Friday, February 1, 2013

Cultural Restoration through language

International Support Worker students met with representatives of ODESISCC to discuss holistic approaches to poverty alleviation and human rights development in rural Chiapas.
Often in developing countries, impacts of global modernization weight heavy on traditional ways of life and can persuade communities to new methods of doing things. With rapid advances in technology, this can be used to the communities’ advantage, yet we must still be cautious of what is being taken away.
“We respect the cultures of others, but we also don’t want others to take ours,” says Vice President of ODESISCC Juan Méndez Pérez. “We want to [work together] to make it stronger.”
As communities strive to exist in the constantly expanding ‘global world’ language and the use of traditional dialect is often effected – but is also one of the most valuable tools in restoring culture.
ODESISCC is a Mexican non-profit organization with a strong emphasis on restoration of culture through language, and working with youth on development and use of local dialects. ODESISCC works directly with impoverished communities to improve standards of life, while focusing on preservation of culture and tradition as a means of community establishment.
“We must keep traditional knowledge,” Méndez Pérez says. “Preserve knowledge of the land. [This] is recognition of the richness of this area and of what our people have to offer.”

We're joining Loyalist International Support Workers in Chiapas, Mexico

On January 24th International Support Worker students of Loyalist College will travel to Chiapas, Mexico to engage in four weeks of intense field work. During this time, students will gain skill and experience in safe travel, cultural immersion and critical analyses while working alongside professionals within the field of development and humanitarian aid. 

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Sarah Hawkins records a human rights press conference in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.  February 2011