The different forms of work are initially linked to handicrafts in the form of pottery, textiles, carpentry and bone carving on a very small scale, especially in the case of men who migrate to other cities or provinces in search for jobs such as the collection of cotton, potatoes etc., whilst taking into account that it is only for short stays.
These are not even close to the living wage for a family, since they are still below the indices that were established as indices of emergency or indigence.
In most cases, indigenous ethnic groups or peoples have been removed and displaced, their lands – inherited several centuries before from their ancestors – being expropriated. At present, only a few ethnic groups have obtained, after much struggle and claim of rights, some few hectares that turn out to be insufficient for their development. The recovery of their lands is always an outstanding and pending matter.
Social inclusion will depend mainly on the economic model and on the different strategies that our leaders (national and provincial) will put into practice for their integration.
After some of the aforementioned information, we assure its future will be completely linked to the development of palpable rights for indigenous people to be treated as human beings like the rest of us.
We would love to transmit other information – with regard to what the children want to experience at present – since we have been able to witness this over a long time working in and with various indigenous communities.
The national and international economy and its effects still directly and profoundly affect indigenous children, resulting in a lack of food in many communities almost daily; week after week, month after month and year after year.
The rates of malnutrition and mortality in Argentina are very high; on average, five indigenous children die per day. In addition, we encounter diseases that are not treated for lack of care, in some areas more than in others.
Furthermore, racism is still latent and sadly it can be felt. This applies to many of the communities and I especially put the emphasis on the children, who suffer of the lack of acceptance simply for being indigenous. Many of them fall into a situation of pain and renounce their own origins without being able to fully integrate into the current culture of Argentina. This leads them without identity, because for many of the natives, being indigenous means being marginalized, despised, deprived and humiliated since the present society does not act very differently from what our predecessors did – the Spanish conquerors – in the times where they colonized the indigenous peoples.
Their history as a community still reverberates in the memories of the elderly: such as the famous Conquests of the Desert and the multitudinous massacres to their ancestors. I have had the opportunity to discover some of the places where some of the biggest graves are, where hundreds of thousands of Indians were assassinated and buried. They have been waiting for the day in which their people are granted their rights, which they could not enjoy, but could be granted to the present descendants: the indigenous children of this present.
Socio Economic Situation
In most communities, the economy is deeply linked to their culture. As in the case of many ethnic groups, the economy depends on hunting, fishing and harvesting. In recent times these areas have been severely impacted and the areas, where they knew how to carry out these activities, have been cleared, thus preventing any possibility of hunting, fishing or gathering. In some activities in particular they depend on craftwork made of pottery, weaving, wool and other materials.