Moneyless Economies in Chiapas: An Evening With El Cambalache

The capitalist economic system has provoked a social rupture and loss of community values; such as mutual aid and bartering or exchanging. This rupture foments a sense that people and things are discardable. In El Cambalache (The Swap in English) in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, by using exchange and inter-actions we work to generate change from the personal out to those around us and use things that appear to no longer have value. We seek to mend the rupture that we see in our worlds.

The Cambalache, with its nucleous generating group of six women involves people through their visits to exchange day by day. The idea is that we re-enforce the development of the Cambalache precisely through constructing networks with people and organizations that have similar goals. In this way we share the construction of an inclusive community through workshops and mutual aid where economy members
gather participants to take part in/of the knowledge, abilities and services that are in offer. We walk hand in hand with these and other social and political processes. El Cambalache is an economy built in feminism and decoloniality. As women, Mexicans, Americans, and Indigenous people we can create an economy in our own visions that is liberating from the weight and exploitation that comes with capitalism.

The title, “El Cambalache: el valor de inter-cambiar” is a play on words which in English is, The Swap: where we have the courage to change within ourselves and/org where we have exchange value. The documentary is shot over five months of events and interviews about how the project works, the community that is created, why people participate and how people can create their own Cambalache, starting where they are. The film is 30 minutes long and explains our concepts of value and the modalities of exchange that we work with.

Short Bio:
El Cambalache began in August, 2014 and opened its doors to the public in March, 2015. The project founders are Erin Araujo, Patricia de la Fuente, Sarai Garcia Lopez, Mary Intzin, Cinthia Pacheco Sanchez and Josefa Vazquez Martinez. Alicia Arrimendiz and Laura Jimenez help us with filming and editing the documentary. We are an all-woman collective located in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. The project strives to dismantle capitalism day by day through exchanges and the repair and reuse of discarded machines and other goods and the sharing of knowledge and services.

Saturday, March 12th