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Project August 16, 2018

The Mazahua and Mexico's Water Crisis

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Margarita Reyes takes a break after finishing her typical water gathering routine, which requires her to haul a large pump down to a nearby river. Reyes has lived on the same property her entire life and has watched the Cutzamala System invade her community. She has never had running water in her home despite the proximity of the system. Image by Meg Vatterott. Mexico, 2018.
Margarita Reyes takes a break after finishing her typical water gathering routine, which requires her to haul a large pump down to a nearby river. Reyes has lived on the same property her entire life and has watched the Cutzamala System invade her community. She has never had running water in her home despite the proximity of the system. Image by Meg Vatterott. Mexico, 2018.

Water is one of the most basic human needs, yet too many Mexico City citizens cannot rely on their tap each day. The problem is only getting worse. While most media coverage focuses on the city residents and political conflict, the impact on the nearby indigenous communities is too often ignored.

Mexico City imports its water through uphill pipes that are deteriorating, and this infrastructure is failing to support the needs of its 20-million-person population. "Always short of water, Mexico City keeps drilling deeper for more, weakening the ancient clay lake beds on which the Aztecs first built much of the city, causing it to crumble even further," The New York Times reported.

As the lack of water contributes to growing social and political conflict in the city, miles away the Mazahua indigenous community live among the water source and also face consequences of the crisis. The Mazahua Frente, an activist group, are demanding more resources for the Mazahua people. In 2004, a group of women from the Frente even shut down part of a water sanitation plant in protest. Today, the Frente's fight continues.
 

In this project Meg Vatterott attempts to show how climate change disrupts a vulnerable community's access to water.

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