We’ve heard it already: our mother earth is in urgent need of care, the indigenous and local communities know how to preserve the environment, and the future of our forests depends on the youth.
Even so, traditional teaching models have not adapted to the worldview of indigenous peoples, so education has not taken into account our ancestral knowledge.
Indigenous youth and transformative climate action: Knowledge, leadership and reciprocity.
Given this reality, we have not stood still and around the region we have proposed formal and informal educational models that contribute to adaptation, resilience, and climate mitigation with a territorial and community approach, taking into account young people.
This is why Earthday organization and the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities organized a space at the 27th UN Convention on Climate Change (COP27) for different organizations to share their experiences, activities, and initiatives on their training and teaching models with indigenous youth and local communities. In “Indigenous youth and transformative climate action: knowledge, leadership and reciprocity”, the Mesoamerican youth highlighted the lessons of the region.
Ancestral and western knowledge together in the face of climate change.
Nansedalia Ramírez, a representative of the Youth Movement of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests, participated in this event and invited reflection on the role of youth in the face of climate change. She points out that young people are responsible for acquiring traditional knowledge and, therefore, are the ones who ensure that this knowledge passes on to the new generations.
At the same time, she comments that in her experience in formation processes of the Youth Movement, different countries share traditional knowledge, which also enters into dialogue with Western knowledge. She highlights that indigenous and local communities worldview must be taken into account.
“We must transcend to an ecology based on the worldview of indigenous peoples and local communities, that is, a holistic system in which people live in communion with nature”.
Nansedalia Ramírez, AMPB Youth Movement
Yaily Castillo participated in this event and presented the program of the Mesoamerican School of Leadership. She shared how ancestral knowledge is included and respected at the school.
“The Mesoamerican School of Leadership is like my home where I learn, many young people migrate to cities to access education and lose our ancestral knowledge, the School has a focus on rescuing our culture”.
Yaily Castillo, Mesoamerican Leadership School facilitator at Gunayala
Castillo is a young Guna indigenous woman who plays the role of facilitator in the training workshops in the Gunayala region, she became a professional in environmental issues and highlights that the School allows her to combine different knowledge.
“Ancestral and Western knowledge can work together and not apart to take action against climate change”. Yaily Castillo
La Escuela Mesoamericana de Liderazgo: Un modelo de formación novedoso adaptado a las comunidades.
The Mesoamerican School of Leadership currently works with 18 territorial organizations from 4 Mesoamerican countries and more than 400 young people participate in training workshops. Its objective is to continue expanding in the Mesoamerican region and thus position the indigenous youth voice in the different spaces and levels of incidence.
It is a novel model adapted to the local and indigenous communities of Mesoamerica. It focuses on training leaders with human value who understand the importance of caring for our mother earth, as well as living with people in their communities with love and respect. All to continue building a better future for our forests.