Housing, work, health care, and education are basic human rights. Help us develop them on both sides of the Mexico-US border.
Rosa is part of a weaving cooperative called Women for Dignity in Chiapas, Mexico. Rosa comes from a farming tradition where most families work small plots, growing corn and beans for self-consumption. Traditionally they grew a yearly surplus, which they sold in local markets. The cash income was never large, but it was sufficient to buy basic necessities.
NAFTA changed this by opening the Mexican market to corporate-produced corn from the United States. Billions of our tax dollars subsidize corporations who dump corn in Mexico at one-third below the cost of production.
Mexican farmers don't use pesticides and herbicides, and don't rely on petroleum, while each bushel of US corn requires 1.2 gallons of petroleum. Yet small farmers in Mexico are penalized for their sustainable production techniques.
The Mexico Solidarity Network works with Women for Dignity to open handicraft markets in the United States. We expect $40,000 in sales this year, representing the vast majority of their income.
We are also working hard in Washington to turn "free trade" agreements, like NAFTA, into fair trade agreements that favor workers and farmers.