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“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines”

Robert H. Schuller

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HUITZILAC MUNICIPALITY
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Case analysis

Problems we face

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The World Health Organization has published numerous studies on the links between art, health and well-being, highlighting the enormous capacity that art has to improve physical and mental health. Unfortunately in the current context, we have allowed the economic landscape to overshadow all significant development processes, including those that have the power to strengthen human existence; processes such as creativity, promotion of dignity or identification, and these operations that work on subjectivity and are capable of animating, —that is, “endowing or rather nurturing the soul or soul” of people— processes that transform us from recognizing ourselves and that generally encourages us to participate and feel part of society. These subjective and complex agents are transmitted by art in a natural and effective way.
Unfortunately, art and culture are not in the first line of support from governments, in addition to the fact that the impact of the pandemic in the artistic and cultural sphere has been severe and catastrophic, not only due to the dramatic reduction in their budget, but due to the remoteness of the living component, this has caused one of the most worrying impacts after the pandemic to be reflected in the sensitive dimension of people.[1]

More than a year after the start of the SARCOV-2 pandemic crisis that generates the COVID.19 disease, we continue to face challenges that put our physical, mental and emotional health at risk. Among the most worrying effects that the pandemic crisis has caused in Mexico in particular, is the dramatic increase in violence against girls, boys, young people and women within homes during confinement, in addition to severe cases of depression that are not attended to for not having resources or opportunities to nurture this subjective world that we have previously described.

Violence against women and minors within homes increased by 120% since the declaration of emergency and confinement to avoid infections with the new strain of the coronavirus (Covid-19); 9 out of 10 people who are violated at home are women, and 1 in 4 witnesses other women being violated. 66% is for physical violence and 22% for psycho-emotional violence. The data was provided to the Ministry of the Interior by the Citizen Council for Security and Justice of Mexico City.

Economic and financial difficulties have forced many young people – from a middle to lower social class – to drop out of school to join the family workforce and contribute an income to it. Children and young people have been left without the important space for the development of their potentialities, not only intellectual, social, political, cultural; They have run out of opportunities to achieve their professional development – so linked to the economic factor – in the short, medium and long term, they seem to vanish in this crisis.

There are still no published studies on the effects of the pandemic in the Municipality of Huitzilac, which corresponds to the Tres Marías area, but it is possible to observe first-hand how deficiencies have worsened in all aspects of the citizen’s life. To offer official statistical data, this project follows three main sources: The Municipal Diagnosis of Huitzilac of 2015 produced by CONEVAL (National Council for Social Development Policy), the Municipal Development Plan of Huitzilac 2013-2015[2], generated by the current administration of this period and the Municipal Development Plan 2019-2021 of the municipality of Huitzilac[3], Morelos prepared by the Legal Counsel of the Executive Power of the State of Morelos.[4].

[1]Dra. Ana María Torres, investigadora de la IBERO,https://ibero.mx/prensa/arte-y-covid-19-la-reconstruccion-de-la-industria-cultural

[2]Diagnóstico Municipal de Huitzilac 2015. https://www.coneval.org.mx/sitios/RIEF/Documents/morelos-diagnosticomunicipalhuitzilac-2015.pdf

[3]Plan municipal de desarrollo de Huitzilac 2013-2015 https://www.hacienda.morelos.gob.mx/images/docu_planeacion/planea_estrategica/planes_municipales/Huitzilac.pdf

[4]Plan Municipal de Desarrollo 2019-2021 del municipio de Huitzilac, Morelos de la Consejería Jurídica del Poder Ejecutivo del Estado de Morelos

http://marcojuridico.morelos.gob.mx/archivos/reglamentos_municipales/pdf/PMDHITZIMO2019-2021.pdf

Faced problems

Poverty and social risk

Although Huitzilac is relatively a small municipality, it lives in significant poverty. The Municipal Diagnosis of Huitzilac of 2015 shows that the low income of the family heads, the restricted access to goods and services, such as health and safety, the low educational and professionalization levels, make the Municipality a marginalized place.

The population who lives in Huitzilac, , 50.6% is in a situation of poverty, a percentage of which 7.8% is in extreme poverty. According to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL), 41.8% of the population is vulnerable due to social deprivation, that is, it presents some type of deficiency in educational backwardness, access to health services, access to social security, quality and space of housing, access to basic services in housing and access to food. The most worrying indicators are access to social security, access to basic housing services and access to health services. 15.1% of the population has an income below the minimum welfare line and 54.0% an income below the welfare line[1].

