Tag Archives: Education

Hablo, Habla, Hablamos… Español

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 12.20.13 PMBy Brooke Gazer

If you are planning a week’s vacation in Mexico, no one expects you to speak more than a couple of words in Spanish: por favor and gracias should cover it. But for those of us who spend time in Mexico, it is only good manners to make an effort at communicating in the native tongue of our hosts. Unlike many cultures, (English speakers included) the people of Mexico are incredibly tolerant when someone butchers their language and they are very receptive to those making an effort. No mater how badly you speak the gesture will enhance your experience with the local people. We all make mistakes when we are learning and it can actually be fun if you adopt a good sense of humor. Continue reading Hablo, Habla, Hablamos… Español

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Community Museums—Very “Special Ed” for Indigenous Peoples

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By Deborah Van Hoewyk

We all know that Oaxaca’s capital city is renowned for its art scene, with a passel of museums and galleries; a little dawdling over a travel book will tell you it also has museums of philately, historic interest, archaeology, religion, textiles, and the Ferrocarril Mexicano. When we go to museums, we mostly just gawk and “gosh-golly,” but museums are the shining stars of informal education, that kind of life-long learning we engage in every time we do something that interests us and adds to our knowledge, skills, or abilities. Continue reading Community Museums—Very “Special Ed” for Indigenous Peoples

Casa de la Mujer: Benefiting Indigenous Oaxacan Women for 35 Years

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By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.

Casa de la mujer is arguably the most important resource available to young, bright indigenous women who might otherwise not realize their full potential as contributing members of Oaxacan society. The charity’s reach extends throughout all eight regions of the state. Its mission is to contribute to the transformation of a more just and equitable society respecting women’s rights. Continue reading Casa de la Mujer: Benefiting Indigenous Oaxacan Women for 35 Years

Donkey Up to School

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 9.00.09 AMBy Brooke Gazer

The severe topography and lack of infrastructure in Mexico causes the rural population of many regions to be rather isolated. This complicates the already challenging problem of providing consistent quality education in a country of limited resources. Many children are required to travel 5km over rough terrain, along steep, treacherous mountainous trails. After this grueling early morning hike, such children have very little energy left for learning. When it rains the passes are even more difficult to navigate, causing children to stay home. In Guanajuato, absenteeism posed sufficient problems that some schools were facing closure. Even if the means were available to buy a school bus and maintain it, it is unlikely that a vehicle would be able to negotiate the perilous mountain terrine. Continue reading Donkey Up to School

Editor’s Letter

By Jane Bauer

“I entered the classroom with the conviction that it was crucial for me and every other student to be an active participant, not a passive consumer…education as the practice of freedom…. education that connects the will to know with the will to become. Learning is a place where paradise can be created.” ― Bell Hooks

Back to School….. The smell of freshly sharpened pencils, erasers, and the excitement of staring anew. Each September is marked with possibility; maybe this year you will become the math whiz, the prom queen, the basketball star, miss congeniality- it is not just new notebooks but the anticipation of coming closer to who we see ourselves to be. Continue reading Editor’s Letter

The Tierra Blanca Project

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By Michael Richards

Michael (Spike) Richards and Joy Lancaster Warden from Calgary,supporters of live music, and lovers of our local paradise, have started The Tierra Blanca Project. The long term goal of the project is to fund, build and equip a remote school for eighty elementary students, a clinic, a community kitchen, sanitary facilities, and residence for the teachers. In the fall of 2013, construction of the new school will be underway. It will have geographic challenges, and logistical hurdles as transportation of building materials is difficult in this remote area. Continue reading The Tierra Blanca Project

Canadian Friends of Oaxaca

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By Alvin Starkman, M.A., J.D.

For decades, both Americans and Canadians have been supporting efforts to provide young Oaxacans with improved education; donating not only their time and expertise, but also books and related educational resources, food and clothing to make attending school easier for children of families with very limited resources, and cash. But while US taxpayers have been able to deduct donations to certain registered Mexican charities from their income, Canadians have not. Finally change is in the wind, as a result of CANFRO, Canadian Friends of Oaxaca Inc. Continue reading Canadian Friends of Oaxaca