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Project «Miravalles»

23/06/2011: Mexico - Photo gallery

In the outskirts of the city of México, at the foot of the Guadalupe volcano, the Marist mission has taken concrete form in a project of popular education born at the same time as the settlement 23 years ago. The founding Brothers, the teaching team and the people of the place met to analyse their difficulties and so find a solution to the most urgent problems: regularisation of the land, habitat, water, light, drainage, transport, education, etc. This dynamic of work in common bore fruit and, in a short time, the basic services were assured. Through these years, the  Miravalles School, better known as « the Marist », has been deeply involved from the community point of view, and has taken part in the struggle of the people for more worthy conditions for all.

The school caters to 642 children and adolescents from 6 to 15, and offers the service of a basic education in primary, secondary, and « preparatoria » (in Mexico, a period of three years preceding higher education). At the same time, the school caters for children and young people with certain handicaps, through an inclusion project called « Kintum » (rainbow).

The Miravalles pedagogical method is based on a participative and democratic organization (formation of assemblies and committees).

An important aspect of the Miravalles project is its connection with various social agents of the colony who are seeking the common good. This effort has given birth to the Miravalles community assembly, which promotes divers projects for the benefit of the most vulnerable children and youth. Starting from this collective effort and seeking to influence public policies, they have succeeded in building a public library, a computer centre, a dining hall, a multi-purpose room, a community services house, a square, an open air forum, a games library,  parks for the children, and an open air gym hall.

We have some projects as well: free Saturday workshops for the children, a « rondalla » (troupe of musicians playing string instruments), a choir, a dance group, rock bands, a collective(« la bomba ») which looks after transport of the children.

At present, work is going on on the project « calmecac », a centre of integral formation for youth and adolescents, where there will be an art school, a centre of professional formation, a « preparatoria », two university faculties, a sports complex and a large public square.

As in the other parts of the Province and the Institute, the Miravalles project is trying to contribute its grain of sand to offer chances of growth to children and young people who, by their situation, live in want and in a state of vulnerability.

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Br. Jorge Carbajal García

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