Concern America currently supports 5 field volunteers, working with 750 trained community members, serving a population of 105,000 in the state of Chiapas and Guanajuato, Mexico.

A snapshot of our work-to-date

Location: Mexican States of Chiapas and Guanajuato

Languages spoken: Spanish, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, and Tojolabal

Mexico map


Year established in Mexico


People impacted by program


Rural communities served


Students receiving community-based education in their indigenous languages


Community leaders trained in health, water, education, and income generation

About the work

Concern America’s Integrated Community Development Program to accompany indigenous Mayan communities began in the early 1980s and now benefits more than 820 communities and 105,000 people in the states of Chiapas and Guanajuato.

In Chiapas, The population, primarily made up of Mayan indigenous groups including Tzeltal, Tzotzil, and Tojolabal, have been historically marginalized, internally displaced, 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 Guanajuato, the communities around San Miguel de Allende face serious economic, health, and social challenges, with lower education levels and increased rates of illnesses compared to Mexico’s national averages. Poverty-level incomes, lack of potable water, and diets of processed foods further exacerbate health in the region. Additionally, high levels of migration have left many towns to be largely made up of women and children.

  • Community-led health care
  • Appropriate technologies in water, stoves, and sanitation
  • Community-created curriculum and schools led by education promoters
  • Supporting artisan cooperatives

We train and accompany health promoter practitioners and midwives who provide vital health care services where none exist.

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 educational materials for the 4,500 students.

Mexico Program Highlight

Clean Water

Working in remote regions, Concern America’s teams not only help provide clean water through filters and water systems, but they also train community water committees which provide local maintenance and assistance to families.

“In the communities, there are people from various political parties, ideologies, etc., often causing serious divisions, but when they gather together around a common need, especially something as essential as water, they begin to look past that. Their shared need becomes a shared goal.”

-Concern America Field Team Member

Washington Post

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