Education and EZLN
Education is foremost in transforming a people and society. This is especially true in regards to the reversing of the effects of over 500 years of colonization. Education restores a sense of “self” to people and re-orientates them to their history, current state of being and future. Education changes the way people think and process information and ultimately enables them to be more self-determined and self-sufficient.
Often times, we see the protests and demonstrations of our people against oppression and government tyranny. However, we can never depend on the media to provide the clearest and whole picture of what it is we are striving for. The media is fueled by sensationalism and often times are more directed towards making our attempts at social democracy appear frivolous and useless.
This is apparent in media coverage of the Zapatista’s of Mexico. While they may have brought national and international attention to themselves by their takeover of Mexico City in the early 1990’s in protest of the North American Free Trade Agreement, their focus and objective has strayed away and they remain diligent in their struggle for self-determination. Below is a link to the website of the “ZAPATISTA REBEL AUTONOMOUS EDUCATION SYSTEM OF NATIONAL LIBERATION OF THE HIGHLANDS OF CHIAPAS”.
“In this website, we present the educational project of the indigenous people of the Highlands region of Chiapas, recognizing that education can come and be organized from the heart of our people. To educate is to learn, which is to say, “to educate by learning.” We can educate students –who educate us- so that those of us who are in favor of life can educate each other mutually and so construct those many worlds of which we all dream. We can say that we know how to educate those who educate us, that is why our school is for the entire world and is why we say “for everyone everything, nothing for us.”
This is the form of the autonomy of our people, of our culture, and in this way we can recreate the different languages that have never existed for those who dominate, while our faces have been denied for being the color of earth.
Traditional education, as it has been up till now, has not understood that it can be synthesized in one word, which is REALITY or CONSCIOUSNESS-RAISING.”