A more comprehensive idea of well-being

Nora Tzec, Verónica Fernández de Castro and Alejandra Garduño

Indigenous Peoples’ idea of welfare goes beyond the material – often encapsulated in Latin America in the notion of buen vivir. The role of engaged funders is to embrace this, and to have a long-term commitment to partnerships rooted in dialogue and trust

In 2008 the W K Kellogg Foundation undertook an in-depth review of its mission and vision, which also led to a review of its programmes. From this, a focus emerged on vulnerable children, racial equity and a place-based approach.

Conserving Native seeds in Chiapas, Mexico. Photo: Nikole Okai, Ford Foundation

The highlands of Chiapas and the inner lands of the Yucatan Peninsula, territories of the Tseltal, Tsotsil and Maya Peoples, were the two regions in Mexico chosen to pursue this interest in partnering with communities and promoting comprehensive development under a racial equity approach. Indigenous Peoples were chosen because they are more vulnerable, and face discrimination and constant struggles for survival to a greater degree than non-Indigenous populations.

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