Weaving the Recovery – Indigenous Women in Tourism

Weaving the Recovery – Indigenous Women in Tourism

Selected as one of the ten most promising projects of the
Paris Peace Forum 2020

Paris Peace Forum

Project Evolution

The Paris Peace Forum has been instrumental throughout 2021 in reaching out to key UN, diplomatic, human rights and sustainable textile partners. The tourism industry committed to in-kind donations to facilitate exhibit spaces, meeting rooms, lodging, value chain inclusion, itineraries and training. NGO partners received legal counseling on donors and civil society operating systems, making them more resilient.

A major technological partner is about to deliver an intro training on e-commerce and digital marketing, targeting indigenous women in Chiapas and Vera Cruz.

Thanks to the coordinated efforts between the French Embassy in Mexico, the PPF team and UNWTO, French companies operating in Mexico secured a private donation of tablets for the Indigenous women of Chiapas, aimed at facilitating their access to the vital training and e-commerce to sell their products.

H.E. Mr. Jean-Pierre Asvazadourian, the Ambassador of France, met in July 2021, with a group of master weavers at the premises of the key project partner - NGO IMPACTO, during his official visit to hand over 26 tablets to the women leaders.

The tourism sector and Indigenous women are still severely hit by the COVID-19 impacts which disrupted tourism operations worldwide, philantropy actions and also the overall project management. The original project scope had to be reduced to the Mexico pilot for 2021 (Chiapas and Vera Cruz), awaiting its replication in other LATAM countries for 2022, depending on the pandemic developments.

Weaving the Recovery - Indigenous Women in Tourism, has been selected by the Paris Peace Forum 2020, as one of the ten most promising global initiatives, out of 800 presented projects, to tackle the current governance challenges.

COVID-19 reduced revenues and increased the housework for Indigenous Women, exposing their lack of access to essential services and markets to sell their products.

UNWTO joined hands with the NGO IMPACTO, Centro de las Artes Indigenes (CAI), and the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA), to ensure Indigenous Women benefit from the tourism recovery. This project tackles the systemic inequalities faced by Indigenous Women in Latin America, by weaving an entrepreneurial fabric tailored to the post-COVID era. It focuses on transmitting the traditional artisan knowledge and providing skills for women to access markets within the tourism industry value chain and fair trade.

The project aspires to promote women leaders in the tourism recovery through entrepreneurship. This development methodology starts with a training toolkit piloted in Mexico, with a high global replication potential.

Women of Altos de Chiapas, Mexico ©IMPACTO

Women of Altos de Chiapas, Mexico ©IMPACTO


"Indigenous women require our support  to achieve equality and their rights,  making them the frontrunners of the  changes affecting their personal lives and  their communities' livelihoods."

Karla Aguerrebere,

"Today more than ever before, in the post-COVID era, this project can improve the lives of indigenous women and their communities by safeguarding their living heritage, strengthening their identity and creating new economic opportunities"

Salomon Bazbaz,
Founder, Centro de las Artes Indigenas (CAI)

Cotton house in the Totonaca community, Mexico ©Centro de las Artes Indígenas

Cotton house -Totonaca Community, Mexico ©CAI

For more information on the project, please contact [email protected]

Weaving the Recovery – Indigenous Women in Tourism


Related resources:

Recommendations on Indigenous Tourism

indigenous entrepreneurs and advocates

Pitch of the project at the Paris Peace Forum