Adeco Acciones para el Desarrollo Comunitario A.C.

To generate, contribute and participate in social projects of education, culture and artistic manifestations, science and technology development, equity of gender, participation and citizen self-management, defense and promotion of human rights, sustainable development to improve the popular economy and promotion of fair commerce, improvement of the best use of natural resources promoting the protection, conservation and restoration of biodiversity and environmental equilibrium.
Jun 12, 2015

The Campaign Begins!

The group is ready to meet the goal
The group is ready to meet the goal

The preparations have finally come to an end; now it’s time to get some fieldwork done. For the past 21 weeks, beginning on January the 24th, our group of volunteers has taken part in many different activities to get everything ready for our campaign. We divide these activities into 3 main categories: training, community diagnostic, and fundraising. “In a couple of days we leave the city and I am very excited! It’s the first time I participate, and although the only preconceptions I have from this project are formed by my peers’ anecdotes, I don’t feel alienated from it. Some of them say they are dying with fright, but I’m not (I will probably feel that way the first time I stand in front of a group –but not yet)." Said Dafne, a 16 years old volunteer.

Training

For every volunteer to be able to teach how to read and write, and simultaneously manage a group, they received the following training:

  • Class Simulations.- Each volunteer prepared and delivered a class to his peers simulating situations they could confront in their real classes so as to prepare them for what is to come in the rural community.  Special emphasis was made on the practice of Paulo Freire’s Critical pedagogy, focused on literacy teaching.
  • Observatories.- Through the facilitation of debates regarding current news or relevant topics to the group, volunteers sharpened their investigation, critical thinking, class planning and objective-setting skills.
  • Readings.- To solidify the theoretical and philosophical background this project intends to create in its participants, volunteers read texts from different pedagogues (mostly by Paulo Freire) and discussed them in self-made group activities.
  • Conferences.- The group reinforced its training through lectures given by 6 experts on various topics related to community intervention.
  • Material creation.- The results of systematizing our work include a literacy volunteer manual, a reading compendium, a small periodicals library, didactic material made specifically for our purposes, and books for class preparation and development.
  • Knowledge cores.- Teams were formed to research different topics, such as health, history, mathematics, science, and others. These topics, being relevant to the community, are to be debated and reflected upon in every volunteer’s class, and with them we gather relevant aiding material for our work with the students.

Community diagnostic 

Shortly after last year’s campaign ended, we began searching for new possible communities where we could implement our project, “¡Alfabetiza!” 2015, in. Eventually we found three promising options where we believe our project could thrive. After thorough analysis and debate over where our project would be most useful and better received, we decided to work in San José Corral Blanco, a rural community in the municipality of Chignahuapan, Puebla.

As part of our preparation, our group of volunteers made two weekend trips to San José Corral Blanco; one in March and another in May. To get to know the people we will be working with we conversed with some of the locals (around 120 people) and with local and municipal authorities.

In the community, the most common reading/writing practice observed is the signing of documents related to several governmental programs that reach out to the community. Writing petition letters to the township, and receiving propaganda and publicity are among the most common uses of reading and writing in San José Corral Blanco. During our trips the people expressed interest in learning how to read and write for three main reasons: to support the work they do at their jobs, to help their children do school homework, and most frequently, to  read and write documents required to receive governmental support.

According to our statistical sample, in San José Corral Blanco, the majority of the population has either not concluded their primary education, or abandoned school while starting their secondary education. 43% of the interviewees declared not knowing how to read or write. Although their academic level is low, they possess an immense amount knowledge that we aim to expose, maximize, and learn from during our stay in San José Corral Blanco.

Fundraising

Evidently, our aim is to collect enough funds so that 30 volunteers can live and work during 7 weeks of summer in San José Corral Blanco. We held two garage sales, a Mexican themed dinner party, an art auction, an indoors cultural event, and several “scholarship” sales. We also arranged many monetary and in-kind donations. Regardless of the fact that we have received enough resources to start the campaign, the fundraising is still an ongoing process.

Part of the group during a lecture
Part of the group during a lecture
Experimenting in the creation of teaching material
Experimenting in the creation of teaching material
Apr 24, 2015

Seeds rooting with rhythm and joy

DFBaila looks community bonds through dancing
DFBaila looks community bonds through dancing

Hi from the Tlalaná Team!

