Friday, July 22, 2016

of ideological – and physical – clashes

Frankly, living in the centre of the city means you eventually get used to seeing police being mobilized here and there. After all, there's a demonstration against something going on every few days. But it's not everyday you see the display we did a couple of weeks ago, when teachers from the union called CNTE gathered by the Palacio de Bellas Artes, in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, poised to march all the way to the main square – the Zócalo.

Now, I won't get into the CNTE and education reform conflict, because that is one very complex issue that brings about some extremely strong reactions from all sides. Suffice it to say that there is indeed a serious education problem where those who most need it and can least afford it are also the most disserviced, where there is also an ideological base that completely opposes the current capitalistic status quo, where there is a history of repression, where there is a history of privileges that can even be passed on as inheritance, and where even racism plays a part.

For what it's worth, these are just some photos of that day where even our jaded selves were in shock. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

to co-operate is to share

Recently there was a workshop on flood risk management at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico. The participants? A most unlikely group – Malawi, Mexico and the Netherlands – brought together by their co-chairing of a partnership (the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation) that seeks to improve development co-operation by making it more inclusive, more focused on results, more aligned with national priorities, and more transparent and accountable.  

This workshop is part of a bigger project that has already delivered an early flood warning system in Malawi, and that has brought much learning for Mexico and the Netherlands on triangular co-operation. 

Personally, I find it very inspiring when people get together and work to improve the quality of life of the others. And even though I find it ridiculously corny to partially quote the slogan of Mexico's Agency for International Development Co-operation (AMEXCID), to co-operate is indeed to share your best in order to face global challenges and grow together. Seeing representatives from the three countries sharing, learning, co-operating and making lives better was – if you allow me more corniness, since I've already gone down that road – beautiful.