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EDUCATION.

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Education represented one of the most important and solid pillars of the Anahuac civilization. The millennial civilizing work that evolved from generation to generation would not have been possible without an excellent education system, which not only maintained the ruling foundations of the original project, but also inculcated in the children's children, knowledge, principles, values and the abstract civilization objective, consistently over several thousand years. The ancient Mexico education was compulsory and free.

"Nothing I have admired more, worthy of praise, than the care and order to raise their children by the Mexicans. Because in good understanding that raising and institutionalizing childhood and youth, lies all the good hopes of the Republic, they gave as a gift and freedom to their children which are two parts of that age and make them busy in honest and helpful exercises." (Joseph Acosta. 1962) 78

 

Education in ancient Mexico was one of the Anahuac civilization pillars and family its genesis. Indeed, the education given in the nuclear family was the deep foundation of these pillars. Children and young people were exposed to a moral and ethical base through ancient principles and values that sought to train them in the attitudes and values of life, the world, family, work, society, the divine and sacred.

 

The father and mother, grandparents, uncles and family in general, lovingly nourished their children in the large family circle. It is for this reason that the terms "cencalli and cenyeliztli" fully expressed the importance of the family and education. Cencalli literally means in Nahuatl language: "the whole house or all those who live in it". There is an indivisible duality in the culture of yesterday and today of the Mexican family and education. Cenyeliztli means: "status or nature of those who live entirely and jointly in a house".

 

The institutions.

 

There were three basic institutions; the Telpochcalli79 or "House of youth", for the basic instruction of children and young people; the Cuicacalli80 or the "House of song", where they learned "Flower and song" (understood as wisdom and beauty)81 to express their immeasurable spiritual force through art. Finally the Calmécac, or "The House of measure", center of higher learning, where the priests, administrators and leaders were formed.

 

Education began at home and the child was the center of attention and affection of the entire family. Babies were provided all the tender care that the family could give, but when the child turned seven years old was sent to the Telpochcalli and entered a system of strict discipline, strict order and scrupulous hierarchy. Girls and boys were treated equally as far as discipline. The educational system was the “Spartan” type and prepared them for the "internal war" (Classical period).

 

Children and young people of both genders, were taught not only science, as mathematics, astronomy, biology, or arts like singing, music and dance; In addition to learning to speak correctly; "read" and paint their codices, teachers taught them some to sow and harvest land, to build, carving, weaving and shaping. Others were taught planting, cooking, healing, raising children, growing plants, weaving and embroidery. The spirit of the ancient Mexico education was, "Forming an own face and a real heart" in children and young people.

 

The Calmécac82 was an institution that could attend only the best students. Young people starting their preparation in ancient and secret knowledge of the ancient grandparents were called "Warriors". They were called as such because they had to undertake the most difficult struggle that a human being can face. The fight within oneself; the battle to defeat "the internal enemy". This war was based on "Flower and song", which represents wisdom, philosophy and art. The Warrior goal was to let his "Heart Flourish" and feed from their loved ones. Beautiful metaphor, where the "war" is used symbolically, biophilous83 and spiritual. Warriors were prepared for the symbolic death to the material world and thus achieve eternal life of the spirit. This concept was Toltec from the Classical period. The Mexica, as we shall see later transgressed these principles as a basis for their imperialist expansion (Postclassical period).

 

These "total freedom warriors" were taken to the knowledge centers. By this centers are meant the so-called archaeological sites of the Classical period; they were not cities, ceremonial centers, fortresses, palaces nor pantheons. Surely these were knowledge centers of wisdom, that today, we find very hard to understand, but that we could call "engineering-energy", as they investigated life and the world through energy fields. These research and knowledge centers were isolated from the everyday life communities. However, the venerable teachers taught religion and wisdom, both to priests and cities administrators; as well as to the best young students that came from the Calmécac and who were sent to these ancient and mysterious places to become "flourished fruits" of their civilization.

