Home Headlines Felipa Poot Tzuc recognized as a fighter for Mayan women’s rights

Felipa Poot Tzuc recognized as a fighter for Mayan women’s rights

by Magali Alvarez
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Initiative presented to name the Wall of Honor of the Yucatan Congress after her

MÉRIDA, Yucatan – The Congress of Yucatan will recognize a Yucatecan woman who fought for the human rights of the women and workers of Kinchil, as the initiative was presented for the Wall of Honor of the Legislative Branch to bear the name of Felipa Poot Tzuc.

The story of this Yucatecan who lived at the beginning of the last century is inspiring for this International Women’s Day, because despite being repressed, abused and even murdered, her legacy and struggle have never lost strength, due to the transcendence of her work with the underprivileged, especially women.

Felipa Poot Tzuc was born in the municipality of Kinchil, on January 14, 1903, to indigenous parents who worked in a hacienda called Santa María.

Living in poverty and in fear of losing her life to the large landowners of the time forged her spirit to not remain silent, nor to lose her life’s desires, because from a very young age she was able to see the problems that the indigenous people lived daily without having any way to defend themselves.

Felipa Poot Tzuc (Photo: Sipse)

Felipa Poot Tzuc, from a very young age learned Spanish in a rural school, she distinguished herself from other Mayan-speaking women by being able to read and write in two languages.

She was assaulted
Her youth was not exempt of difficulties, because in those times, being a woman and indigenous represented an even more difficult problem, so much so that, at the beginning of her youth, Felipa Poot Tzuc was raped by the foreman of the hacienda; that tragedy, far from ending her ideals, made her stronger and gave her courage to continue studying and educating herself in the philosophy of the new century.

Felipa Poot Tzuc, carried out several actions to dignify women, girls and put the human being as the center of governance; she was a tenacious promoter of cooperatives and unions of coal miners as Kinchil was a rich region in the exploitation and production of this activity.

It is said that Felipa Poot Tzuc, with the help of just a dozen indigenous men and women, initiated a literacy program for adults.

History tells us that her actions in favor of women’s freedom from economic power made her become the President of the feminist league “Rita Cetina Gutiérrez”, which represented a great highlight in her short but unparalleled patriotic life for Yucatán and her hometown.

Felipa Poot Tzuc showed great courage and bravery in the face of the governor of that time, Fernando López Castro, who in the end is remembered for his acts of authoritarianism and who has earned the oblivion of history; not like Felipa Poot Tzuc, whose voice was extinguished by gunfire, but never her spirit that still continues to drive that fire for the idea of freedom of the Mayan people and their women.

Photo: Sipse

Her life was taken from her on March 28, 1936 for defending women, for aspiring to better conditions for the Mayan people.

This year, 2023, was the 120th anniversary of her birth, and as every year in Kinchil, hundreds of women and men, boys and girls, teachers celebrate and remember her life and work, as well as the legacy she left to the people of Kinchil and the state of Yucatán.

Felipa Poot Tzuc’s actions have been studied and made a standard for the rights of Maya women.

Recognized in Kinchil
In Kinchil there is a library and a school that bears her name, and on the day of her birthday, a heartfelt and profound tribute is paid to her memory.

For this reason, the 63rd legislature, formed for the first time with a majority of women, recognizes what Felipa Poot Tzuc did because thanks to her first steps towards feminism, Yucatecan women have a voice.

It is for all of the above that Congresswoman Fabiola Loeza Novelo, presented the initiative by which the name of Felipa Poot Tzuc is inscribed in golden letters on the Wall of Honor of the State Congress for having been a historic woman in the defense of the human rights of women and men of the Maya people.

TYT Newsroom

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