From Mask-Making

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Our Request

Together with some amazingly-driven and good-hearted clients, Tlayudona has organized an effort to create high-quality reusable masks to donate to local hospitals and clinics in Oaxaca, including the IMSS and the Hospital Civil. We have created a sustainable effort that will supply local medical personnel with much-needed masks.  At the same time, this project will provide living wages for several of Tlayudona´s hosts who no longer have work because of the pandemic. We ask that you donate what you can to support this effort.

The Problem Here in Oaxaca

Those of us who have spent any amount of time in Oaxaca are aware that even in the best of times, the state has been riddled with the types of complicated political strife that have historically led to a lack of necessary medical supplies in its public hospitals and clinics. Based on the Covid-19 personal protection equipment (PPE) shortages we’ve seen in other countries and on the almost daily demonstrations by Mexican hospital workers pleading for more PPE, it’s obvious to us that something must be done now to help address the need for PPE in Oaxaca before the situation becomes critical.

What We’re Doing and Where the Money Goes

One of the quickest ways that we can ease the need for PPE is to help ensure that local doctors, nurses, and other staff have access to the medical quality masks they need when treating patients.

While there is much still to be discovered about the spread of this virus, it appears that properly constructed face masks can slow the spread of infection. Part of the money you donate will be used to purchase the quality materials required to produce our masks: Two layers of tightly-woven cotton fabric; two elastic bands for fitting the mask to the face; a “nose-pinch” wire that tightens the fit; and a moisture repelling layer of plasticized cloth or melt-blown cloth. Wherever and whenever possible, we are sourcing these materials locally by buying them from local fabric stores. When we must, we will source the materials from online stores such as Modatelas online, Amazon Mexico, etc.

We have already successfully donated over 1,000 high-quality masks to the medical community.The photo above shows a prototype of the masks we are creating. We have shared these prototypes with local hospital personnel and they have met their quality requirements. Local hospitals are eager to accept our face mask donations.

Your donation funds will also be used to pay our Tlayudona hosts (the Oaxacan women in the pueblos who taught our workshops) a dignified living-wage to sew the masks. Because of Covid-19, we had to shut down our workshop experiences. This left our Oaxacan workforce with no income. Sewing masks will provide them with a primary income source and enable to them to work from home in a risk-free environment during this pandemic.

We will also plan to sell a portion of the masks to the general public. This will allow us to continue to pay our workers and to purchase additional materials in order to sustain the project throughout the duration of the crisis. All of the proceeds from the mask sales will be reintegrated into the project.

We appreciate your help, donations, communication, and support as we move forward through this unstable time. Although so much in the upcoming weeks and months is uncertain, we are sure that if we join together and work as a community, we will be better off.

Thank you!

Jennifer and the Tlayudona Team

p.s. If you are in Oaxaca and have a sewing machine that you would like to lend to this effort (it can be returned when it's no longer needed), please contact us. We currently have two machines.


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