 

"These are deep reflection testimonies, the most ancient heritage, in the field of education, from the indigenous Mexico. The ancient word was heard at home and in schools. It was the treasured lesson of those who exercised the magisterium in the Telpochcalli, "House of youth", and the Calmécac, "row of houses" for higher education....In a number of codices or ancient books of paintings and hieroglyphic characters of ancient Mexico appears the temachitiani figure, the teacher, whose attributes coincide in many respects with another character whose figure is idealized and exalted in several ancient Nahuatl texts of the old tradition. This character is the tlamatini, the wise. The etymological meaning of tlamatini also relates to the one with the word temachitiani. Tlamatini is "who knows something, who knows things". Temachitiani is "who makes others know something, know what is on Earth" and, things that can be seen by men. "Those who exercised the tlamatini profession, “wise", were precisely those who were responsible for the preservation and transmission of the testimony of the ancient word." (Miguel León Portillla. 1991)

 

Social norms had to be very sound, for structuring and maintaining a socio-spiritual project for thousands of years and that managed to survive, in the most essential aspects up to the present day. In effect, if we take as example Monte Alban in the Zapotec culture of Oaxaca.

 

It is assumed that construction began in 500 BCE, and it was abandoned around 850 CE, which implies three things: a permanent and massive construction work (the matter), with an architectural project that was not fundamentally changed (always used for what it was designed). 

Secondly, it remained with a single line of philosophical and religious thought over 1350 years approximately.

 

And thirdly, that it had a food, social and educational system which allowed this prodigy. This is truly surprising, because only a society with strong ethical, moral and religious principles could maintain and perform such a grandiose social project with such a high social energy cost and with a great effort, maintaining by many generations, apparently without changes. Monte Alban was not an isolated case in the Anahuac, hundreds of the now called "archeological zones" that proliferate in the national territory. The values created by the society of the ancient Mexico, are the foundations upon which “The profound Mexico”84 rests, as discussed by Guillermo Bonfil.

 

"It is remarkable that at that time, and on that continent, an American indigenous people have practiced compulsory education for all and that there would not be a single Mexican child from the 16th century, whatever their social origin, which was denied schooling". (Jacques Soustelle. 1955) 85

 

The reader will find in this paragraph of the French researcher, in principle admiration, but immediately a colonizing attitude and of assumed superiority, because it says that it is admirable that in America (and not in Europe) and especially "an indigenous people" (and not the French people), had in the 16th century (even though most likely the educational system was born with the Olmecs, before the Christian era) this type of education (compulsory, free and extended) for the entire population, which in Europe was only achieved in the 20th century.

 

The first public school was created in Italy in 1596. Popular education in the Anahuac probably has its origins in the advent of the Olmec culture, three thousand years before Europeans. Confidence in education is one of the most important legacies of the ancient grandparents that make up contemporary Mexico.

 

"To be able to penetrate even a little on the education ideals among the nahuas, it is necessary to begin from another of their fundamental conception. We refer to what the Nahua sages came to consider the "human person"... "your face, your heart." Obviously these words are designated for the speaker or interlocutor. We found this not in isolated cases, but very often, that is in almost all speeches pronounced in accordance with the rules of the Nahua tecpilatolli, that is –the noble or cultured language-.

 

In ixtli, in yóllotl – the face the heart-, always symbolizes what today we would call moral features and dynamic principle of a human being. And it is interesting to note, albeit in passing, the parallelism that exists in this point between the Nahuatl and the Greek cultures." (Miguel Leon Portilla. 1980)

 

In the rich literature which preserves luminous fragments of ancient thought, we can find lights that can guide us on this vast wealth of educational heritage that makes up the essence of the "Being Mexican". The Codex Matritense86 of the Royal Academy notes:

 

The mature man:

strong heart as stone,

resistant heart as a tree trunk;

wise face,

owner of a face and a heart,

skilled and sympathetic".

