On August 13 – 19, 2017, a Large Scale Youth Event was held at the Puberto Vallarte, Mexico, in the framework of the international project PROTON (Open Developments Talent Program). This five-day event, as the whole two-year project, was focused on promoting informal education in the formal education sector. We have promoted using of group-methods, project methods and experiential education in schools and other certified curricula.
The whole week was focused on the design of an educational processes aimed at popularizing non-formal education among teachers and education managers. Together with thirty other teachers and trainers across Europe and Latin America and across different sectors, we created both – new methods of working with young people and adults and collecting the possibilities of their mediation to the target group.
One of our specific activities was our participation at the 3 500 International Mexican Students International Delfin Conference, where we organized workshops and the market of non-profit organizations. And all this in order to try what it means to be a youth worker or a volunteer, and that learning can be done differently and differently than we know it from the school.
Another outcome will be the so-called handbook for the target group of teachers and managers of educational activities. It will present the innovative methods and tools of informal education, examples of good practices of linking the formal and informal sector and links to other possibilities related to the subject.
The event as such has also served as an excellent platform for networking of non-profit organizations and sharing good practices.
Beside the work it was also time to explore the beauty of Mexico and its varied and vibrant cultures with all senses. We watched the traditional Indian rain show ceremony, watched and even participated in the Mariachi musical-dance performance (typical Mexican music of the guys in sombreros and women in a brightly coloured dresses) and we did not miss the opportunity to go dancing salsa, bachatu and others into the local „dance-bar“. We also went to the Sayulita Nature Reserve, where I had the incredible luck watching the sea turtle laying the eggs, and then, with the help of the National Park personnel, carefully transporting them to safety from the poachers.
Mexico is a country of many contradictions, great heat and fierce rains, people proud and friendly, with (in comparison to us) different perception of time… One thing is certain – they are very friendly and kind to foreigners and guests in particular, and their big Latin-American heart is a thing for which we would like to surely return again.
INEX-SDA was represented at the seminar by volunteers and trainers Markéta Svobodová and Lada Matyášová.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Lada Matyášová