According to the methodology implemented by the State Government as part of the strategy of prevention and reconstruction of Morelos, the measurements show that Tres Marías is presented in the table with a high degree of social risk. It exhibits one of the greatest tendencies to indulge in antisocial behavior due to lack of opportunities[1].

Huitzilac has suffered for years an important offense in terms of public security and this is one of the biggest claims on the part of its society. The government’s commitment tries to guarantee the tranquility and social harmony of the Municipality to safeguarding the population in their physical integrity and their belongings in the event of any disaster of natural or human origin, unfortunately it turns out to be ineffective.

[1] Plan municipal de desarrollo de Huitzilac 2013, 2015 https://www.hacienda.morelos.gob.mx/images/docu_planeacion/planea_estrategica/planes_municipales/Huitzilac.pdf

Youth problem

There are no statistics corresponding to the span of the pandemic, youthness [1]of Huitzilac reflect both physical and psychological problems and face serious deficiencies in education and reproductive and sexual health, high rates of drug addiction, alcoholism, unemployment and juvenile crime.

Young people start their sexual life between 13 and 19 years of age mainly; therefore they almost not have an awareness of the use of contraceptive methods which leads to sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies, most of the time leads to illegal abortions of adolescents, victims of sexual and social violence. In addition to this, there is school dropout and / or failure, due to the lack of educational systems that allow them to develop their intellect or sensitivity, although they are also linked to social factors such as domestic violence, the lack of expectations or economic factors. This complex situation often triggers young people to easily become involved in drugs and juvenile delinquency.

[1] Youthness is defined as that age between childhood and adulthood between 10 to 24 years of age, in accordance with the municipal development plan of Huitzilac.

[2] Plan municipal de desarrollo de Huitzilac 2013, 2015 https://www.hacienda.morelos.gob.mx/images/docu_planeacion/planea_estrategica/planes_municipales/Huitzilac.pdf

Women situation

Today the women of Huitzilac continue to struggle with difficulties that limit the realization of their potential. Being a woman continues to be a taboo and this condition confronts them with prejudice, discrimination and oppression that displaces them to a situation of inferiority.
Huitzilac´s women today demand quality health services and supports that help them overcome the economic and labor limitations they face, however, the situations that affect them  most are  problems of unemployment and domestic violence, physical, psychological and emotional abuse; rape and sexual harassment; unwanted pregnancies inside and outside of marriage, specially in teenagers.

Huitzilac recognizes that an important segment of women does not fully assume their rights, due to cultural, religious, values ​​or customs issues that generally affect their possibilities of impulse and personal improvement. In addition to that, Huitzilac has a huge dropout rate in this sector due to the discriminatory practices[2]  that are constantly practiced.

[1] Plan Municipal de Desarrollo 2019-2021 del municipio de Huitzilac, Morelos de la Consejería Jurídica del Poder Ejecutivo del Estado de Morelos http://marcojuridico.morelos.gob.mx/archivos/reglamentos_municipales/pdf/PMDHITZIMO2019-2021.pdf

[2] Ibídem.

Environmental Issues

The Municipality of Huitzilac faces conflicts due to the alteration of the quality of life due to the effect of environmental pollution, the excessive generation of garbage and the overexploitation of natural resources. It is clear that the area requires the union of efforts in the different orders of government in the public, social and private sectors, in addition to the urgent participation of NGOs, to direct efforts towards the reconstruction of environmental health in the Municipality.

Due to its proximity to Mexico City – the largest population center in the country – Huitzilac supports strong pressure on its forest resources which are being degraded by anthropogenic issues of varying intensity with the consequent possible disappearance of plant and animal species that make up the territory .

Forests present factors of disturbance, felling, fires, grazing, pests, diseases, extraction of wild fauna, extraction of bank and mountain land in a disorderly manner. Among the environmental impacts are the fires —Huitzilac accounts for 70% of the fires that occurred at the state level— which have significantly affected the forest area, especially the pasture and renewal.

The change in land use has also generated the loss of forest areas which are destined for various uses such as the construction of houses and the opening of farmland, among others, causing large amounts of soil to be removed and thus exacerbates the problem of erosion and degradation. There are open-air garbage dumps that cause, among other worrying effects, the contamination of water bodies, the proliferation of harmful fauna and damage to health[1].

[1] Simbrón González Florentina. Manifestación de impacto ambiental Modalidad Particular para el aprovechamiento de recursos forestales no maderables de tierra de monte en un terreno comunal de la Comunidad de Huitzilac. 2020..https://apps1.semarnat.gob.mx:8443/dgiraDocs/documentos/mor/estudios/2020/17MO2020FD034.pdf

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