 

But the Nahuatl language, an ancient universe, contains very specific education concepts, which reveal a very rich world where our ancestors placed much emphasis. In fact, to get to know a culture is required to perceive it from the perspective of their cosmo vision and in the case of language: from its "cosmo audition" as asserted by Carlos Lenkersdorf,87 because the anahuaca people of yesterday and today, speak from their heart.

 

For example, the word -ixtlamachiliztli- which implies the action of giving or transmitting wisdom to external faces, speaks of the teaching-learning process or itech netlacaneco which means "Humanize the people wanting". Ancient Mexicans not only had public institutions such as the Telpochcalli, Cuicacalli or Calmécac, but within the Anahuac civilization, education was in itself an institution, central column which sustained the anahuaca society. Otherwise a thousand years of splendor and seven thousand five hundred of continuous human development cannot be understood.

 

The teacher.

 

Another very important aspect of education was teachers. The teacher embodies the same precepts of the "own face and the true heart". The master was a community Guide, beyond the classroom, because the teacher of all time educates with the example of his own life. The -temachtiani- teacher in Nahuatl language is defined in the Matritense Codex as follows:

 

“Teacher of truth,

does not stop reprimanding.

Makes others faces wise,

Makes others take a face,

Makes them develop it.

Opens their ears, enlightens them.

Is a teacher of guides,

Gives them a path,

One depends on him.

 

Places a mirror in front of others,

Makes then sane and careful,

Makes a face appear on them...

Thanks to him, people humanizes their wanting,

And receive a strict teaching.

Makes their hearts strong,

Comforts people,

Helps, remedies, take care of all”.

 

Of the Teacher’s talent, attitude and capacity the good performance of educational institutions depended, and of them, the potential and permanence of any civilization or culture will depend. The bases of a person, family or civilization are in the food, health, organization and education. We cannot conceive of the greatness of the Anahuac, its monuments, works of art, their extraordinary knowledge and countless achievements, without an education system which at least was permanently operating during more than 30 centuries prior to the invasion and European destruction. And it cannot be denied that the legacy is still alive and latent in the being of the contemporary culture of Mexico. What is required is to wake her up, activate it to reorient our way.

 

"-The simple linguistic analysis of five Nahua terms with which the figure of the teacher or temachtiani is described, would constitute the most eloquent commentary about his mission in the Nahuatl world.

 

The first is, teixcuitiani: "who-to-the-other-a-face-makes-take". Wonderful example of what we have called -Nahuatl language engineering-. It is composed of the following elements: the prefix te-(to others); the radical semanteme ix-(tli:face); and the participial form cuitiani ("that makes taking"). Together these elements, te-ix-cuitiani literally means (he who) "to-the-other-a-face-makes-taking".

 

The second term is te-ix-tlamachtiani: "who-to-the-faces-of-the-other-gives-wisdom". Again, we indicate the elements that comprise it: te (to others)-; Ix (tli: face or faces); tlamachtiani (that makes wise men, or makes them know things). The various semantemes together te-ix-tlamachtiani, is equivalent to "he-that-makes-wise men-the-faces-of-the-other".

 

The third term: tetezcahuiani: "that-to-the-other-a-mirror-puts-front". Composed of te (to others)-; tézcatl (mirror), word which derived from tetezcahuani: "to mirror", or placed before a mirror. The purpose of this action is clearly indicated by adding in the quoted text, so that they become "wise and careful".

 

Fourth term: netlacaneco (itech): "thanks to him, humanizes-the-wanting-of - people".  Applies to the teacher saying that itech (thanks to him); ne (people); tlacaneco (is dear humanely). This last term is in turn composed of neco (nequi passively: "love") and Talca (Tl) "men".

 

Fifth term: tlayolpachivitia: "make-strong-hearts". Composed of tla- indefinite character prefix that connotes a relationship with “the most varied things or circumstances"; yól (otl: heart); pachivitia (makes strong). Then the various elements together: tla-yol-pachivitia means precisely "with regard to things, makes strong hearts".

