Education for Intercultural Citizenship: The Maya Teachers of Chiapas in the Construction of Alternative Citizenships from below

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María Bertely Busquets

Abstract

This article is the result of a co-participative investigation into legal pluralism and education for intercultural citizenship carried out with teachers of ethnic Maya origin in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. It offers general hypotheses leading to a critical analysis of the relation between education, citizenship and interculturalism, and suggests the need to assume a clear ethical, political and philosophical position with regard to the demands of indigenous peoples and the negative effects of territorial uprootedness. From the point of view of a citizenship model constructed from beneath, the report proposes that both indigenous and non-indigenous people should participate in inter-learning spaces where lived, face-to-face intercultural experience becomes indispensable. The results of the research show the limits of superficial and contemplative anthropological perspectives inspired by personal and academic concerns, in contrast with the potential citizen who is implicated in deep and decolonizing intercultural experiences which, without ignoring those concerns, are articulated with the demands of indigenous peoples and other silenced social groups.

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