In the State of Mexico, there are 5 ethnic groups, Otomi, Mazahua, Nahua, Tlahuicas, and Matlacincas.
The term otomí can be defined as "hunters who walk loading Arrows". In their language, the Otomís call themselves Hña Hñu, which means speakers of otomã or people Otomí. The Otomís inhabit in 14 of the 121 municipalities of the State of Mexico.
The characteristics of the land of the Otomí are varied, as it has valleys, forests, and mountains. The highest plain is the Toluca valley, with a height of 2 683 masl; To the northwest are valleys such as Ambay, Tixmadejé, Plan of San Bartolo and El Pastor. The social form of the Otomi is based on the family.
The Otomi of the State of Mexico have long shared the territory with other groups such as the Matlatzincas, the Mazahua, the Nahua. Sharing the territory is sharing history, which has resulted in a very marked cultural affinity.
The Mazahua are the most numerous indigenous people in the state of Mexico and Michoacan de Ocampo, its name means "people of the deer" are originating in the area of San Felipe del Progreso.
These ethnic groups retain vital ecological spaces where they establish a reciprocal relationship with nature, developing either agriculture, eco-tourism or or the manufacturing of coal. However, the settlement of industrial and urban areas, very wide in these spaces, makes the indigenous people in constant contact with the urban environment.
The rapid industrialization and urbanization of the State of Mexico has altered dramatically the habitat and has transformed their ways of life and their traditional agricultural activity.
In the family organization prevails the sense of a broad unit, whose members participate in various ways in the contribution of economic resources. In this way, some of its members are engaged in the cultivation of cornfields, from which they obtain fodder for animals, corn and beans necessary not only for self-consumption of one year, but also for the preparation of food products for sale in the markets of the cities of Ixtlahuaca, Toluca, Querétaro, México and other urban centers. Mostly the responsibility of agricultural work (and the sale of its products) falls on women due to the temporary migration of men.
The breeding of sheep and other animals completes the economic activity. In some towns, handicrafts also provide important income, bags, hats, pottery, leatherwork, ornamental plants, etc. are made from the hands of artisans.
Economic activities in indigenous communities are scarce and family income is contributed by men working in nearby urban centers.
In the communities there are high degrees of migration in men, since most of them go out in search of work to nearby cities, where they are employed as workers in factories or in construction as bricklayers.
In the communities of Aculco the ladies dedicate themselves to herbal medicine and as a contribution to the family economy they make small packages of medicinal herbs and sell them in markets of the region, in the communities of Acambay and Atlacomulco some families dedicate themselves to the realization of handicrafts , as is the production of bags with wheat popotillo and traditional clothing.
CHOICE began in the northern area of the state of Mexico in March 2013, their first contact with the families of these communities was through artisans who had problems marketing their products, visiting the communities of San Pedro de los metates, Tixmadeje, Doxteje, and was called to create a group of artisans so that it would be easier for them to sell their products.
CHOICE Mexico participates in the fairs and exhibitions of the State of Mexico with products made by the people of the communities to allow them to have an income and promote their handicrafts that are the expression of their people, their life and their habitat.
We have promoted the culture of these peoples by trying to adopt some of the customs such as the welcome that has been given to each expedition that has visited us when receiving with flower and candy collars, as well as the use of embroidered strips for the leaders of the expedition, we recognize their culture and we promote the uses and customs of these peoples.
We admire their dances, their traditional dress and we motivate in them the use of their clothing that transparently show their way of being and their way of life, each embroidery, each figure has its reference in the cosmography of these peoples, a bird, a Deer, a flower represents the abundance of the earth and its love and respect for it.
In communities, we promote the use of the mother tongue through motivational talks for its use, although it is important to recognize that globalization has reached these communities, which has led to the loss of more speakers every day, the loss of customs and the use of the traditional dress
We have worked in the cultural promotion of the communities for the rescue of traditions, dances and songs, so in each visit of groups of expeditions we try to present dances, where the ladies show a little of their customs.
Another aspect is the rescue of their crafts and the promotion that has been done in Mexico and other countries through the relationship that has been established with other associations
There is still much to be done but within our means we will continue to encourage the preservation of traditions and respect for diversity, which is what creates the wealth of our peoples.