Training our Gente in Texas
This past weekend Mijente launched Tejiendo Futuros, an organizing training series for Latinx community members that centers strategies and learnings from building people power throughout Latin America. Our first training was held in Laredo, Texas, an area we have been investing in since the beginning of this year. We collectively created a space where we laughed, witnessed each other’s stories, built relationships, practiced organizing skills and conversations that helped us remember our history and ancestral wisdom. In the room, we had 16 participants from Laredo, Fort Worth, the Rio Grande Valley, and Houston; folks came from different sides of organizing, some of us work to defend access to water, immigration rights, health and reproduction education and electoral fights.
What Tejiendo Futuros Looked Like
During the training, we spent the first day grounding ourselves in Texas organizing history, naming the conditions that have shaped us and inform our participation in our communities. We also developed a shared analysis on Latin American resistance and class struggle over time, and how they impact our organizing today. On the second day, we took the training sessions to the streets, leading a door knocking session that allowed us to have conversations with more community members. We wrapped up the weekend with sessions on base building and mapping our own connections.
Learning the Needs of our Gente in Texas
The door knocking session served as an opportunity to train participants on connecting with people at the doors, and better understand together the needs of the community we were in. In Laredo’s District 1, local residents discussed debilitating water boil orders that tend to be acutely felt in the area, improving infrastructure to make the community safer, the need for new leadership to challenge business as usual attitudes, and more.
Why We Educate, Organize, and Agitate
How we come together to create change is an ongoing practice. Recent surveys have shown that 95% of the population in Laredo, Texas identifies as Hispanic/Latinx – the highest concentration of Latinx people in a US metropolitan area. We know that even as our community grows, the changes we need for el Buenvivir – for racial, economic, gender, and climate justice – are actively ignored by those in power. What does this look like? 4.5 million people were without power during the 2021 Texas Winter Storm; 24 rural hospital closures in the last decade, the highest in the country; and in Laredo, constant water boil notices leaving residents unable to access safe water to drink, cook, or bathe with – lasting anywhere from 2 weeks like in 2022 or 2 months like in 2020. Our gente, our communities, deserve better.
That’s why we made the decision to start our Tejiendo Futuros training series in South Texas. In order to strengthen our movement and the local organizing infrastructure, it is critical that we gather juntxs to sharpen our skills, facilitate base building conversations, and put our organizing into practice.
We are excited to continue doing base building for our long-term work in Texas. We know that building people power is always a winning strategy. Stay tuned for more updates on our Tejiendo Futuros training series.
This weekend training in Laredo is part of our educational efforts through El Instituto to build a shared analysis of the organizing landscape and train our Latinx communities on the fundamental skills needed to organize. These are efforts towards long-term base building in order to build people and political power to make change happen. These training sessions also help us continue to foster confidence and deepen relationships with leaders, community members, and partner organizations in places like Laredo, Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, the Rio Grande Valley and throughout South Texas.