VENTURA, Calif. – The 2016 Mixteco Indigenous Knowledge Conference will take place on April 29 at the Oxnard College Performing Arts Building from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The purpose of the conference is to learn more about the approximately 25,000 Mixteco immigrants currently living in Ventura County and how to build partnerships with this unique community.
Many of the field workers in Ventura County are of Mixteco origin but they are disenfranchised or marginalized because, although they come from Mexico, many of them do not speak Spanish. They have their own language and customs. The conference is designed to help bridge those gaps and assist in bringing the Mixtecs into all that Ventura County has to offer.
The County of Ventura currently provides many services to the Mixteco community, most notably health care, due to their unusual circumstances. The families also face challenges with education and employer relations.
The Mixteco community has a rich history in Oaxaca, Mexico, but many face poverty there, so they come to California and Ventura County to find a better way of life. In Oaxaca, ancestral farmlands in the Mixteca region have been damaged by soil erosion leading large numbers of Mixtecs to travel to in search of work. But, when they arrive in Ventura County, they are isolated both culturally and by their language. The Indigenous Knowledge Conference will explore ways to relieve that isolation.
Conference workshops include:
- Ventura county Farmworker Bill of rights
- Empowering Survivors to Lead the Community in Overcoming Family Violence
- President Obama’s Immigration Reform
- Indigenous Languages, History and Practices
- Legal Rights, Responsibilities for Interpretation
- Women’s Health Programs Bridging Traditional and Western Medicine