Mexico is living in crisis. The country is exhausted by the corruption and impunity which reaches every corner of society. It is tired of the inequality, the violence, the injustice, and the dispossession. In a small town in the semidesert of Hidalgo, a group of men and women of Ñañú origin are setting an example of rural community development – a cooperative rural development that protects natural resources, cares for traditions and respects people.
The cooperative is key to their success. As heirs of the agrarian reform of the thirties, they have shown that the ejido remains a possible means for the development of rural communities, through cooperativism. Their secret lies in the ejido cooperative which was formed by their grandparents.
Set in a spectacular box canyon where a thermal river gushes from the side of a mountain, the Tolantongo cooperative has built a popular resort by their own efforts. Members of the cooperative share in the profits from their labor and alternate jobs in a democratic egalitarian community. Their story reveals that organized people can be the creators of their own destiny. There is much to learn from this model of a local community economy through cooperativism that respects nature, people and traditions.
This inspiring film was made by Atahualpa Caldera Sosa, a member of the Board of the Center for Global Justice, biologist and watershed management expert. Ata received his degree in Biology from the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Morelos (UAEM) and a Masters Degree in Watershed Management at the Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro (UAQ). He was co-producer of the award-winning documentary “13 Pueblos: en defensa del agua, el aire, a la tierra” directed by Francesco Taboada Tabone. He lives near San Miguel where his non-profit organization, GAIA, offers workshops on sustainable living on the land.