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Largo Camino

For ten years, Semillas has engaged in the experience of community building through community-­‐based education. As indigenous educators and parents, we know that a culturally rooted and culturally designed education not only defends  the  rights  of  our  children  as  indigenous  persons,  but  also  promotes  a  higher  quality,  more  universally  accessible, humanistic education for all Indigenous Peoples and children in general. For over a decade, Semillas educational  initiatives  have  advanced  the  development  of  international  indigenous  Mexican education in Los  Angeles and across the continent. Semillas is at the forefront of a national movement of indigenous peoples in the United  States  as  indigenous  educators  and  communities  establish  autonomous,  community-­‐based  schools  in  reservations and urban centers throughout Native America. In Mexico, our work has elevated the attention given to  the  need  for  high-­‐quality  indigenous  teacher  preparation,  and  successful  maternal  language  programs.  In  California, we have become the first and only school authorized by the California Department of Education to recruit and train Nahuatl language teachers as participants in the U.S.-­‐Mexico California Department of Education (CDE) Exchange Visitor Program. Additionally, in 2009, Semillas became the first public institution to successfully authorize two, International Baccalaureate World Schools in the City of Los Angeles.

In late 2009, representatives of the International Baccalaureate traveled to Mexico to follow up on months of initial contacts. Semillas has since then continued talks with IB World Schools in Mexico and in the United States, which led to the development of a full proposal for an 18-­‐month project in which the whole IB global community would participate. In August of 2012, Semillas convened twenty-­‐five educators in Mexico City and in Xochicalco, Morelos for the international theme of the Project of Promotion of Education in Mexican Nahuatl with the support of the General  Coordination  for  Intercultural  and  Bilingual  Education,  Secretary  of  Education,  the  community-­‐based  network of Nepohualtzintzi practitioners, the office of Bilingual, Migrant Education (PROBEM) in the state of Morelos, Mexico.

In December 2012, at the invitation and with the sponsorship of PROBEM in Moreles, Mexico under the leadership of Laura Penalosa, Semillas was invited to return to the ancestral ceremonial site of Xochicalco, Morelos to conduct a second gathering of Nahuatl educators to coincide with the winter solstice and ceremonial honoring of the Mayan calendar count renewals. Over twenty educators participated in this successful gathering that yielded among other experiences a Multidimensional Student Profile based upon the values enshrined in an important story from the Nahuatl oral tradition kept by Tata Cuaxtle Evodio of Copalillo, Guerrero, Mexico.

The  stage  is  set  now  for  continual  engagement  with  indigenous  educators  and  communities  internationally to  benefit the students of Semillas, California and the Americas. Semillas envisions this historic opportunity to both expand and improve education for hundreds of thousands of indigenous students in California, Mexico AND across this  continent underpinning the common areas of concern and opportunities.  Most  importantly,  the  continued  attention to the future of our next generation wherein Anahuacalmecac uniquely represents a beacon of hope and a radical redesign of public Indigenous education and its possibilities.


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