School Supplies and Books
The reality is that supplying an autonomous school with school supplies is a continuing struggle and, for many education promoters, especially those in the tiny, remote villages, the first priority is simply to obtain a blackboard and chalk. During a recent visit to one such primary school, high up the side of a mountain, a primary school promoter was asked about his most urgent needs. He replied, “Well, we don’t have electricity but the roof is strong and it keeps out the rain. We don’t have any real text books but that is not so much of a problem because we promoters create our own curriculum anyway. We have a blackboard but the real problem is that we’ve run out of chalk.”
Since 1996 Schools for Chiapas has provided thousands of indigenous kids in Chiapas with pencils, paper, notebooks, and art materials. Locally produced school desks and commercially produced blackboards have been purchased for many 100’s of autonomous schools. In addition, Schools for Chiapas has provided books for several major school libraries and cooperated in the production, printing, and distribution of books written by and for the autonomous schools of Chiapas… most recently a two volume series about Mayan mathematics. Regional autonomous education centers are increasing publishing their own workbooks which are consistent with indigenous values and supportive of the pursuit of a dignified and viable indigenous way of life.
Schools for Chiapas is working closely with local and regional educators to align our funding with these important and democratic community decisions.
Schools for Chiapas also works closely with anyone who wishes to understand and find a meaningful way to support the needs and priorities of the autonomous, indigenous communities and their schools in Chiapas, Mexico.
Click here for a new school construction budget during the 2007 2008 school year.