When a woman rises—no man is left behind and a community is nourished. In the Maya township of Chenalhó in Chiapas, Veronica, a teenage girl, is recovering from a disastrous early marriage. Spurred on by a community program of women telling their stories, she asks her mother Magdalena to record the story of her growing up and that of best friend, Lucia. Magdalena, step by step, day by day, summons the soul of her comadre who has disappeared. She tells how, as young girls, they yearned to be teachers. How poverty, cultural beliefs, and gender roles stole away their dreams.
Magdalena married and bore children, finding expression as a community organizer. Lucia's path diverged radically. Her gift was to be a healing woman, but without knowing how or why, she fell in love with a nun. Distraught, she joined the Zapatistas in the wilderness and struggled with alcoholism. Through it all, Magdalena and Lucia maintained their deep friendship. Then Lucia went north to work in the fields and disappeared. Veronica, with her mother's help, will carry this understanding into the future.
In 1987, Christine Engla Eber lived for a year with a family in San Pedro Chenalhó, doing fieldwork for her PhD in Anthropology. She shared daily life with women and their families, witnessing the difficulties they faced. It changed her life. After all these years she continues visiting with her friends in San Pedro Chenalhó, working with weaving and fabric collectives; and she has created a non-profit WEAVING JUSTICE to sell their work in the U.S. Now, as a respected anthropologist, she writes of their communities. Her research is centered in Chiapas, Mexico where she studies the gendered aspects of social change, specifically womenÍs participation in the Zapatista movement, the weaving cooperative movement, and the Liberation Theology movement of the Catholic Church. She is author of Women and Alcohol in a Highland Maya Town: WATER OF HOPE, WATER OF SORROW which was recently translated into Spanish, and co-editor with Christine Kovic of WOMEN OF CHIAPAS: MAKING HISTORY IN TIMES OF STRUGGLE AND HOPE. She is also a board member of the Maya Educational Foundation (www.mayaedufound.org) which seeks support for scholarships for young people in Maya communities of Chiapas, Guatemala, and Belize.She lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico.