Each year, the citizens of Zihuatanejo re-certify their City of Peace with an amazing celebration with educational programming and marches for peace.
Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico: City of Peace
This is “Peace in Action”!
Our youth and young adults are calling out for recognition and protection of their human rights. In Mexico, forty-three students were kidnapped and murdered in 2014. In the United States, youth are protesting the disproportional arrests and killings of African-Americans and Hispanics by police. Recently, Canada singled itself out as the only country to raise objections over a landmark United Nations document re-establishing the protection of the rights of indigenous people.
As community leaders, educators, and families, we must take action to respond to these situations, and help guide our youth to peace, rather than allow them to turn toward violence. If we want peace, we must teach peace – in our own communities. This is peace in action!
The Zihuatanejo Model for Sustainable Peace Education
“Peace in Action!” Collaborative Education Group is a new ICP Alliance Group, located in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico. The group is comprised of educators and community activists, who over the past five years, have worked with various international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to create a model for communities to develop a sustainable peace education program. Implementation of this “to do list” results in recognition as a “Certified International City of Peace.”
1. Form a “Peace Committee” with the Tourism Industry, Education, and Service Organizations within the community that benefit from an image of peacebuilding. The purpose of this committee is to organize and implement an annual Peace Program.
· Tourism is both the largest and the fastest growing industry in the world.
· The UNWTO reports that the tourism sector employs nearly 266 million people – that’s 1 in 11 jobs on the planet!
Tourism can help to solve many of the world’s current challenges, like climate change, poverty reduction, and conservation.
2. Local government officials, civic organizations, educators, residents and students must attend a Peace Education Seminar(s) conducted by a recognized peace education organization, or by an ICP Advisory Board Member.
3. The community must raise funds to construct a Peace Pole Monument, and place it in a highly-visible location, as a reminder of its commitment to work together towards peace.
The Zihuatanejo Peace Pole Monument is located in Olof Palme Peace Park, along the beachfront.
4. Each year, the community must commemorate the International Day of Peace on September 21st.
5. The community must submit an annual plan to ICP for a Peace Education program. The Peace Education program can include a variety of activities regarding peace – personal, social, political, institutional, or environmental. Some suggestions are art programs, conservation, music, health, diversity, peace gardens, festivals, student exchange programs, etc.
6. The Peace Committee must submit an annual report to ICP of its activities.
7. The local government must make an official proclamation, signed by the Mayor, City council and the Peace committee that it will implement this peace program.
8. Recognition or re-recognition as a “Certified International City of Peace” will be conducted upon completion of the above steps, and at the change of local government administration. “Peace in Action!” can help to arrange for representatives from various non-governmental organizations or NGO committees at the UN to come as “witnesses” to the certification ceremony.
This is Peace in Action!
EXAMPLE OF OUR PROJECTS
“Pathways to Freedom in the Americas: Shared Experiences Between Michigan, USA and Guerrero, Mexico”
In 2011, under a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force of Southfield, Michigan, “Peace in Action!” Collaborative Educational Group, along with other educators, museum curators, exhibit designers, and experts in Guerrero, Mexico and in Michigan, USA, conducted research to create the “Pathways to Freedom” website and traveling exhibition. This international diversity project is about the shared experiences between African-Americans and African-Mexicans in their struggle for freedom and liberty.
Many people are unaware that Mexico – its people, its culture and its cuisine – are mixture of the native indigenous people, Europeans and Africans. The African presence in Mexico dates back to pre-Hispanic time when explorers from Africa first visited the Americas. Research reveals that, during the colonial period, there were more Africans in Mexico than Europeans. President Vicente Ramon Guerrero, for whom the state of Guerrero, Mexico is named, was of African descent. He abolished slavery in Mexico in 1821, thirty-six years before it was abolished in the United States. Many Mexicans helped thousands of enslaved Africans escape across the border from Texas to freedom.
The objective is to help develop relationships between the Latin and African-American communities, and between the general communities at large. The interactive exhibit is a traveling exhibit made available to Michigan communities and other communities upon request. Our educators are also available for photographic presentations and lectures.
This is Peace in Action!
