Want to Learn More About Education in La Manzanilla?

We were lucky enough to work with Jacqueline Walters who wrote her doctoral dissertation after conducting her research here.  It is an interesting and informative read.  Here is her introduction and below are links to download Spanish and English versions of the thesis.

The past eight winters I have lived in the small, rural, coastal community of La Manzanilla which has roughly 1500 full-time inhabitants with a seasonal influx of tourists. Through ongoing conversations with the education founders, volunteer foreign teachers, local students, and families, I came to learn more about the challenges and dilemmas in the local education. Though education is compulsory in Mexico, in daily life I observed many teenage mothers and youth working alongside their parents in stores. I learned that there was no high school (prepatoria) to attend in Pueblo at this time.

The consensus is that education is not valued by most local families, reflected by students showing a lack of respect and disregard for school. Yet some students had applied to the Wings Scholarship Program, demonstrating a commitment to learning, suggesting they had a more robust commitment to learning and in many cases, a financial need for assistance. I was struck by the wide discrepancy in the level of interest in learning in the student population of La Manzanilla.

Intrigued by this discrepancy, I decided to become more informed about the current state of education in the community. How had it come to be that these scholarship students, seemed to derive some value and meaning from formal education, while the majority did not? What made it different for these students and what sense would I come to make of this difference? How might this learning help my work with other students?

Initially, in order to proceed, I needed to learn more about how historically education was and is currently approached in Mexico, thereby honouring the history, strengths, and challenges not only of Mexico, but of this locality.

This paper seeks to explore, understand and offer ideas to improve the local education. 

Click here to download the English version.

Click here to download the Spanish version.