Concern America's Integrated Community Development Program to Accompany Indigenous Mayan Communities in Chiapas, Mexico began in the early 1980s and now benefits more than 800 communities and 70,000 people in the state of Chiapas. The population, primarily made up of Mayan indigenous groups including Tzeltal, Tzotzil, and Tojolabal, have been historically marginalized, internally displaced and neglected, and have long been targets of oppression and exploitation; however, the region has also seen the evolution of a strong grassroots struggle for indigenous self-preservation, strengthening of cultural identity, political, social, and economic justice, and the creation of autonomous communities.
In addition to providing health training and accompaniment to Health Promoter Practioners and Midwives who provide vital health care services, Concern America also trains Veternary Health Promoters in the region.
Concern America accompanies the community-based education commissions that run a local school system in 300 villages in their indigenous languages. A key role of Concern America is the design and creation of education materials for the 3,000+ students.
Appropriate technology projects in the region include working with local community members to develop clean water systems and fuel-efficient stoves.
Concern America also accompanies and purchases items from weaving cooperatives and other community-based income generation efforts.