Women of Yucatán

Thirty Who Dare to Change Their World

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About the Book

In the strongly patriarchal society of the Mexican state of Yucatán, it’s not surprising that few women have dared to challenge the gender inequalities set against them at birth. They live in an environment where rape can be forgotten as a crime if the victim agrees to marry her aggressor and where negative pregnancy tests are often a prerequisite for employment in the maquiladora factories. This book profiles 30 women who have dared to challenge such injustices and dramatically transform their situations. From local theatre directors and choreographers to civic leaders and politicians, each woman formed a unique leadership of circumstance dependent largely on the context of her personal experiences. The profiles, based on personal interviews and supplemented by photographs, describe the women’s accomplishments and motivations as well as the obstacles they have confronted.

About the Author(s)

George Ann Huck has spent more than 35 years directing the Central College study program and teaching culture and literature in Merida, Yucatan. She is professor emerita, Central College, Pella, Iowa. She lives in Merida and remains involved in the struggle of Yucatecan women.

Jann E. Freed is a professor of business management and the Mark and Kay De Cook Endowed Chair in Leadership and Character Development at Central College, Pella, Iowa.

Bibliographic Details

George Ann Huck and Jann E. Freed

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 260
Bibliographic Info: 29 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4526-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5810-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix
Preface      1
Introduction—Yucatecan Women Breaking Out of the Box      9

1—THE VOICES IN WOMEN OF YUCATÁN      13

2—BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT STAND IT      16
Aurea Castillo Vela, Watching, Hawking for a Way Out      16
Betti Celis, To the Chase … Against Really Big Windmills      23
Sabina Couoh, Over the Fence and Not Looking Back      28
Abigail Huc, Making the Earth Shake      33
Margarita Cavajal Flores and Rita Poot Alcocer, Under the Tamarind Tree      40
Blanca Ayala Tuyub, Rebels in the Choir Loft      47
Cristobalino Téllez Navarro, Bringing in the Sheep      52

3—GOING WHERE WOMEN NEVER DARED …      59
Nancy Rocha Reyes, Smell of the Stage      60
Isabel Pérez Ortega, Hope on Two Wheels, Sometimes Four      66
Graciela Torres, A Fish, a Stone, a Door, or a Dance      73
Blanca González Rodríguez, To Dream a Museum      81
María Luisa Rojas, Pushing Boulders and Raising a Ruckus      88
Lourdes Cabrera Ruiz and Svetlana Larroche, The Lily and the Sword      96

4—DARING TO DO IT BETTER      103
Amanda Baquedano, A Kilo of Frijol      103
Dulce María Sauri, A Woman Who Knows Latin      110
Ana Rosa Payán, Learning to Speak in Public      120
Blanca Estrada, Oh, Sweet Promises of Rebellion      128
Rita Novelo, One Kerosene Lamp and 72 Light Posts      135
Margarita de la Luz Tec Barrera, Seguir Adelante … To Move Ahead      143

5—DARING TO STAND FOR JUSTICE      151
Patricia McCarty Cabellero, Echoes from across the Mountains      152
Cristina Muñoz and Nancy Walker, Chasing Justice by Leaps and Bounds      159
Sandra Peniche, Maybe Actions Speak Louder than Words, but Words Linger      170
Marisol Vargas, On My Honor I Will Try      178
Sor Beatriz Laviada, Slippery Like Soap      185
Ofelia Medina, Just One of the Crowd      191
Milagros Herrero, Making Miracles with the Devil on Your Back      198
Irma Yolanda Dzul, Play the Music, Do the Dance      206

6—LISTENING TO MANY VOICES      216

7—CONTINUING THE JOURNEY      232

Conclusion      235
Epilogue      237
Bibliography      241
Index      243