Saturday, July 17, 2010


We arrived in Oaxaca on Wednesday night. The next day, we had a full day. First, we visited the Universidad de Tierra, a learning space. This university facilitates learning for the needs of a varied student population. It is a radical approach--no teachers, no graduation; but a lifelong learning process to develop the skills that an individual wants (and needs) to be successful in his or her community. Some of the research projects are being developed to assist with recycling, water purification, media, etc. The goal of education should be that we prepare students to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. I wonder when we will embrace such a concept in totality.
Next, we walked around the market to sample roasted chapulines (grasshoppers)--a really big seller on every corner. I tasted a tiny bit. It tasted like smoked sawdust. Oh well, the saying goes if you eat some, you will return to Oaxaca. Let's see if my taste does the trick. The market also has lots of activity--selling clothes, shoes, a fish section, shrimp, yellow chickens with feet attached :-); other meat; fruits, breads, etc.
We stopped at La Soledad where we sampled and watched the chocolate making process. I sampled moles as well--black, red and reddish. The mole tasted pretty good, so for lunch I ordered this dish with mole. The pork and beef, potatoes and string beans were covered with the black sauce. It tasted like sandy saucy something. I know not to try that again.
Okay, last stop was the OLLIN school, run by Omar Nunez. Omar is a former Fulbrighter working to teach young people English to better prepare them for the future. I have learned so
much about indigeneous people and some of the challenges facing the young people today. Identity text is being used by Omar to assist students in acknowledging their roots and embracing their multilingual abilities through artistic expression. I am thinking of ways to use this information about the many languages and indigeneous groups when I return. We need more effective ways to communicate with our Mexican students and families.
I can't wait to share my experiences with the Zapotec women's cooperative in Teotitlan, but next post.......

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