With the planting of nopales and strawberries, in the Mixteca of Oaxaca they achieve labor inclusion and care for the environment

juxtlahuaca.- It’s almost 10 people with disabilities at the Multiple Attention Center (CAM) 45 of Santiago Juxtlahuacain the Mixteca, who represent Oaxaca in the national call for the Award for Schools with an Environmental Trajectory 2022, granted by the secretariats of Public Education (SEP) and the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat).

Blanca Esmeralda Luengas Reyes, from San Sebastián Tecomaxtlahuaca, who participates in a project of cactus plantingtells EL UNIVERSAL how satisfying it is to be at CAM, an institution where he has been for six years, where he learns to sow fresas, nopales and various vegetables.

The center follows the postulates of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilitieswith an educational model understood as a process of progressive transformation that takes into account and responds —in equal opportunities— to the diverse needs of people, contexts, and environments in which they operate.

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Under this scheme, Liliana Yumey Feria Morales, director of the CAM, indicates that the integration center has made an effort since 2015 so that young people work in the production of different field crops, where in the long run they can obtain profits, since most of students are low-income.

“[Buscamos] provide young people with tools to develop skills that help them integrate into labor inclusion, that is, we develop customer service skills; at the same time, the project is economically favored ”, she indicates.

The CAM 45 has 70 students with motor, intellectual, hearing, audiovisual and multiple disabilities, among other. The institution offers initial, primary education and this school year opened the secondary level with eight students.

In addition, three socio-labour training groups were integrated, among which are the students who compete for the award.

“There are many needs in the CAM, but as I tell the parents: we are growing little by little. We always invite the community to come and find out what the young people are doing”, says the director.

Inclusive education, still far

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), 13.7% of the population of the Mixteca lives with some disability: 31,517 people, of which 53.9% are women.

Of this population, 42.3% are people between 60 and 84 years old; They are followed by the population between 30 and 59 years of age, with 23.4%.

Although last August the local Congress approved reforms and modifications to the Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the state of Oaxaca, so that educational institutions guarantee the right to education for persons with disabilities, there is still a long way to go in terms of training so that the education sector is in a position to comply with the law.

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School with an environmental trajectory 2022, a hope

CAM 45 represents the state in the summons of the SEP and Semarnat, institutions that will award around 350,000 pesos to one of the country’s special education institutions whose work focuses on environmental issues.

The director Liliana Feria explains with emotion that they have already passed the first stage; what follows now is to continue in the evaluation process.

The center competes with projects that are inserted in one of the lines of action proposed in the call, in this case, that of Agro-environmental Systems and Food Sovereignty.

It should be noted that, of all the schools in special education, the one in Juxtlahuaca was the only one to be selected to participate in Schools with Environmental Trajectories 2022.

The teacher Flores Guadalupe Fragoso Gil points out that the care center has five microtunnels, three for nopal planting, one for strawberries and another for vegetables. In addition, they have fruit trees and special greenhouses for the production of vegetables.

Among the projects they also have a small chicken farm, where the students are in charge of raising these animals, as well as the sale of meats and else.

“It is the young [los] They are in charge of maintaining and caring for the plants, and this is how they learn to develop their skills and abilities,” says the teacher.

a fuller life

Ernestina Méndez is the mother of one of the students who is in charge of the nopales; She explains that the condition of her little one has been difficult, but after joining the CAM —not long ago— she has noticed it more fully.

“He has had emotional, professional and social growth, we have seen him happier and more fulfilled.” Ernestina jokes that her son likes selling more than cleaning the nopales.

Among the teachers, students and parents, at the beginning of December they inaugurated NutriCAM, a store that acts as a point of sale of organic products produced by young people and adults with disabilities in the center.

The store is located in the school facilities, on Lázaro Cárdenas avenue, next to the sports center, in the municipality of Juxtlahuaca.

With the planting of nopales and strawberries, in the Mixteca of Oaxaca they achieve labor inclusion and care for the environment