This year seems to be filled with surprises and good news. Along with our usual group with El Chante de Todos, Enchúlame la Bici, Zekuollaz, and other youth collectives our group has a new addition, a project full of life, rhythm and music. On the other hand, our urban agriculture youth collective project is now yielding its first harvest: our first flowers, fruits and vegetables are here! Blackberries, green beans, pumpkin flower, lettuce, tomato, epazote, garlic, lavender and more! Read on to know more about what we have been up to.

DFBaila

We are very happy that a new collective has joined us in our quest for enhancing our community’s development. DFBaila defines themselves as a collective that “promotes the culture of dancing in couples to integrate their community through space management”. We are working with them so they can develop their project that involves life-skills, the rehabilitation of public spaces and the development of communities. Soon you will be learning more about them through our updates on our work together or you can explore  their Facebook page and check out this review on one of Mexico City’s blogs on cultural activities: Melí Meló, where they talk a little bit about their methodology and their projects to recover parks and community bonds throughout Mexico City. 

El sabio pensil

This is the name of our patch, it means “The wise garden” and we are learning a lot from it. We are now developing this plot of land, that used to be where people threw their trash and that we initially cleaned up completely before planting, with the participation of 15 young men and women who are aware and passionate about organic food and sustainable development and that live and work around our headquarters. Through this project we seek to raise awareness on our consumer habits and our capabilities to break this trend in our daily lives. We, as young people, have a crucial role in this because we will not only keep applying this knowledge in years to come, but because by proving stereotypes wrong and overcoming other systemic and structural difficulties we can have a major impact on our communities. So far we have picked blackberries, lettuce, green beans, garlic, epazote, chive, green tomato, purple mustard, raddish, potato, coriander, lavender flower, parsley, fava beans, pumpkin flower, labiada and mint. We are looking forward to increasing our production and improving our irrigation system and water collection infrastructure.

With your help we can do this and more!

If you are interested on what we do don’t forget to check out and like our Facebook page (in spanish). We regularly update the information available on each of the collectives of the Tlalaná Network and other relevant information. 

Working with DfBaila
Working with DfBaila's members
So far we have picked blackberries
So far we have picked blackberries
We transformed an old dump in fertile soil
We transformed an old dump in fertile soil
Mar 9, 2015

Success begins with training volunteers

Introducing the first session
Introducing the first session

On January 24th, inside the Adeco facilities, the first meeting of the adult literacy campaign ¡Alfabetiza!, a project which has penetrated in over 50 rural communities since 1996, took place with 48 enthusiastic volunteers who started tracing the lines of work they shall follow throughout the upcoming months to achieve this year´s goals as a community development project.

Shortly afterwards, on Sunday, January 25th 2015 ,a small group of volunteers visited three localities to the North of the state of Puebla in which we are looking to implement the project this year. The purpose of this visit was to participate in community assemblies, in which the project was discussed with the population and feedback was given by the general public, expressing what they would like to learn, and by local literacy promoters, who shared some of their experiences with the rest of us.

During this process, we have received testimonies of some of the new volunteers, here's one:

“Throughout this initial project stage I have learned valuable things, like the cultural and political importance of the work done between participants and volunteers, “students” and “teachers”. I have also learned that we are going to work with the people, not for them; it will be an experience of mutual exchange and perpetual feedback. We will use a method created by Paulo Freire, since the techniques for adults differ greatly from those used with children. In this method, we work with “generating” words and we divide them into syllables. However, beforehand we construct a culture circle in which we chat and discuss about realistic situations derived from (or “generated by”) this word to get closer together as a group. Also, the way in which we weekly present and discuss news articles we consider relevant to education is interesting, since we are constantly developing our critical thinking.

This project excites me greatly: we must prepare physically, intellectually and spiritually to learn and teach everything we can. We want to share the utility in reading and writing, and all its dimensions. We must learn the method, get to know cultural aspects of the community we will go to while revisiting our own, do everything we can to raise funds, learn and reinforce certain rules of coexistence, have lots of patience, and learn from our errors… a huge challenge that will surely be worth it.”

Aitana, 18 years old.

The first approach to become a volunteer
The first approach to become a volunteer
Training and reflections
Training and reflections

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