The first of three campuses of the Intercultural University of Oaxaca is a step closer to opening its doors in the indigenous community of Santos Reyes Nopala.
Located in southeastern Oaxaca in a mountainous region known as the Sierra Chatina, the Chatino people are to be the main beneficiaries of the new institution.
During a Three Kings Day ceremony in Nopala on the weekend at which the land was officially handed over, Governor Alejandro Murat said construction of the 50-million-peso (US $2.6-million) school will begin this month.
Nopala is one of the communities with the highest social inequality levels in a state that’s already one of the poorest in the country.
The university will have a capacity of 1,500 students and cater directly to 240 communities.
Its focus will be to promote the sustainable development of indigenous communities throughout the region, offering courses in alternative tourism, language and culture, forestry engineering and community health.
The academic scope of the university also includes the preservation of the Chatino language, currently spoken by some 23,000 people, and the preservation of the customs and traditions of the Chatino people.
The Intercultural University will also offer its students job opportunities through strategic alliances it has signed with Nissan México, Mitsubishi Motors and AT&T.
The other two Intercultural University campuses are to be located in the districts of Tlacolula and the Lower Mixe sierra.
Source: Milenio (sp)