International Peace Education Webinars & Conventions
Our youth and young adults in the Americas are calling out for recognition and protection of their human rights. In Mexico, forty-three students were recently kidnapped and murdered. In the United States, youth are protesting the disproportional arrests and killings of African-Americans by police. Recently, Canada singled itself out as the only country to raise objections over a landmark United Nations document re-establishing the protection of the rights of indigenous people. If we want peace in the Americas, we must teach peace.
In February 2015, Peace in Action! Collaborative consulted with the Education Peace Team of the International Day of Peace NGO Committee at the United Nations, and the Zihuatanejo Peace Committee to develop peace education Webinars for youth and educators.
Students, teachers, educators, and community leaders from around the world were invited to view and participate in a virtual peace conference for youth. Students received instruction and tools to help them become peacemakers in their own communities. Also included was the first virtual Yoga for Peace session. Teachers and educators also gathered for a round-table discussion to respond to our youth, and help guide hem to peace, rather than allow them to turn toward violence. This is peace in action!
These peace Webinars were recorded and can be viewed. Go to: https://vonvo.com/v/peace-in-action
Please log on from a laptop or desktop computer; no mobile devices. Use Google Chrome or Firefox browsers. In order to participate via chat, create a personal user account on Vonvo using email or Facebook login.
Contact us to help you with your community:
William H. Tucker, Chairman
Peace in Action! Collaborative Education Group, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico
Patricia Ann Talley,
Founder and Executive Director, Peace in Action!
Alliance Council of Leaders, International Cities of Peace Organization
Dr. Talia Weltman-Cisneros, Department of Classical & Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Professor Candaleria Donaji Mendez Tello, Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero, Unidad Académica de Turismo, Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico
Dr. G. Andres Cisneros, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Jean Trudel, Executive Director, Cercle de Paix, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Kelly Egan, INNEO, New York, New York, USA
For more information about Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, visit:
ABOUT ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO (from Wikipedia)
The Municipality of Zihuatanejo, Guerrero is in central Mexico,
located on the Pacific Coast in an area called the “Mexican Riviera.”
It is a tourist community comprised of two areas-Zihuatanejo, the
original fishing village, and Ixtapa, a developed resort area. The city
has about 120,000 residents. Zihuatanejo is known for its natural
beauty and beaches.
Zihuatanejo, or Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, is the fourth-largest city in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Politically the city belongs to the municipality of Zihuatanejo de Azueta in the western part of Guerrero, but both are commonly referred to as Zihuatanejo. It is on the Pacific Coast, about 240 km (150 miles) northwest of Acapulco, and belongs to a section of the Mexican Pacific Coast known as the Costa Grande. This town has been developed as a tourist attraction along with the modern tourist resort of Ixtapa, 5 km (3.1 mi) away. However, Zihuatanejo has kept its traditional town feel. The town is located on a well-protected bay which is popular with private boat owners during the winter months.
There are two possible origins for the name Zihuatanejo. One origin might be from the P’urhépecha language meaning “water of the yellow mountain;” another possible origin might be from Nahuatl (Cihuatlán) meaning “place of women.” Cihuatlán, or “place of women,” refers to the western paradise of the Nahuatl universe, the home of the “goddess women.” According to tradition, these women arose in the afternoon to lead the sun at dusk to the realm of the dead, Mictlan, to give a dim light to the dead. “De Azueta” is in honor of José Azueta, who died fighting a U.S. incursion into the country in Veracruz in 1914.
Zihuatanejo spent most of its history until recently as a sleepy fishing village. The federal government’s decision to develop the nearby resort in the 1970s has had major implications for both the city and municipality of Zihuatanejo. The area is now the third most-visited area in Mexico, after Cancún and Puerto Vallarta, and the most popular for sports fishermen. Zihuatanejo’s population jumped from 6,887 to 37,328 by the early 1990s. Recently, a new highway called the “Maxipista Siglo XXI” was built to connect Zihuatanejo with Morelia, cutting the travel time from Mexico City to about six hours.
DO YOU THINK YOUR COMMUNITY CAN BE A CITY OF PEACE? SEND AN EMAIL!