Both projects, the shop and the museum, have helped make the Tarahumara way of life and culture more known and appreciated. On the other hand, the sale of their handicrafts has made the artisans more skilled and obliged them to design and produce new and more sophisticated objects, using new materials, forms and techniques.
CACSTAC’S INFLUENCE ON OTHER GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS.
Following CACSTAC’s experience, other groups and organizations that work in the Tarahumara have implemented similar programs for water, handicrafts, healthcare, nutrition and environmental protection.
Some specific virtues of CACSTAC
Because of its long trajectory in the Tarahumara, CACSTAC as an institution, through its personnel, has a deep knowledge and appreciation for the Tarahumara people and their culture. We have the experience of having worked and lived for 45 years in their social and ecological milieu. We have established a deep personal rapport with many of them and their communities. Thanks to all of this, our team is very skilled, efficient and committed to their work. This is why we can function with a very small and restricted budget both for the projects as well as the administration of the whole Complex.
Thanks to our lasting relationship with the Raramuri People and to the work we have done for 45 years, we can count on their recognition, support and trust.
For the same reason, we can also count on the confidence of our benefactors and the support of volunteers, totally committed to their work and love for the Raramuri people and their culture.
Problems, shortcomings and limits
One of our biggest problems is that CACSTAC’s operation, as well as its very existence, depends totally on the goodwill and donations of individual benefactors, foundations or government agencies. Staff salaries, medicine, instruments, electricity, fuel, food, hardware for the water projects, etc., this year amounted to almost 100,000 dollars a month. All of that had to come from donors.
Another problem is that, due to our geographic location, climate, isolation and violence it is very difficult to get collaborators –mainly doctors- to stay enough time at the hospital in order to have some stability and tranquility. Climate and isolation also make it difficult for the functioning and maintenance of medical instruments and vehicles.
At the end of the year 2010 CACSTAC has 6 main projects. It directly employs 97 people; 35% are Raramuri, 80% are women. Thanks to our staff, and to the work and generosity of many other people who are no longer with us, CACSTAC has served the Raramuri people for 45 years. We can honestly say that, after these years in the Tarahumara mountains and canyons, CACSTAC has directly contributed to save the lives of several thousand children and adults and to improve significantly the quality of the life of many more.
Sylvia, Feli, office Lolita, kitchen Vinicia, assistant nurse
As we begin the year 2011, we still operate with a minimum of personnel, equipment and budget. Even so, the work we have done and still do is proof of the skills, efficacy and commitment of our staff.
We have maintained and improved our equipment and buildings, our services and administration procedures, our capacity for communication and information. We have set up two web pages; one in Spanish www.misiontarahumara.org, one in English www.giveaminute.org, so many more people can come to know what CACSTAC has done and wants to continue to do in the future.