For my Master´s Project or thesis, I am researching questions relating to indigenous education under Lazaro Cardenas (1934-1940) in Chiapas, Mexico. As part of my research, I am spending three weeks in Mexico City and two weeks in Chiapas. During my first week in Mexico City I worked in both the National Archives (AGN) and the UNAM´s newspaper and magazine archive. It was interesting to visit the AGN because it originally served as the Lecumberri from 1900 to 1976 and was the prison from which Adolfo Gilly wrote his book, La revolucion interrumpida. It is still possible to see remnants of the prison in the architecture of the building.
I spent the second week of my trip in Mexico in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. In San Cristobal, I arrived in time to attend a bi-national forum on intercultural bilingual education in Mexico and Guatemala. The forum was useful in providing me with a perspective on indigenous education today in Chiapas, as well as wider Mexico, from which to understand the trajectory of education in the state. I also visited the Universidad de la Tierra, an autonomous university that seeks to provide culturally sensitive schooling to indigenous students who come from surrounding cities. The education that is offered is an alternative to official education in that the focus is on providing the students with learning that will enable them to be self-sufficient within their communities. Most of the archival sources in Chiapas are located in Tuxla-Gutierrez where I plan to spend my second week.
Paola Reyes, MA Candidate, CLACS