For many years, the state of Chiapas has had the highest rates of poverty and exclusion in Mexico. The immediate effect is the lack of education and training opportunities, as well as economic opportunities for indigenous youth, which is exacerbated by the short-term vision they and their families have for education. Consequently, labour insertion is disadvantageous. Since 2008, Chantiik has faced children and young people discriminations because their indigenous origin. There is great inequality and poverty for indigenous people compared to the non-indigenous. There are three causes to explain it: 

  • Migration: In the 70’s political-religious expulsions took place in several municipalities near San Cristobal. The expelled people, all indigenous, settled mainly in the periphery of San Cristobal and built their homes with no services whatsoever. They already have electricity and drinking water today but they still face shortcomings. In the 80 the pressure on the scarce land of the surrounding municipalities brought new indigenous migrants to the city. After the armed uprising of 1994 a new wave of indigenous settlers arrived in conditions of high vulnerability. Finally, the economic crisis of the last decades has caused another migratory process from the poorest municipalities to San Cristobal. In all processes the tendency of historical discrimination from the non-indigenous population towards them continues. Discrimination has the effect of a loss of the cultural identity and community values of indigenous people. This process of blurring their identity and traditions also generates psychological, physical and sexual violence in the family, on the streets and in schools. 
  • Age: The patriarchal tradition is adult-centric and excludes young people from vital decisions, without visualizing them as subjects of rights. Therefore public policies and practices take for granted the biological and psychological vulnerability of minors without paying attention that the lack of civil status for this population fosters such vulnerability. This leads to policies and institutions that reproduce paternalistic attitudes of relations of social inequality and educational mechanisms that are not respectful of cultural diversity and plurality. The process causes family breakdown and dysfunction, also affected by media and Internet. By having other sources of information, such as the one generated in the streets and the one coming from technology, parental and maternal authority is weakened. Therefore, young people begin to question the cultural traditions of their parents and, thus, relativize their authority.
  • Economic situation: According to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy, Chiapas is the most unequal entity in Mexico. For indigenous families, the situation is more critical: almost 40% of the total indigenous population lives in extreme poverty. The gap between rich and poor is very disadvantageous for them because they experience poverty that affects all aspects of their lives. The immediate effect for indigenous kids is the lack of education and training opportunities. Labour insertion is, therefore, disadvantageous. In this adverse context, during a time of their lives the young people we attend in Chantiik have had the idea that the street teaches everything. Feeling pressed to contribute to the economy of their families, they seek to earn some money in the informal sector, always in very adverse conditions.


A Life with Dignity – Rights and Gender Equity.for Indigenous Youth and Adolescents project provides support and tools to this population through educational and productive projects to improve their quality of life and civic awareness, as well as to strengthen their capacities in a sustainable manner. Throughout the years of work in Chantiik, a series of care programmes have been structured consisting of several weekly workshops according to the needs expressed by the beneficiaries themselves. The programs are:

  • Empowerment in health and prevention: Strengthening in comprehensive health. 
  • Empowerment in rights and values: Learning and reflection on values such as solidarity, cooperation, respect, honesty, integrity, dignity. 
  • Empowerment for labour insertion: This program is made up of different workshops all focused on providing tools, so they get better jobs once they enter the job market. 
  • Empowerment in Information and Communication Technologies: Photography and video workshops. 
  • School reinforcement: Specific support for homework and schoolwork. Since most of the beneficiaries have dysfunctional family environments, where intra-family violence is a daily problem, psycho-emotional support is given to all beneficiaries and their families as well. 

All these programs are based on comprehensive education as a tool for social transformation: the inculcation of humanistic values, in order to contribute to the construction of healthier and more harmonious communities; learning about human rights, so that each beneficiary can exercise, promote and defend them; staying in school and achieving the best possible academic performance, because no other educational space can replace the school; civic awareness and critical thinking, in order to form citizens with full rights but also willing to fully comply with their responsibilities; healthy and conscious eating, as part of the integrality that our body needs, and the psycho-emotional well-being of the beneficiaries and their families.

For more information Chantiik taj Tajinkutik A.C.


This project aims to achieve the following goals: 

• Through the teaching of workshops in different areas of development and opportunity, to stimulate non-formal education 

• To promote and train beneficiaries in the exercise, promotion and defense of Universal Human Rights and the Rights of Children, Adolescents and Youth in particular. 

• To develop sustainable educational and productive projects to raise the quality of life of the beneficiaries and their socio-economic reintegration from the standpoint of fair and solidarity trade. • To raise awareness about environmental protection through campaigns and concrete actions in care and prevention. 

• To offer a harmonious space that allows the development of

recreational-creative activities, programs and projects where food and health security are also provided. 

• To promote the psycho-emotional health of the beneficiaries and their families to promote the construction of healthy and harmonious relationships in all areas of life. 


  • 28 direct beneficiaries male
  • 23 direct beneficiaries female
  • 51 direct beneficiaries
  • 112 indirect beneficiaries male
  • 92 indirect beneficiaries female
  • 204 indirect beneficiaries

SDGs: 1, 4, 5, 10

Laudato Si’ Goals: 2