Marching for the #WomensWave in San Carlos

In solidarity with the #WomensWave Global Anniversary last month, women and allies in San Carlos marched to #EndViolenceAgainstWomen. This gathering became the platform for the launch of Guaymas Violence Prevention Program. Lynn Cannon, the coordinator of the second annual Women’s March San Carlos, has shared with us details from the event which aimed to increase awareness and provide funds, to help women who have or are experiencing domestic violence.

Our March this year focused on Ending Violence Against Women. Our focus on this issue continued from the 2018 International Women’s Day luncheon in San Carlos, which centered around the violence faced by women in Mexico. Following this luncheon, we contacted prevention specialists to find ways to combat this issue. We connected with Elsa Cristina Castaneda Arce, Director of Prevention Services at DIF, the Subproguraduria De La Defensa Del Menor y La Familia. More than 42 representatives of various municipalities in Sonora, Mexico, including Cristina Arce, gathered with a professional consulting firm last year and formulated programs to combat violence against women and femicide. When we planned the Women’s March this year we were introduced to the innovative and comprehensive Violence Prevention Program for the municipality of Guaymas and our march became the event for its launch.

The Women’s March San Carlos featured the Mayor of Guaymas (San Carlos is a suburb of Guaymas), the President of DIF, the Attorney who oversees domestic and child violence cases, and Cristina, the Director of Prevention Services who is overseeing the implementation and quality control of the prevention strategies. Before we marched, we held a presentation which emphasised the enormity of the problem and outlined the program goals. The Mayor led the March, which signaled to those attending that this is supported at the highest levels. Incredibly, Mexico has very specific and well-written policies and laws regarding violence against women, but the implementation and money for programs is sorely lacking. Our March raised $500 that we donated to the Violence Prevention Program; The funds will be used to produce flyers, billboards, a video for social media and a press conference as well as their own march through downtown Guaymas on March 8th for International Women’s Day.

Following the march, we have stayed connected to program directors and will be attending their promotional event. For the future, we are exploring the possibility of forming a Foundation here in Mexico to enable local businesses to sponsor events that can raise money to continue to provide funds for the prevention program. Mexican women from the local governmental institutions and nonprofit groups will work hand-in-hand with the winter visitors to create a coalition for continued efforts to reduce domestic violence. Additionally, I hope to form a nonprofit organisation, that provides tax deductions for the U.S. contributors. The expat community in San Carlos is very generous, so we hope to provide this incentive for them to help even more in our fundraising efforts. In the long term, we want to work towards implementing educational programs in schools.

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Maya Hendler is an Intern at Women’s March Global.