 

Such is the meaning of these five attributes of the Nahuatl teacher." (Miguel Leon Portilla. 1980)

 

Education concept.

 

The concept of the Anahuac education consisted in forming "own faces and true hearts" in the students, so it was not limited to academic aspects only. It went far beyond, to the depth of the feelings and personal and collective psyche. The moral and ethical aspect of education is what makes the “heart flourish". The concept of "Humanizing desire” implies educating the student feelings and attitudes. This corresponds to one of the highest principles of the anahuaca civilization, which is the shared responsibility with the divine to "Maintain and humanizing the world".

 

Education received by ancient Mexicans, at their House, the calpulli, the temple and the school was based on solid ethical and moral principles, but fundamentally they were educated to serve the community.88 Indeed, community service was the greatest social recognition action, largely explains the cultures continuity and the monumental size of their works. It is very important to point out this valuable fact that is still alive, as a cultural heritage, in the indigenous and peasant communities of contemporary Mexico. Get an education to serve and govern obeying, irrefutable legacies of our ancient indigenous cultural heritage.

 

"Existed in Mexico many Calmécac, each annexed to a certain Temple. Its administration and the young men or maidens’ education depended on the Mexicatl Teohuatzin, -vicar general– of the Mexican Church. On the other hand, every neighborhood had many Telpochcalli, whose administration was in charge of the telpochtlatoque –teachers of the young-, or for females, the ichpochtlatoque, -teachers of maidens-who were public and not religious officers". (Jacques Soustelle. 1955) 

Currently, it is very common to confuse education with instruction. Education is a process which starts with birth and ends with death. The education includes the transmission of values, principles, feelings, attitudes, which allow people to guide their life in a comprehensive manner through "balance". Instruction or academic education on the other hand occurs in a certain period of life and consists on the transmission of a number of skills that allow the student to be inserted into productive life of the society and achieve self-sufficiency.

 

Many of the heirs of the ancient grandparent’s culture have not been able to go to schools to get "instruction" and others cannot read or write, but most have a high education, in which the ethical and moral values allow access to a high quality of life.  Ángel María Garibay K. translated from Nahuatl a Huehuetlahtolli where the task of the teacher is explained and allows a glimpse of the moral value of education.

 

"Beginning to teach them:

how they shall live,

how they shall obey people,

how to respect them,

how they shall surrender to the appropriate, the right,

and how to avoid the non-desirable, not right,

strongly fleeing from evil and greed.

 

Everyone there strongly received:

prudence and wisdom".

 

As it has already been noted, education was not limited to the school. The House, the calpulli, the family were perhaps the center and beginning of the educational system of the ancient Mexican. Children from birth to the age of seven were tenderly cared for at homes. But when they attended the Telpochcalli their education became very strict and disciplined. The concept of educational institutions was that they should be self-sufficient. Reason why they were assigned farmlands for the calpulli,89 so that the students and teachers prepared the land, planted and harvested. They made their land produce, exploited natural resources rationally, fished, hunted and gathered. But they also built and maintained their buildings and gardens. They produced their belongings, tools, textiles and clothing, according to the region and the resources. The concept was that in making self-sufficient schools, pupils learned to be self-sufficient at home. Education went from older to younger and very disciplined.

 

"They were carefully taught

the songs,

which were called divine songs;

for this they used paintings of the codices.

Also taught them the days count,

the book of dreams

and the years book."

(Florentine Codex)

 

As is known, all ancient grandparents’ activities were intimately related to the religious aspects of their culture. Education was not the exception. Students combined academic study, with productivity, religion, sport and art. But fundamentally it was meant to exalt and strengthen their moral and ethical values. The principles of community service, while maintaining their religious practices, traditions and customs, obedience to parents, teachers and officials. Character temperance, self-control, body strength and conviction that ideals learnt young people at the education system, was proportional and a reflection of the great cultural feats made by the Anahuac civilization through their various cultures in time and space.

