Computation & Technology
Computer classes and access to technology have been a key component to PI programs since 1995 and children and adults alike are learning computer skills that are increasingly essential for school and jobs. The motto of Proyecto Itzaes: Learning in Order to Teach/Ka’ambal Ut’ial Kansaj/ Aprender para Enseñar is vividly illustrated in our humble but very busy computer rooms, with young children teaching each other as well as adults from the communities.
Technology is also in great demand to archive stories in both Maya and Spanish, to store photos including old photos that have been scanned for history and to keep a digital record of recordings and video from each village.
Computers, scanners and even a digital microscope are in constant demand with Proyecto Itzaes science programs. In Ixil, students are creating a digital herbarium of scanned plants that includes the plant name in Spanish, Maya and the scientific name as well as traditional ecological and ethnobotanical knowledge supplied by elders.
This “real-work” approach to technology is a very hands-on way to become proficient with programs and hardware as well as producing tangible products.
Leamos Juntos Yucatán
Teaching and Mentorship
Youth Mentor Program
Leamos Juntos Yucatán, the literacy program of Proyecto Itzaes, currently provides beautiful, high quality children’s books and family literacy programs to six villages in Yucatán, Mexico. Leamos Juntos Yucatán addresses the extreme poverty of the Maya village children and emphasizes a multilingual, multicultural approach to reach those most in need. With your help we can bring the gift of books and family reading to more villages and enrich our programs for thousands of Yucatecan families.
The Proyecto Itzaes motto "Learning in Order to Teach" is at the heart of our Youth Mentor program. PI asesores (mentors/tutors) are the backbone of our reading, computer, and early childhood learning programs. In this program, middle and high school students (and now university students) teach what they have learned to younger students in their villages. The asesores learn how to teach, design their classes and activities, and most importantly, pass along their own passion for learning.
Environment and Science
Science in the Village
Our Science in the Village Program, created with many outreach partners and with academic support from Professor Rodolfo Dirzo (Stanford University) and UNAM, provides hands-on learning opportunities specific to each locale and encourages community members to record (in Maya and Spanish) traditional ecological knowledge. PI also initiated the Guias Ecologicas Program for children and their families to work with our partners to provide beach trash cans, illustrated to demonstrate organic or inorganic trash, for the port village. PI beach clean-ups have been valuable teaching and learning experiences for children, families and the entire community.
Traditional Maya music
Food production has significant cultural and historical meaning in Maya villages. As our students participated in the diabetes prevention project and interviewed their elders about traditional farming and agriculture, they realized this knowledge was being lost within their own families and villages. Traditional Maya music and dance projects are key parts of PI and in 2009/2010, Maestro Moises coodinated a troupe of young musicians playing traditional music in the village of Ixil.