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.
Mar 8, 2016

Volunteers are organized and learning to teach

The first training session
The first training session

Every year we have the joy of receiving new volunteers in the project ¡Alfabetiza! This early February was no exception, since we started with about 40 new people interested in the project and in the topic of education. We have conformed a diverse group made up of high school students, students of different college degrees as Pedagogy, Communication, Geography, International Relations, Political Science and Philosophy, as well as by people already with a career.

We started the pre-campaign (the first project period) with a series of reflections and debates on education and social development. A team of experienced people in the literacy campaign gave an overall description of the project to the new volunteers. Furthermore, we talked some more about San Jose Corral Blanco, locality where we will live this summer for the second consecutive year.

So far we have had discussions of our concept of education and of the successes and shortcomings of the educational system in Mexico in particular. Also, we have deliberated upon the role that teachers and students have in an educational process. Moreover, we introduced the theoretical and practical proposal of the Brazilian pedagogue Paulo Freire in which much of our educational concept and practice is based.

To organize ourselves, we divided our job into four areas:

a) Resources, responsible for the organization of fundraising activities and resource management.

b) Community, whose job is to plan projects or community workshops.

c) Classes, is dedicated to train how to teach, as well as teaching strategies.

d) Future, which has the task of presenting a work proposal for San Jose Corral Blanco in 2017. This proposal could involve ¡Alfabetiza! in connection with other projects.

 

As you can see, we began the year with new volunteers, new ideas and new proposals; this excites us and generates great expectations. In addition, we are eager to return to San Jose Corral Blanco, where we have created emotional ties with the people, bonds that last more than one summer.

Knowing the new volunteers
Knowing the new volunteers
We learn from each other
We learn from each other
Jan 29, 2016

Filling the neighborhood with colours

Walls are now community canvases
Walls are now community canvases

Zekuollaz is a collective of young people that uses art as a way of developing their community in Chimalhuacán, State of Mexico. They consider that art can generate meeting spots that the people living there can use and benefit from, which is why they called their methodology "community walls" where the canvas used is the neighborhood's walls. Cristina and Julio, plastic artist and local graffiti artist, create and give life to this project and have already taken it to Oaxaca and Mexico City.

This time around they tell their own story of work and community experience in an interview, a tale where they share with us how they promote their local development through street art and how they live it. 

Q: What do you consider to be the most interesting, amusing and exciting thing that happened this past year?

A: I think the most interesting thing this year was doing our "community walls" project for the first time and the positive response from our community.

Q: What is your "fill the neighborhood with colours" project about?

A: Chimalhuacán is a community that has really grown in numbers these past years. Most of the houses are under construction and have been for a long time, which means cement, bricks and metal sheets are what constitute 80% of the landscape, making it look almost completely grey. Filling the neighborhood with colors is transforming this grey space into a more colorful one, we relate color with life which means that we are filling the space with life and energy.

Q: How does this change the life inside the community?

A: Different aspects are improved. First we have the visual impact. When you paint a grey wall with colours and forms, the image that the street shows is very different. A painting that portrays what makes a little child from the community happy changes everything for the better for the people living in that street and people that pass by. Another aspect of this change is that it promotes communication between neighbors, which has come forward as a starting point of more complex ways of dialogue within the community.

Q: What was the response of the people in Chimalhuacán to the "community walls" project?

A: At first they thought it was a little weird that we wanted to start painting on their walls with a bunch of children, but the response was very positive. They immediately took part in the activities and they even brought refreshments and helped to look after the children. Some adults were even bold enough to paint alongside the young artists. Something cool that happened was that we started a friendship with some kids that we always saw pass by our street without saying anything. Now they always participate in our activities.

Q: What do you have planned for 2016?

A: This year we will continue painting walls around the neighborhood and have more workshops. We also plan on expanding the collective and maybe legally registering it to help the growth of the projects with resources from international and local programs.

Cristina and Julio
Cristina and Julio
Young artists, happy with their work
Young artists, happy with their work
Dec 17, 2015

Looking for new goals for 2016

All together we know everything
All together we know everything

Although the literacy campaign concluded its duties in August 2015, the work is not over. During the next months we have conducted what we call post campaign where we make an evaluation of our work in the community and the project's relevance in it. Through an assessment of the work in classes and in the community, in addition to feedback on our experience, we decided to return for a second year to the locality of San José Corral Blanco in the municipality of Chignahuapan, Puebla.

Meanwhile, in early October we had a meeting called Co- Incidimos (Co- Incide) with the organization Altépetl and others, also dedicated to volunteer work in educational matters. In this meeting we were able to share experiences on community work carried out by the campaigns, the training model that they have incorporated, and the monitoring and continuity processes in the localities where they work. This meeting was interesting because it was another look at our work in rural communities. It has been planned that this last meeting will not be the only approach of the projects to discuss their knowledge and strategies, but other moments will be set aside where the discussion and feedback on our work and achievements continue.

Finally, we have begun the planning process of the literacy campaign of 2016. So far, we have held a session of a planning workshop where the objectives were to identify the history of ¡Alfabetiza!, talk about our role within the project and discuss some central axes as community development and education. All this work was in order to propose new objectives for next season and keep on questioning the relevance of our project. Also, this space is important to recognize our abilities and weaknesses as a group and visualize tasks and obligations to each person entitled. We know that is a lot of commitment and hard work; however, we have a lot of hope and devotion for the following year. We look forward to improve our work.

Panel discussion at the meeting "Co-Incidimos"
Panel discussion at the meeting "Co-Incidimos"
 
   

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