The first half of this year has been intense, with many activities on the agenda. Together with other Adeco’s project, the Adult Education Campaign, we held the second tutorial of Community Practices for Education and Self-management between February 14th and March 30th, with a total of 12 lectures on topics such as human rights, popular education, community development, empowerment, citizen participation and civil society, contemporary issues of youth and gender perspectives. The workshop gathered a group of around 50 participants between 16 and 50 years old, composed by Tlalana volunteers, and members of other organizations and projects.
In the beginning of April we launched a call to train new facilitators along with the authorities of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in departments like sociology, political science, education and social work. The first meeting gathered a total of 30 future volunteers, and the training will be over by the end of May. The new facilitators will begin the group process with the promoters during the summer break. So far, we have had 4 sessions, and the training has been given under a participation and dialogue scheme.
We have three groups that are currently in training process. The first one began in the summer of 2010 in the community of Xúchil, Veracruz, and it has a total of 23 members, 20 women an 3 men. The training process will be over by the end of August and the group will start carrying on its project in September.
The second one began its training in December 2010 in Tehuacán, Puebla, with 20 members, 18 women and 2 men. This group is primarily integrated by workers in the offshore (maquila) industry, and they are focused on starting a sewing co-op. Most of the members of the group are young, but they have children, they’re housewives, and they also work as seamstresses most of the day. Those characteristics have been both advantageous and disadvantageous for their process, since they have very little or no time for the meetings, but at the same time, they really want to change the exploitation situation. We have faced a very critical group of women, and we know we have a very big responsibility accompanying that group.
The third group is located in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. It started two weeks ago with 28 participants. All of them study in San Cristóbal but live in the surrounding communities. Given the fact that most of them are studying majors such as sustainable development, project management, and intercultural communication, we can tell that the training is going to be very rich and productive. The workshop is going to be carried on during this summer break. The good news with the groups that will be trained in Chiapas is that Ashoka is very much interested in funding the projects that the young promoters will carry out.
Once again, we’d really appreciate your comments and suggestions to improve our project. Also, it will be a pleasure to provide any other information you’re interested in.
During the second half of the year, our project experienced significant progress. We expanded the working areas to the eastern part of Mexico, starting groups of promoters in Tlaxcala, Puebla and Veracruz.
Starting in July we worked with an enthusiastic promoters group in the community of Ranchería Pocitos, Tlaxcala state. This group wants to learn how to carry on development projects, but they haven’t decided yet the topic of their own project. We’re anxious about returning to work with them.
In Veracruz, two groups started working. The first one, with 25 community promoters, who have completed the first stage of training, and who are currently in the process of deciding the community development project to be implement in the future. They have conducted surveys in their community to identify the social needs and they’ve also conducted fundraising events. This group is located in the community of Xuchitl, Maltrata municipality. The second group is working in the city of Maltrata, and they’re in the first stage of the training. Training will resume in February hoping to decide as soon as possible on the project that will be carried out.
Tlalana is going through a big challenge with the group who works in Tehuacan, Puebla, since they’ve decided to start a textile manufacturing Co-op. The workshops with this group are intense and progress quickly, but a lot of work, feedback and follow up is needed on the consolidation of their goals.
The work agreed with the foundation “Pro Niños de la Calle, I.A.P.” concluded deciding not to carry on a development project but a cultural project. They started an itinerant street theater workshop with another group of Tlalana called Arteco.
Alongside the work of the groups, the Tlalana’s structure was modified dividing the work into small assignments to make our work more effective. Likewise we’re going to train a new group of facilitators with a seminar called “Education and sustainable Community Practices”. This seminar will be carried on every Monday of February and March and will conclude in March when the facilitators start working with the promoters in their projects. We hope that with this new way of operate our project will grow and have a bigger impact with the promoters and their communities.
Finally, Tlalana already has 3 coordinators, 14 facilitators, 14 working groups, 137 community promoters and a training handbook. The challenge for 2011 is to broaden our possibilities of action, finish our website and improve the training process of our members.
We hope you have a good 2011 year
Working sessions for communitarian development is a training handbook which intends to bring together some practical and theoretical tools to form and prepare working groups, specially those of young people. It includes 15 sessions –developed by the Tlalana’s team and revised by some collaborators– based on the Life Skills approach and in Popular education experiences. With this material the project becomes really a replicable one – the guides can plan the whole process with their groups, from the first approach until the implementation of projects. We are so enthusiastic on our handbook since it implied almost two years of work and resources from many people!
In the first semester of 2010 we also worked on the creation of new groups. In February we begun a group with the youngsters who live in the Pro-Niños de la calle (Pro-Kids living on street) transitional house in Mexico City. In the summer months were also opened groups in Xúchitl and Maltrata (Veracruz) and in Tehuacan (Puebla). Likewise we contacted organizations and other actors to train guides in Zacatlán de las manzanas and Ixtacamaxtitlán (Puebla) in the next months. Including these, the project would be carried out with 14 groups and almost 150 promoters in total.
Finally we just want to share a recent video about the work of three groups: Tepeximilpa and "El Chante de Todos" (in Mexico City) and "Tajuco" (Colón, Querétaro). The video is in spanish; find the link below.
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