Preparatoria José Martí

Proyecto: Acción y participación juvenil comunitaria

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San Francisco Ixhuatán, San Francisco del Mar, Santo Domingo Zanatepec, Oaxaca

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Manuel Antonio Ruiz

We are a community of young people that reflects upon its context, knowledge, experiences and shared histories in order to have an impact and give continuity to our own story. Our pedagogy is based on bringing together young people, different organizations and their realities as a way of solving community issues. We believe the community is the school, and the school is the community.

Our education model brings together different means that shape learning and community life, including radio workshops, magazines, videos, theatre, assemblies, conferences, seminars, cultural events, play centers, courses, campaigns, visits to Zapatista communities, and our membership to the Indigenous National Council.

During the September 7 earthquake, and its countless aftershocks (over 20,000), we mourned our community high school, like a cadaver that would come back to life and thrive once more. When we passed the coffee around, we brought solidarity to our communities. Young people thought that they needed to celebrate once more, but we reached the conclusion that to reconstruct is not to redo, but to reach for what we wanted and what has been denied to us: that young people take tools into their own hands in order to rebuild life. It wasn’t the earthquake that destroyed our houses, it was poor building.

We are here, standing tall, like trees. Our roots reach deep towards our ancestors. We give shelter those who wander, need to rest or lay in our branches. We are a guide to those who searching for a path.

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