Participants of dream's Global Literacy Program embark on an educational adventure trip in second semester of grade 11 that includes: workshops, house visits, instructive presentations and historical tours. Students expand their global literacy skills; learn about the societal and historical issues facing the community of Ek Balam and Dunnville to promote positive change in their lives.
The Global Literacy Project is one of five grade 11 dream Working Groups. It is designed to expose students to the connection between local and global issues in a fun and adventurous atmosphere. Workshops are designed to encourage critical thinking and learning through questioning. The objective of the DREAM Global Literacy Program is to transform the students to recognize the value of education in their lives, plan for the immediate future once returning back home and to take their amazing privilege of being born in an economically privileged country seriously. Each March Break, 20 Dunnville students and mentors participate in dream's Global Literacy trip to Ek Balam, Mexico.
Ek Balam is a small Mayan village situated in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. In this friendly setting, Grade 11 Dunnville Secondary School students spend the week learning and interacting with local Mayan families. Interactive workshops and games allow participants to further understand global issues and their significance in their everyday lives. The students explore issues of globalization including lack of credit, inflation, supply and demand, agricultural subsidies, free trade, fair trade, multi-national corporations and the roles of international organizations like World Bank, IMF, and the World Trade Organization as well as environment and sustainable development, education and global poverty. Through global literacy, students are empowered with knowledge which will be of benefit to them and to society as a whole.
Was it worth it?
You be the judge by reading the following essay written by a dream student in Ek Balam:
" I sit on this doorstep in a world of opportunity, a world of freedom, wondering why I haven`t thought about change long ago.
I came on this trip hoping to learn about third world and I did just that, but I feel like I came out with a better sense of knowledge of the people around me. You start to realize that if we all came together and expressed our deepest feelings we could do the unthinkable. I look at things now and try to ask myself why things are there, instead of just accepting them.
You open your mind to a whole different perspective of life, love and family. This has given me the extra push to make myself who I am.It isn`t other people who make yourself who you are, it is YOU. I havenever felt so passionate about life before. My eyes have never been so wide and my heart has never been so lifted.
Gracias mentors, peers and Ek Balam for giving me the opportunity to be someone other than something, a `we' and not a `me`. I couldn`t have asked for better people to spend this time with, coming with best friends would not have made such an impact. What a ride it has been.
`If anything could ever feel this REAL forever'" Global Literacy Field School Participant, 2009