Turning outwards or inwards? The experience of a Mexican indigenous model of community-driven and intercultural education in a globalized world - La Universidad de los Pueblos del Sur

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Alfredo Méndez-Bahena Anna Rosa Domínguez-Corona Norma Elena Méndez-Bahena Marlene Brito-Millán

Abstract

The neocolonial undercurrent of internationalization that drives educational policies and standards, imposes a EEUUrocentric worldview and perspective of human development upon the global South. Beyond the discourse of international cooperation, this vision sustains what Quijano describes as the ‘coloniality of power’ that deepens inequalities between universities of the global North and South. In Latin America, there are various alternative educational projects, including indigenous universities that turn inwards toward rich pluriversal contexts, histories of resistance, and diverse tapestries of knowledge to address local problems and train youth to  generate new horizons for ongoing indigenous and afro-mestizo social movements. This article is a reflective analytical account of our seven-year experience as volunteer educators at the Universidad Intercultural de los Pueblos del Sur (UNISUR) from an intercultural and decolonial feminist perspective. Founded in 2007 in southern Mexico, UNISUR was formed as a grassroots indigenous university of and for the original peoples of Guerrero state. Our account disrupts the hegemonic vision of an internationalized education that sustains racialized ‘colonialities of power’ and instead proclaims the right to self-determination, to the empowerment of women, and to an education based on principles of decolonial epistemic equity.


Key words: Pedagogy, Indigenous Education, Epistemology, Decolonial feminism, History


How to cite this article: Méndez-Bahena, A., Domínguez-Corona, A.R., Méndez-Bahena, N.E. & Brito-Millán, M. 2021. Turning outwards or inwards? The experience of a Mexican Indigenous model of community-driven and intercultural education in a globalized world - La Universidad de los Pueblos del Sur. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South. 5(1): 107-128. DOI: 10.36615/sotls.v5i1.163.


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