Centro Indigena de Capacitacion Integral (CIDECI)
In solidarity with the Zapatista movement, CIDECI educates individuals not so that they can guard their skills as specialists but so that they can share their new skills with their home communities. I asked Julio Cesar to clarify the intention to not have specialists and he answered me with the example of the Zapatista health care system. Instead of training doctors to be financially dependent on their trained specialty, community doctors spread their knowledge to their patients. When we go to the doctor in the United States, we tell him or her our symptoms and they proscribe us medicine. When a student of CIDECI goes to health services, they describe their symptoms and the doctor teaches them how to collect or cultivate the medicine that they need to cure their ailment.
It was not clear how much CIDECI depended on outside funding, but it was clear that the students' vocations did a lot to keep the place running. Each of their studies was put to use at the school (including construction of the buildings, welding of the window frames, cooking meals, growing food and decorating the campus). Visiting CIDECI was an amazing opportunity for us to see alternative forms of education and alternative economics at work.
Zapatista Caracol Morelia
The EZLN was formed in 1983 by three indigenas and three mestizos, including the well known Subcomandante Marcos. Throughout the first decade of the movement, the EZLN built a following in indigenous communities as well as an army 3,000 strong. On January 1, 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement was put into action and in response the EZLN occupied six cities. The Mexican military reacted violently and fighting continued for twelve days. Amidst peace negotiations, the Zapatistas formed a base which they called "Aguascalientes" and later that year declared 38 autonomous indigenous municipalities. As the Zapatista movement continued to struggle and grow, four more Aguascalientes were built.