 

The ancient word.

 

Among preserved texts on children education we have the so-called "Huehuetlahtolli" or the ancient word, which was transmitted and jealously saved from generation to generation. Many of these speeches are still in the heart of the peoples of the indigenous Mexico and somehow survive in customs and traditions of the mestizo peoples. Following is a fragment of the speech of a father to his daughter:

 

"Well now, my girl. Listen good, look calmly; here is your mother, your lady, from whose bosom and guts you were created, you came out; as a little plant, as a grass you grew, you grew leaves, you flourished; as if you had been sleeping and woke up.

 

Look, listen, understand, such are things on earth. Don’t just live anyhow, don’t just go anywhere. How you shall live, where shall you go? It is said, my girl, little dove, little girl, that earth is a really difficult place, horribly difficult.

 

You should know that you come from noble people, that you are a thorn and spike, of our lords, who left us, those who already left to the other side, those who had come caring for the mat and the chair, those who gave fame and glory to the nobility.

 

Listen to me, in truth you're noble, you must see that you are something precious, even if you are a little girl, you are jade and turquoise. Cast and carved gem, red blood, needle and spike, hair and nail, nobility fragment and splinter. Or is it that you still don't understand enough, that you're still playing on the floor with dirt and ceramic?

 

You already understand some things, you observe them. Not just by your taste you should degrade, do not shame our Lords over anything, the King Lords that left us when they left, don't be a macehual, and don’t end up as a macehual.

 

Live in peace on earth, among the people, because you're a young woman; here is the work that you have to do: be devoted at night and day, sighing many times for him that is night wind; beg a lot of him, call him out loud, open your arms before him in your bedroom, when you go to bed.

 

Do not enjoy sleep; wake up, raise, get up suddenly in the middle of the night, go on your knees and elbows, then stand up, bow and reverence, call the Lord, our Lord, he who is night and wind, as he likes to hear you at night; then he will have mercy on you, then will give you what you deserve... ".

 

"Secondly, here is my advice to you, which I beg, my child, my daughter, and that you already know very well: do not shame our Lords, from whom you descend, do not throw dust and garbage on their black and red ink, don’t shame nobility in anyway. Should not want more; right away, carnal acts, or knowing dirty things, unclean, that although you really change, will these make you a goddess? You should not hurry in spoiling yourself. Go calmly, very calmly." (Sixth book of the Florentine Codex)

 

To have a complete idea, following is a transcript of another Huehuetlahtolli speech. From a father to his son, to strengthen his education:

 

"My necklace, my beautiful feather; just as precious metal is forged, as jade is bored, in the same way you've been forged, you've been bored. I own necklaces, and beautiful feathers, I have children. I'll tell you a few words that I would like to tie near your ear.

 

Perhaps..., like this..., not like this, perhaps I will only stutter, I am an old man, I'm an old woman. Just like this get my words close to your bosom, to your throat. You are my foot, my hand, the fruit of my insides, you worry; you're necklace, a beautiful feather, and you are a tail, a wing, you are common people in the village. Where does still come a lip, a mouth? Will you be the one that receives advice? I shall make you eat, I will make you eat jade, I will instill in you the good and wise word, so you're not a chest, a bag, which only holds things. From where do they still come? Within you the Lord will conceal jade, turquoise, the decent, beautiful, what is hidden, what is kept.

 

And now you already realize, you've corrected, do not make yourself people tiptoe. And those who threw you on earth are afflicted, those who left you on earth, your ancestors. Will they come again to make you eat? Will they come to make you drink the sweet, the tasty, the face of the people, the heart of the people? And more, say what the elders say. Isn’t it something? Because I have held what are the hands, your feet, and the people that serve you. Perhaps like this, perhaps not like that I am your mother, perhaps your father, such I advise you. With this will you throw me? like this will you push me? To me that I am your mother, to me that I am your father?

