Inés Vázquez lives in the community of El Junco, San Francisco Rincón, Guanajuato. She is a homemaker, although she does not have a home of her own. She is a tireless dreamer who sometimes struggles to get her daily bread.

She is subdelegate of the community where she resides and helps pass on important messages by word of mouth, such as pet vaccination campaigns or the arrival of a puppet workshop that teaches about water.

When the Tiliches del Baúl team arrived in the community of El Junco, they met a different Inés, who was far from remembering her passion for life. Dispirited, she would often comment on her desire to give up on life.

Tiliches del Baúl reached out to the community with the Dramática Creativa workshop held in one of the church courtyards. Women and children came to the sessions and learned how to make a puppet from scratch. While learning how to give it features, skin color and a costume, they decided on the story to be presented. The focus of the story was water.

In the community of El Junco, the focus of the workshops given as part of the Guanajuato Project of the Lazos de Agua Program allowed the community to learn about the history of a spring that is very important for the subsistence of the residents.

Thus, through puppets, the participating women invited people to continue drinking this water but implementing a key health behavior: boiling or chlorinating it before consumption.

Inés’ son, who also participated in the workshops, clearly identifies the main allies of the story: water and soap.

Session after session, Inés changed her outlook on life, to the point of planning her day around fulfilling all her obligations as a homemaker, a mother, and an apprentice in the art of puppetry. In addition to dancing together, Inés and her son now have one more activity in common: being puppeteers in their community.

Leader Inés Vázquez during a puppet show performance in her community.

Music is an essential part of Inés' daily life. She ardently sings to the virgin and one of her friends and teammate in the theater calls her "Saint Inés" because among her many virtues, she records videos of what happens in the community: from the patron saint festivities to the floods due to the recent rains. With her videos she shows the waterfalls that are formed on the way to the mountains that surround the community.

With pride, "Saint Inés" acknowledges that she is a very important ally of the members of San Francisco del Rincón's potable water system, since whenever there is a leak, she documents it through videos and photographs and reports it so that it can be addressed immediately. She is no longer the dispirited woman who came to the sessions of Dramática Creativa, but a truer version of herself, committed to the welfare of her community.

Another of Inés' virtues is her selfless kindness that allows her to take care of her children, her home, work making accessories for the charro hats and continue learning, understanding, and appreciating the art that surrounds her: from nature to the beauty of her dreams.

What is the Guanajuato Project's Dramática Creativa workshop?

The aim of One Drop Foundation's Social Art for Behaviour Change (SABC) workshops is to inspire the community to change something (e.g., paying the water bill). The intention is to help them learn; to encourage them to change by taking action (we co-create with them the solutions to the situation that calls for change) and then to sustain that change with the behavior that responds to the situation (in the case of paying their bills, they make this behavior last with all the members of the community, so that the water and sanitation services can last over time and be sustainable from the community itself).

This workshop, delivered by the performing group Tiliches del Baúl, is part of the SABC interventions of the Activate stage in the behavioral change process of the communities participating in the Guanajuato project of the Lazos de Agua Program in Mexico. 

There, stories about water and local culture are co-created with the community, intermingling factors of behavior that people are expected to adopt. Participants build puppets from scratch, giving them a personality, defining physical features, and making their costumes. At the end of the workshop, the community receives a puppet stage and the audio track of the play, which allows any participant to play several roles, without running the risk of forgetting the script.

Among the commitments assumed by the participants are to keep and care for the puppets, and to carry out a certain number of play performances; they are usually presented at local festivities or school events.

Read more about the Guanajuato Project and the One DropTM Foundation's SABC approach.

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