The Best of Both: Preserving Traditions and Protecting Tomorrows

By Baker Johnson

The village of Xocoyolo, Mexico sits off the main highway that cuts through the lush, green mountains of the state of Puebla. The cobblestone streets are flanked by humble, though developing dwellings. Intermittent downpours transform streets into temporary waterways that flow into nearby streams churning up white water and creating stunning waterfalls.

     

Self-reliance has been a way of life here for generations. It’s a trend that is shifting to make room for modern ways of life, but many still aim to preserve the legacy of respect for tradition and knowledge handed down by elders.


Anareli, a mother of two, sits at this nexus of old and new. Her family lives in a home shared with her mother, Alejandra, and grandmother, Mamana – four generations of women all under one roof. Anareli is who she is today, in part because of the lessons and skills she has learned from her family members. Yet, she also understands that change is part of life and takes steps to keep up with the times.  


One constant, no matter the era, is the desire of each parent to have their children be healthy and to finish school. Anareli is no different. To ensure her daughters, 5-year-old Stephanie and 3-month-old Nancy, have the best possible start to life, Anareli diligently ensures that her children attend the free community health clinics. Stephanie has been receiving deworming tablets and vitamin A for two years now, while Nancy benefitted from the prenatal multivitamins available to her mom.

The benefit of these modern offerings is evident to Anareli. The dedicated mother rests a bit easier knowing that her children are protected from illness and infection. She remarked on the notable difference in Stephanie's health, energy, and appetite. Watching her daughter cook with her grandmother, and play dolls with her cousins, brings her great joy. Anareli dreams that her playful and smart daughter has a bright future ahead and that with continued good health, she can fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher—passing on knowledge to yet another generation.

                                              

 

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