 

You're jade, quetzal feather, calmly; carefully, tactfully live thanks to the owner of the nearness and the proximity, the giver of life.

 

Do not live with clumsiness, or roughness. Here one day, two days perhaps will even make you stay, he for whom we live.

 

You know that the deer, when pursued, runs scared, he does not know that he is going to fall into the trap where he will die. And you; are you perhaps a deer, so that you do not know where you are going? Because you have been shown the path that you have to follow, at your discretion you shall have accomplished it if you lose. As the fruit tree that no longer turns green, that does not sprout -only sprouts, only renews if resists the frost-, then it withers, then it dries. And you, if you do not turn green, produce sprouts when there is greenery, when there are renewed sprouts, is because at your own will you you've thrown yourself at the mouth of the beasts.

 

Perhaps with tranquility, perhaps calmly life is lived on earth? This is all that I bring to you, to your hand, your feet, to your person. So be it with your hand, your face, with your heart, with your whole being. Maybe only once will I make you eat, make you drink my saliva, my mouth foam? The words that I tell you? Only this is already what you hear, my son."90 (Huehuehtlahtollo testimonio de la antigua palabra.91 Miguel León Portilla- Librado Silva Galeana. 1991) 92

 

Education is one of the most important structures of every culture. In education are transmitted the values, principles, attitudes, tastes and feelings which give a unique "personality" to every culture. Perhaps education was one of the most important values of the Anahuac civilization, was the importance given by our ancient grandparents to education. Educational heritage that we Mexicans have is reflected in family and community relations. The high respect and affection for parents, grandparents, friends, godparents (compadrazgo) affection. The voice volume, the forms of verbal courtesy, family, friends and social protocols. Urban courtesy, respect for authority, respect for traditions, festivals, customs and habits. The mystical and respectful relationship with nature, respect for religious forms. Many small big details of our millenary way of being have their ancestral origins in the educational process that were brewing, systematizing and transmitting through many generations, not only in schools, but basically in the daily life of the family and society. This legacy has not died nor it has disappeared, it is only ignored and in a latent state in the sons of the sons of the ancient grandparents.

 

"Personally, I have the recording of a huehuehtlahtolli, whose contents are recommendations from a mother to her daughter, all similar to those expressed in texts transcribed in the sixteenth century. I refer to a huehuehtlahtolli delivered in 1969 by a woman native of the Nahuatl community at Santa Ana Tlacotenco (Milpa Alta, Mexico, D. F.).93 It is worthy of attention, not to say amazing, to discover that there are contemporary narratives in several Mesoamerican languages that closely follow issues of the "ancient word" and that sometimes seem "readings", made almost five hundred years later, from a page of a prehispanic Codex."  (Miguel Leon Portilla. 1996)

 

Education as inheritance.

 

It is true that education that we Mexicans have inherited from our ancient grandparents, in the last decades of the 20th century has gradually been lost in in the Mexican society; however, it can still be found in indigenous and peasant communities. The foundations and roots are solid and alive. Five hundred years of demeaning our education has undoubtedly borne colonial fruits. But we have not lost as people and as a civilization this valuable cultural heritage. We assert that all ancient peoples of the world, have a "genetic bank of cultural information", which is transmitted from generation to generation and that travels through time in the collective unconscious. That it is "there", and it surfaces when required, especially in times of contingency, it magically appears from the depth, forceful and solidly. Seemingly without explanation. As the "spontaneous" and immediate organization seen during the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City.

 

The poorest Mexicans. Those that have not been able to study for generations are those who believe and respect education the most. They can go without eating, so that their children attend school. Who taught them this? How do they know that education is a mid-term process and guarantees raising the quality and standard of living of the people? How do they know, who taught them that education is the only true way to overcome their shortcomings and limitations. This profound conviction, this "silent knowledge" saved in their "genetic memory" is the result of 30 centuries, during which our ancestors lived in a structured educational society.

