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.

PI and Co-Is

PI - Prof Evelyn Arizpe, University of Glasgow, School of Education

Co-Is - Dr Sinead Gormally, University of Glasgow, School of Education

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

Dr Nohora Niño Vega, Colegio de Sonora, México  

Start and End Date

March 2020 - June 2022

Funder and funding amount

British Academy


Project News

The project was launched in 3 September 2020 with a YouTube channel set up with initial videos from PI and Co-Is from Medellin and Acapulco introducing the project, followed by videos with team members promoting particular key aspects of the project: Four videos have been released in our social media channels including Twitter, the School of Education of Glasgow University social media channels, and through our partner online platforms. 

A survey with over 1000 citizens across Medellín was carried out to explore perceptions of peacebuilding and public policies implemented in the city.

In parallel a mapping exercise of the location and type of activities with nearly 500 grassroots organisations has also been carried out across the city. In Acapulco, a workshop with young people starts in June. Parents and young people will be part of artistic activities to explore the role of culture and nonformal education in their lives and neighbourhoods.

Preliminary findings will be included in forthcoming briefing papers that will be published at CR&DALL.

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