Azur Indian Music Project

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San Jose, San Jose, Costa Rica
Welcome to our music for development space where we will try to keep our friends updated on Azur Indian's latests. We also hope to engage actively with other musicians and anyone who is interested in development issues in general to hopefully reach higher grounds. So please, post your comments and share your thoughts with us! Azur Indian(アズール・インディアン)のブログへようこそ!このページでは私たちの活動をご紹介していくほか、音楽に興味がある方、国際協力・開発に興味がある方との交流の場を作っていければと考えています。みなさんの思いやコメントをこの場でぜひ共有してください!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Internship 2: The target indigenous reserve "Quitirrisi"

My research area is the Quitirrisi reserve in Canton de Mora. 

I belong to el Cantonal Centre de Cultura de Mora (CCC) to do this research and internship since it is located in the same canton as the Quitirrisi reserve and the organisation includes indigenous culture and music in their project as well.
As the map below shows, there are 22 indigenous reserves in Costa Rica. And the reserve Quitirrisi is located near the capital San Jose (see No. 3). 

(From Horizontes Nature Tour Costa Rica

The name of the reserve: Quitirrisi
The name of the target group: Huetar   
Main Industry: Handicrafts with local plants.
Language: Spanish.
Land: 2,000 hectares in Canton de Mora, San José Province, central region was given in  1976.
People: mostly Huetar people together with other immigrants (also in neaby big city Puriscal). 400 children and young people, going to local-only school, foodball in mud land.
-Unemployment due to no industry around there. 
-Poor land to cultivate as well. 
-Many people migrate to the city to have stable life. Aside from that, many people travel to San Jose to work. 
-To maintain an oral history and pass the traditions of their indigenous ancestors to the new generations.
-Lands are not well constructed, for example landlides occurred in 2010.
Key People: community leaders and teachers in the community working hard to educate the children of Quitirrisí to respect and preserve their cultural traditions.

Quitirrisí is a rural community located in Canton de Mora, San José Province, central region. Its name comes from two well-known trees in the area; Quitirrí, that blooms once a year in the mountains of this community, and Risi, equally common in the local flora.

In this region, 1,500 different groups settled with various socio-cultural features, some are farmers and others are recognised as the descendants of indigenous or native peoples. Especially the huetares, one of the indigenous groups established in the region long before the arrival and the process of conquest by Spain.

Quitirrisí is legally recognized by the Costa Rican government as an indigenous territory, where a group of people claiming that their origin is Huetar. The main and their traditional industry is making handicrafts with local plants. The indigenous language was left to speak for two centuries, the result of the process of Western domination; particularly, the Spanish conquest, which used a variety of mechanisms to disrupt and fragment the world of Huetar culture.

Today, it is recognised that the effort of some of its inhabitants reclaiming the roots of their culture as Huetar; obviously, it seeks for coexistance with patterns and elements of Western society in Costa Rica. In some mountains, plants and animals keep names linked to the Huetar language still such as names of ancient chieftains.      

1976 is remembered as a turning point because the indigenous territory was created by the government. It was then the territory of 2,000 hectares was assigned to the people of this cultural group. But the land was actually deforested and eroded.

Although this area has been exclusively for use of indigenous peoples, it is also inhabited by immigrants from other regions of central Mexico. Especially in the canton of Mora and Puriscal, those immigrants have a strong presence in central rural culture of Costa Rica. Regarding the minority population, it is estimated that about 400 children and young people that live in this community, scattered in different neighborhoods distant from each other. They congregate especially near "local-only" school. For school-age population, they practice football in a "mud pasture".

Quitirrisí is a humble community but the large number of population are facing being poor, since there is no opportunities for being employed in the area. The poor condition of the land prevents from having sustainable agricultural for those people. A little care with the social policies conducted by the government could offer real alternatives for local growth. The current situation unless it changes, a high instability for the people will last and at the end that promotes those people to migrate to the city or at least commute every day to work from distant and unstable area of indigenous people.