 

Below is the transcription of parts of a revealing interview made by a journalist to a tlamatinime and was published in the “Uno mas Uno” newspaper, on March 19 and 20, 1979. It is surprising to find, in the interviewee replies, the permanence of the philosophical ancient Mexico concepts of education at the end of the 20th century.

 

"A few miles from Tollantazingo, renamed by the Spaniards as Tulancingo, and translated from Nahuatl as the small Tula, in honor of the great Toltec Tula, the tlamatinime (Sage) Angel Xochimapictli, a Tecocan and direct descendant of the female branch of Netzahualpilli, son of Netzahualcoyotl, stated that the earthquake movements that distress inhabitants of this part of the planet, are because “earth is a completely live being and moves its heart"... “At an isolated place, that except for the sage presence, has no traces of the former greatness of the ancient culture that flourished along with “Tula Atlantes”, the tlamatinime commented that the wise and the native sorcerer are responsible for keeping alive "our ancestors vision of the world", differentiating both activities with these words: the "teixtlamachtiani" - who makes the others take a face, a personality-, has the mission of accumulating, preserve and transmit the ancient knowledge of our parents to our children, while the tetezcauiani, the sorcerer, who places a mirror in front of others, has a duty to keep the secret of eternal life... “The Texcocan sage reads Spanish perfectly, but prefers it to be read to him, “to know the nature of the words", and does not write his teachings because "already there was a day when those that came burned our codices, and since our books are written in the tongue and stored in memory, so that only by finishing all ancient men their beliefs can end..." "During five hundred years they have tried to destroy the foundations of the ancient thinking. They have removed stone by stone, we have been stripped of all our belongings, have destroyed our temples, the land, the status of men. They have turned us reserved, “said the elder, with a special intonation on the last word”... Being an indian – said the wise man during the conversation- in the land of our fathers is to live disinherited. Nothing belongs to us anymore and, however, we still retain everything that was ours... Do you mean that living in the interior of the world is to preserve the rites, customs and traditions of your ancestors? “Not only that –said the old man- taking back his seat and his pulque container. There are many indians who are faithful to the traditions and are already more dead than alive.” Then? Children and adults made a circle surrounding the sage seemed as expectant as the reporter to hear the answer. -The important thing is that the ritual is alive in the heart of the Indian. Even though their altars have been destroyed, their priests burnt, their customs covered with the ashes of their dead, Earth exists and is open for he who is able to find the opening or slit, the path to its heart.” (Fernando de Ita. 1985) 94

 

Colonizers when trying to destroy the Anahuac civilization and keep their children in a perennial exploitation condition, have tried for five centuries to dismantle, prohibit and demean the education structures and education institutions of the invaded people. Not just public institutions, which at the time of the conquest became one of the first targets of barbarism, as well as teachers’ persecution, but the non-formal institutions that held family, work and social spaces. The colonizer knew that to the extent the colonized loses their public and private education spaces, they shall become helpless and vulnerable. Ignorance is the mother of all injustices and the fundamental colonization basis.

 

In closing this chapter, we wish to add a fragment of a text entitled "A declaration of independence" on the occasion of the Fifth Centennial anniversary written by Dr. Bonifaz Nuño, one of the most solid intellectuals and one of the great Mexican poets, who holds the aspiration of those Mexicans that wish to end the mental and cultural colonization endured by the Mexican people:

 

"The root of current Mexicans, I insist, is unique. This is confirmed by the color of the skin of the vast majority. And that skin color seems continually accompanied by with the ignorance weight and its immediate consequence, misery.

 

This new call to independence should in the first place be a call to education. To an education model, in which every kind of inferiority admission should be suppressed, that ever since the European invasion, has been imposed upon us". (Rubén Bonifaz Nuño. 1992)

  

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