Educational Peacebuilding in Medellin and Acapulco: Understanding the Role of Education, Culture and Learning in Responding to Crises

The project aims to create a detailed understanding of the infrastructure, engagement, resources and policies required to educationally transform a community in order to contribute to reducing the negative impacts of drug-related violence and crime. It seeks to investigate the circumstances, policies and practices through which Medellin (Colombia) has been able to develop and implement an inclusive, life-long learning strategy, and to transfer that learning to Acapulco (Mexico). By working alongside politicians, community members, young people and stakeholders in both Medellin and Acapulco, the project team will work to put forward recommendations for responding to crises of violence. The innovative, participatory methodology will focus on informal education, producing an educational peacebuilding model and index for transferability, trialling concepts in the creation of a vision for ‘the Acapulco we want’, along with an implementation framework to create future positive learning opportunities.

 This proposal was inspired following the connections made between mayors of Medellin and Acapulco, by Sergio Hernandez, formerly a senior administrator for the Federal Government of Mexico City, and now a PhD student at the University of Glasgow. We are very grateful for the facilitation that he has undertaken, including at the 4th UNESCO Learning Cities conference in Medellin. We hope that the project makes a contribution to UNESCO’s work.

PI and Co-Is - International Collaborators


Professor Evelyn Arizpe and Dr Sinead Gormally - University of Glasgow, School of Education


Dr Nohora Niño Vega, El Colegio de Sonora, Mexico 

Dr Jerónimo Castillo Muñoz, Fundación Ideas para la Paz, Colombia

Start and End Date

March 2020 - November 2021

Funder and funding amount

British Academy GCRF