeline is fascinating and, I think, uplifting. It projects that the same children that are in school now (in places like Yo’onik) will be the champions of change. It hints that the work that we–Natik staff, funders, and volunteers–are doing will be the work that begins to de-marginalize the communities of Chiapas. It anticipates economic solvency as an attainable future.
Thus, this study is affirming. It vests the crisis in Chiapas with statistics and understandable comparisons, but, more, it says the crisis is not interminable. With the efforts of the ambitious generation now in school, supported by whoever is willing to shake their hands across the margins, things can change.