Part 2: What is Mano Vuelta?

Maria Suarez Toro
Posted May 17, 2020 from Costa Rica
Logo of the Campaign
98 year old Irma with Mano Vuelta activist and radio producer, Leda Villa
98 year old Irma with Mano Vuelta activist and radio producer, Leda Villa : Irma raised six kids making tamales and now that all of there children lost their jobs in tourism, she is making tamales with them as a survival strategy after receiving the support of the Mano Vuelta "sistering". (1/2)

“Mano Vuelta” pays homage to an ancestral ritual of the Bribri culture, which takes place when a person has given much to their community, and they lose their partner or a member of the family with whom they have cultivated their land. The community organizes help this person with their work, in spite of their loss. Mano Vuelta is a concept symbolizing that in order to give, you turn the palm of your hand downwards to hold what you are giving. But in order to receive, when you need help, you turn your empty hand upwards.

In this current campaign, with each of the families, we look at their productive activities in the past - or more recently in tourism - and evaluate what they need to regenerate these activities in today’s context with the coronavirus. 

This context suggests that the reactivation of tourism might take longer than the health emergency in Costa Rica. In formal documents, the Mano Vuelta initiative declared: “The second largest problem, after the morbidity and mortality caused by a combination of COVID19 and other chronic diseases from which humans suffer, is the effect of globalization on the world’s social mobility, and due to that the impact of the virus has travelled by the principal means of transport in the world.” In this document, we recognize that localized attention by nation states through closure of borders and global means of transport, will take longer to reactivate after the health crisis is over. In particular, this includes international mobility, which will vary with different impacts of the virus from country to country.

Based on this statement, the strategy of donations due to the emergency includes an evaluation - family by family - of the ancestral cultural activities that have allowed these families to develop complementary ways of living during different times of their lives in the Southern Caribbean, before and after the tourism boom. 

“Although the persistent myth is that today in the Southern Caribbean everyone lives off tourism, but this campaign is contributing to show that historically, the people of Talamanca have managed through difficult times by many different means, to live in a family economy or, in the case of the indigenous population, in a tribal economy," declared the founders of the initiative, the [email protected] del Mar and their collaborators.

 

 

Comments 10

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Chi8629
May 17
May 17

Thank you for sharing.

Jill Langhus
May 18
May 18

Hi Maria,

Thanks for telling us more about this initiative. It sounds like a great idea, and system. I think southern Spain will suffer from long terms effects of lack of tourism, too, unfortunately, but we shall see. Do you think the 10 families that you're helping will return to tourism jobs after COVID or do you think they will start new jobs/enterprises/organizations?

Maria Suarez Toro
May 19
May 19

They will probably combine! growing food is a must ... or we have not learned anything from the Emergency.

Jill Langhus
May 20
May 20

Oh, okay. I think so, too, on more people growing food. It's necessary anyway, since people's health is suffering from eating so much junk.

Anita Shrestha
May 18
May 18

Thank you for sharing

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi

Hi Maria,
How are you doing. Thank you so much for sharing. It is sad that these families are affected by this terrible pandemic. We pray that the tourism sector will pick fast all over the world.
Stay blessed and take care of yourself during this time.

Maria Suarez Toro
May 19
May 19

thank you

iam_mrsfletcher
Jun 01
Jun 01

Thank you for sharing. First time I'm hearing about this but it sounds like a lovely initiative. My country is also deeply affected by the lock down and halt of the tourism sector. Praying that we can all return to some level of normalcy very soon. Stay safe.

otahelp
Aug 06
Aug 06

Walsh Maria Nice Reading About tourism and it relates to your culture especially as to the effects of COVID 19 on livelihoods. Thank you for sharing. Trust you are staying safe

Ellie E.
Aug 07
Aug 07

Thank you for sharing!