The VIII Foro Latinoamericano de educación intercultural, migración y vida escolar (Latin Amercan Forum on Intercultural Education, Migration, and School Life) took place in late November in Cuetzalan, a pueblo in Puebla's Sierra Norte, which is deeply affected by migration due to lack of work opportunities. Most of the population is Nahuatl or Totonaco, and leave their pueblos to look for work in Mexico City or Puebla. It often has a devastating effect on families, children with a fragmented educational experience and parents without the family and cultural support system that they have at home. A very unfortunate effect of globalization and international trade agreements. Economic crises hit Mexico very hard. As a woman told me yesterday, when the United States gets a cold, Mexico gets pneumonia. As a result, people are forced to leave their communities to survive.
One of the highlights of this trip was visiting the pueblo of Ayotzinapan, a half hour outside of Cuetzalan. My friend, Jorge, has been involved in a project with the community there to build and stock a library. The driving force is a group of young people between ten and twenty years old, who have thus far completed the building of the library and obtained some, but far from enough, books.
|Fatima y Mauri - Library kids|
The fiesta de San Andrés was a three day event celebrating the patron saint of the pueblo. The streets were full of vendors, carnival rides for children, and, bien seguro, fireworks and music.
|Local band with gigante|
On the feast day of San Andrés, there was a "quema", an impressive fireworks display, which by the end of the evening, had fire trucks putting out a grass fire behind the church. The "quema" was quite spectacular, though, with sparks flying in all directions and two local bands accompanying them.
|El milagro de San Andrés|
|Big bang repeated!|
The church was laden with bouquets of flowers and the center aisle leading to the altar was adorned with an intricate religious sand painting of San Andrés and friends. It was a near life-changing experience. I now understand what George Bush must have experienced!!
|Policia on alert|
|¡Maestros en marcha!|
|Melissa Aldana Quartet|
|Starting an earthquake!|
My daughter, Quena, and son, Joa, arrive very soon, and we are off to the warm, sunny, Oaxaca coast to commemorate Marie's parting. So, despite the Oregon winter, be warned to have your sunscreen ready before opening my next post!! Abrazos a todos.
|Blowin' like Charlie|
|Magos Herrera - Superb!|
|Improvisation on Piano|
|Magos singing Jobim|