“The Zapatista vocation, if someone pushes us to a laconic definition, is to be a good seed.” The EZLN’s communiqué, “Twelfth Part: Fragments,” which excerpts a letter from Subcomandante Insurgente Moíses to someone in a distant geography, explains the Zapatista view of their role in the world they are trying to create.
It describes “a world where difference is not persecuted, but celebrated. A world where the stories told are not those of those who win, because no one wins.” And while it is not a perfect world, it is one that bequeaths life for everyone, in all their differences.
Counter to other political proposals to impose a new world order, a hegemonic ideology, a homogenizing set of rules, for the Mayan communities in resistance, their intention is to “bequeath life.” That intention, “simpler and yet terribly more difficult,” is to fight for the most infinitesimal possibility -like a little seed- to “grow into a a tree of life that will be all of all colors, or none at all.”
This vision means that people are free to choose their path, and to take responsibility for what they choose. They elect the decisions that affect the continuation of life for the generations that follow. They decide, together, to bequeath life to the little girl 120 years from now, and her daughter, and so on.
This is a vision shared by communities in resistance (one of originary peoples) throughout Mexico and around the globe. At its foundation is an understanding of our relationship to all of life. The struggle shared by defenders of land and territory, and defenders of human rights, is for those future generations to know this precious planet. Hence, these are the consequences we must weigh as we choose our path.
As we reflect on our own path traveling alongside these communities, one which intersects and converges with other paths, we ask “How can WE be good seeds?” How does our work prepare the soil? How does our caring nurture the seedling? Are we tending the sprout of a tree of all colors? These are questions that we sit with regularly, compañer@s. And now we leave it with you.
In solidarity and rebeldía, for education and la buena semilla.
Share your story
The Zapatista struggle for life and dignity against capitalism and patriarchy has resonated in hearts and geographies across the globe. Through the National Indigenous Congress their constructions of autonomy have ignited a movement of resistance across Mexico. And their actions continu to inspire the work of good seeds around the world.
November 17th, 2023 marked 40 years since the founding of the EZLN, and the New Year the 30th anniversary since the Zapatistas became known to the world. In honor of this occasion, we ask you to share your story. We welcome stories, poetry, visual art, and photos …
We invite you to share what the movement has meant in your life, and your work!
Think of it as a love letter, but one that describes WHAT YOU DO in this struggle for life.
Abrazos rebeldes from all of us at Schools for Chiapas.
Thank you for all you do. And thank you for sharing.