The municipality of Tlacoachistlahuaca (Tlacos), is located in the Costa Chica region of Guerrero state, in south-western Mexico. It borders with the state of Oaxaca and with Xochis, Ometepec (seat of the region’s public health headquarters), and other municipalities in Guerrero. According to the 2005 nationwide census, Tlacos had a population of 18,055, 56% of whom were Na savi, 29% Nancue Ñomndaa (Amuzgo) and 14% Mestizo.
Like Xochis, Tlacos is characterized by near-subsistence agricultural economy; high levels of poverty and illiteracy; poor health indicators; uneven access to health services, particularly in remote villages; and tensions between traditional health practices and the demands of government health policies and programs.
Since 1986, CIET has done research in Tlacos on a range of public health concerns, including tuberculosis and intestinal parasites. We also put in place an intervention to reduce malnutrition in children 0-3 years of age.
We carried out the baseline and follow-up surveys of our Safe Birth in Cultural Safety study both in Xochis and Tlacos. The first-wave intervention only took place in randomly selected sites in Xochis, and we compared the results with control sites in both Xochis and Tlacos. Based on the results of our pilot study, we plan to implement a second-wave intervention also in Tlacos. Our ultimate goal is to demonstrate the potential of our intervention for replication among other indigenous groups who are facing similar health and cultural threats across Latin America.