MICOP’s annual event benefiting the Tequio Scholarship Fund hosted 120 supporters of indigenous youth in April 2019 and brought in over $28,000 for scholarships to local Mixteco/Indigenous students seeking to begin or continue their higher education. These funds supported 29 scholars in their academic pursuits at 2 local community colleges, 4 California State Universities, 2 University of California campuses, and 2 local private colleges. Your continued support to indigenous youth helps make their higher education goals a reality.
Night in Oaxaca
Our flagship annual fundraiser was held once again at the beautiful historic Olivas Adobe in Ventura on August 16, 2019. We enjoyed an additional hour of refreshments and entertainment provided by Flor Bonita youth dance group and renown artist Juan D. Mendoza, and were delighted with the traditional dances from Chinas Oaxaquenas las Isabeles and crowd favorites Diablos Elegidos de Asis during the program hours. With your support, MICOP raised $53,000 in general operating support!
MICOP brought the Guelaguetza to Ventura County this summer! With over 1000 attendees from the indigenous community and the general public, the day-long event served to create a space for community celebration with friends and allies of Ventura County. Meaning ‘offering’ in the Zapoteco language of indigenous Oaxacans, Guelaguetza is a word that far exceeds the notions of regalia and festivities. In traditional Oaxacan villages, each person’s ‘offering’ is what makes the celebration happen. With the contribution by each community member of the necessary items, be it food or decoration, the reciprocal exchange of goods support cooperative participation and reinforces social ties. This event predates Hispanic influence and MICOP’s Guelaguetza included parades dances by Ballet Folklorico Nueva Antequera, Grupo Folklorico Huaxyaca, Diablos Elejidos de Asis, Rubios Agua Azul, and Las Chinas Oaxaqueñas Las Isabeles, the music of Maqueos Music, Banda Atoyac and Banda Corona, food from local vendors El Fortin Restaurant, Tatianas Restaurant, Tlacolula Restaurant, and artisanal crafts rom Artesanias Aztlan, Artesanias Mexicana, Del Rio Discount Store and others.
Indigenous Knowledge Conference
The 2019 Indigenous Knowledge Conference MICOP was held at the Oxnard College in April and was themed Perspectives on Indigenous Mental Health and the Art of Healing. MICOP held three sessions of workshops that presented and explored the perspective of mental health in various indigenous communities throughout the region and explored with program participants the art of healing through narrative, visual and artistic expression. This year we also held a youth track of sessions that explored these same issues with local Oxnard indigenous youth, empowering them to connect them to their indigenous identity. Napa-based Xulio Soriano, a Two-Spirit indigenous grassroots community organizer and poet that was born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico in his early childhood, was our keynote speaker. His work promotes healing through spoken word and the reconnection to indigenous roots.