Melel Xojobal

Melel_Xojobal_Photo.jpgMelel Xojobal in Tzotzil, an indigenous Mayan language, means "True Light". They are a social organization founded in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico in February 1997. Melel Xojobal primarily works with indigenous populations through education, advocacy, health services, and community engagement.

During its first years, the organization focused on educational programs with children living on the street. Subsequently, their work has been transformed and expanded to contribute more effectively to the fulfillment of the rights of indigenous children, and other children and youth in situations of marginalization and social risk.

Melel Xojobal works with the indigenous children and young people of the state of Chiapas in the promotion, defense, and exercise of their rights through participatory processes for the improvement of their quality of life. They strive to be a sustainable organization with a focus on rights and gender perspective.

They work from a human rights approach that seeks to fundamentally change the conditions that exclude and marginalize indigenous children and youth. Their activities focus on the defense, exercise and promotion of five rights in various articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: health, education, protection against all forms of abuse, decent work, and freedom of expression and association. Institutionally, it has been identified that these five rights contain the main problems and situations of social exclusion of the chiapaneca indigenous children. Through examining these rights, opportunities for change and intervention become clear.

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