Our Speakers


Sebastiana Vázquez Gómez

MANA 2019 Speaker


Sebastiana Vázquez Gómez, is an indigenous woman of 53 years old
and a native speaker of the Tseltal language of the municipality of
Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. She has been an indigenous leader for
approximately 25 years, was a member of the Women's Group of San
Cristobal de Las Casas, AC between 1994-1998, and of Advisory
Training and Assistance in Health, AC (ACAS, AC) from 1999 until 2015.
She is a traditional midwife for the past 22 years, where her first option is
the use of herbal medicine or alternative medicine for pregnancy,
delivery and after delivery.
Sebastiana became a midwife at age 34, but since 1993 has been a
promoter of maternal health, reproductive sexual health, and indigenous
women's rights where she accompanied monolingual indigenous
women, for myomas surgeries, uterine prolapses, and bladder to support
the communication between the patients and the doctor who at that time
performed the surgeries, where she was invited to observe normal
deliveries, Cesarías, Bilateral Tubal Obstruction (OTB).
Parallel to this work was also an interpreter in workshops held in the
organization with midwives in the indigenous communities of the
autonomous municipalities of Chiapas. In the course of this work she
became a midwife without really understanding what it meant to be a
midwife, the understanding of the love and patience for the arrival of
babies because she never envisions it, none the less she never helped a
family member until a family member asked for her help in delivering her
second child.
After that first delivery, others arrived, and so on, until the arrival of three
or four deliveries a week. One time she had three deliveries in one day;
that was the way to become a traditional midwife.
Sebastiana has also been a research assistant for the past 15 years in
coordination with CIESAS Sureste, a federal institution, has coordinated
different training projects for traditional and indigenous monolingual

midwives, and indigenous youth with an intercultural, gender and human
rights approach.
She participated in a research program on violence against women in
situations of social conflict with the International Committee of the Red
Cross (ICRC). She has been a fellow of the MacArthur Foundation;
Sebastiana has participated on two occasions in the Permanent Forum
of the United Nations, on indigenous issues, in it the defense of
midwifery in its different models. She has received recognition from the
"Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer Sociedad" AC (Seeds).
Sebastiana is the founder of the "House of Health of the Indigenous
Women of Chalchihutan" which is now known as CAMI, where she
coordinated different projects between August 2003 and June 2010. In
December 2014, she left the coordination of the Health Project Sexual
and Reproductive for indigenous youth in 10 municipalities of the Tseltal-
Tsotsil Highlands, which coordinated for more than nine years in the
state of Chiapas with ACAS. She is one of the founders of the
organization of indigenous women "Sakil Nichim Antsetik, AC" where
she currently coordinates a research project on "Perceptions of
Traditional Midwives on the Professionalization of Native Speakers of
Native Languages, has written several articles on the situation of
women, indigenous youth, and traditional birth attendants, has adapted
infinities of educational materials in the Tsotsil and Tseltal language on
maternal health, sexual reproductive health for indigenous youth, and of
rights of indigenous peoples. She has participated in countless
graduates, leadership workshops, women's human rights, sexual and
reproductive rights, has presented papers in different spaces in
institutions and civil organizations on the search for strategies to
implement actions in indigenous communities to improve the health of
the Population on the aforementioned issues.

All sessions by this speaker



2019-11-02 16:00:00

Traditional Skills

2019-11-04 08:30:00

Traditional Skills Workshop: Manteada y Sabada

Description TK


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