Would you like to talk with local community leaders, tour medicinal gardens, meet local artists, and enjoy an authentic Mexican meal? At the upcoming TNLC 2017 in Veracruz, Mexico, we will be engaging in global dialogue about networking and learning, solidarity building, and deliberation and strategic action, but also seeing Universidad Veracruzana’s community engagement in action through an exciting list of site visits. These site visits provide an exceptional opportunity to ground the theory of higher education civic engagement in the real life successes of UV throughout Veracruz. At these sites, you will get to see and experience local culture through the art, gardens, food, and people.
On Friday 23rd there will be two options for site visits. The first is to Casa Coyopolan, and the second to Casa Molino de San Roque, both in rural areas surrounding Xalapa. Owned by UV, these are spaces for students, researchers, and teachers to do professional training and support the local communities. With the goal of creating community inclusion, UV uses these casas as the base for organizing programs in community healthcare, sustainable community development, environmental education, work training, distance learning, and recreation programs. These two site visits will provide an amazing opportunity to see first hand the practical impact a university can have by developing community space and relationships.
On Saturday 24th, conference attendees have a choice of two daylong site visits filled with even greater immersion into the work of UV. The first option is a trip to Casa del Conejo, a social space for collaborative programming between UV and rural communities. From Casa del Conejo UV operates community-university programs related to culture including theater, dance, painting and music, but also health and food, sustainable development, environmental education, and various other community services.
The second daylong option is a visit to the UNESCO-awarded Intercultural Universidad Veracruzana in Tequila, Veracruz. UVI was granted the Silver Eye Award in 2016 for its outstanding dedicated role to education and services with indigenous communities. At UVI cultural diversity and community participation are at the forefront of its programs in education, work training, and sustainability.
Through either the Friday or Saturday site visits, we will be exploring the rural landscape of Veracruz in a unique opportunity to see and participate in activities related to UV community engagement. These visits will include talks by local community leaders, tours of medicinal gardens, showcases of local artists and artisans, theatrical presentations, and eat local food. After days of productive dialogue, these will provide an opportunity to see community-university engagement in action, and celebrate the successes of UV and their communities.