Mexico: transforming schools into self-sustained communities

published 18 August 2017 updated 21 August 2017

A new project by the Mexican union SNTE aims to improve the life quality of students, teachers and their families by turning schools into self-sustained units through the integration of education and agriculture.

"My School Produces", a new project by the Mexican education Union and Education International (EI) affiliate SNTE is shedding its first fruits. Implemented in cooperation with the Mexican Ministry for Agriculture, the project involves unions in the improvement of education as well as the quality of life of rural communities.

Schools in six rural and marginalised areas of the country are turning into self-sustained units by working nearby fields, with teachers, students and families sowing and harvesting their own produce, ranging from tomatoes to chili, beans and maize. The estimates are that 400 tons of food will be available to these communities per year. During a second phase the project will expand to 17 new areas.

Expansion to local communities

With the knowledge acquired in school and the seeds harvested on the school fields, 3,600 home gardens have been set up by more than 21,000 students and their families, in an expansion of the project to the community level.

“My school produces” ultimately aims to promote learning spaces around agricultural processes, linking agriculture with curricular, scientific and technical activities, and encouraging children and young people to be active agents in the development of their communities.