- Read an introduction to Flores Magon from a Corazón committee member.
- Learn how a decrease in income has affected the education of Flores Magon students.
- The pandemic continues to affect the mental health of community members - Read their stories.
- Community members reflect on their experiences from last year as they move on in 2021.
About Flores Magon
My community is picturesque, where most of the people know each other after growing up together. In almost every house there is a tree and a small garden. There is the hustle and bustle [of students] at every school’s entrance, and when they exit, there is tranquility.
You can find someone who works almost every trade in my neighborhood, such as bricklayers, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, blacksmiths, painters, and bakers.
Our geography is diverse! We have plateaus, hillsides, and canyons. In the highlands, we can enjoy a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean, and the weather, oh how the weather is excellent! Our homes are typically quiet during the week, but there was always a family gathering on weekends, and music was everywhere.
Oh, my community is such a delightful place! I invite you to learn about it. - Flores Magon committee member
Figure 1. Presents Flores Magon’s change in income for 2020.
63% of Flores Magon participants shared that their income had decreased in 2020 - with their most significant needs being food and scholarship assistance (Corazón, 2021). “Online classes make it necessary to have a good computer. But I pay for everyday expenses and can barely pay my semester fees, so I can’t afford [a computer]”, shared one student.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reported that only 57% of students had access to a computer at the start of the pandemic and noted that many students had to share a device with other people in their household (OECD, 2020). Sharing a device meant that there was less time for students to focus on learning. Ultimately, students’ access to education is impacted by a decrease in income.
So many factors could influence a person’s mental health. For many Flores Magon participants, their mental health was affected by how well they followed COVID-19 safety. “Only those who were indispensable could go out, and even so, many [people in the country] went out to party. It made me feel like we'd last 20 years locked up and wearing masks every day”, shared one participant. One student related COVID-19 safety to their sense of security: We asked, What could have kept you from feeling hopeful last year? The student responded that “Not knowing when [I] could go out and feel safe again” affected their hopes for the year.
Participants were open to sharing their thoughts on the pandemic.
“It is a bit frustrating; I feel that last year stopped me too much. Many things are no longer possible to do, but the arrival of COVID in my house was the most difficult. I did not present symptoms, but my family did.
I don’t feel physical exhaustion, but I do feel mental exhaustion. It was hard trying to be strong and help at home while I was still in class. I am grateful that despite everything, my family is still here. Although my goals were not fulfilled in the way that I wanted (having a party when I graduated from high school, enjoying my first day at my university campus), I feel that at the end of the day, I am here, and it is good to know that.” - Flores Magon student
“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” - C. Jung
Flores Magon community members reflected on their experiences from last year. With their permission, we share some of their responses with you today.
Q: We may be afraid to feel hopeful at times, but the hope of seeing better days for ourselves or our families can be a force that helps us to continue living during difficult times. What brought you hope this year (2021), or what may be your hope?
A: That better times will come; the future will depend on today. That is why we must be strong and think about the future until that future is the present that we wanted to build.
Q: Do you feel like you learned something new about yourself this past year? Do you feel a difference between the “you” of last year compared to the “you” of right now?
A: I think that a part of me always knew that I needed help. But this year, by finding more time with myself, I understood the true importance of self-care. I know that I still have a lot to work on and that I have many fears that I must drop, but I hope to continue working on self-care more.
This concludes our 2020-21 COVID-19 Impact story on Flores Magon. In the coming weeks, we will be covering the Valle de Las Palmas community. Please look forward to our story then.
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