Employment and Income  
livelihood strategies  

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Ixtepeji, Oaxaca




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Section 1  Helping his brother from the age of 10. Collecting firewood to sell. Juggling work with school: “My job was to care for the cows and to milk them before going to school… I left at dawn and I went back to school, or I left late and came back the next day very early to go to school.”
Section 1-2  As a young man, before marriage, farming with his brother – growing wheat and maize. “[The maize] was only for sustenance, we didn’t sell anything.” Cultivation of wheat to be sold at harvest: “the wheat was stored at home in bags made of palm matting, and from there we sold it to buy maize and beans…Later we started to grow beans…Now we don’t grow wheat any more.” Issue of forest exploitation: “They started to cut trees to leave them to dry and in two or three months they sold them to people who came here to buy from San Agustin Yatareni.” Knowledge of diversity of trees in the area. Usage of wood: “for selling at Oaxaca, in the valley, and for our homes, for our ranches.”
Section 2-3  The Tuxtepec Paper factory (the paper mill that had the logging concession in the forests surrounding various communities in the Sierra Norte for approximately 25 years) and the logging industry. Different methods described – dealing with whole trunks/logs, and cutting it into smaller pieces.
Section 3-4  Hunting: “I’ve liked hunting since I was 10 years old… I began to go to the arriada (literally, to the cattle rustle) with my older partners, but I couldn’t shoot. When I began killing was at the age of 14, then I began to kill more often. What I shot the most were rabbits and squirrels, chachalacas (literally, chatterbox; long-tailed, ground-dwelling bird, Ortalis vetula), perdices (Great Tinamou, a type of bird), but for sure I killed foxes, and later I learned to use the hunter’s lamp. I killed I don’t know how many animals: comadrejas (weasels), mapaches (raccoons), colapintas (literally, painted tail; type of wild animal), and cacomixtles (small nocturnal animals with distinctive long black-ringed tail, Bassaricus astutus).” Weapons used for hunting: “I was killing first with mauser (weapons commonly used at the beginning of the last century) TTM or 7 millimetres. Later I had 22 Automatic (type of rifle).”
Section 4-6  Conscientious hunting: “I didn’t want to shoot it [a wolf], because we don’t eat it, why should I kill it?” Different species inhabiting the region. Flower cultivation large source of employment, establishment of a union of flower growers in 1950s. Most important flowers grown. Sharing a truck for transportation of flowers to market in Oaxaca. Making and selling bread for income.