Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario (IMDEC)
IMDEC supports local, sustainable development, focusing on justice, equality and the re-foundation of democracy through citizen participation and action. They promote the vigilance of human rights through popular education and communication.
Middlebury students have participated in the follow through of community development processes in Southeast Jalisco, tracked personal and organizational data of workshop participants, participation in methodology of popular education workshops, and popular communication workshops. Students also supported the development of didactic material for group coordination workshops.
Statements from past students:
“My internship was with el Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario (IMDEC). The organization works on a variety of projects, but all focus on providing disenfranchised communities in México with organizational, educational, and communicative tools with which to improve their specific community needs. This includes environmental, political, economic, and social problems. Within IMDEC I worked with a small group of people on a nation-wide initiative called Poder Ciudadano. In accordance with the previously mentioned focus, this project works in communities within the state of Jalisco to help them diagnose the problems in their communities, and effectively plan solutions that they autonomously can implement. In this way, the project lives up to its name: it empowers citizens to solve the problems within their communities in their own way. This includes improving relations with local or state authorities, encouraging citizens to be politically and socially active, and working on women’s issues. My day-to-day tasks tend to be mini-projects assisting both Poder Ciudadano and IMDEC more generally. For example, I compiled important demographic information (population, level of education, access to drainage systems and clean water, political affiliations) about each of the five municipalities working with Poder Ciudadano, created a directory of all community development non-profits in Mexico, transcribed a promotional video, and updated the catalog of all the books, games, and videos that IMDEC offers. On one occasion I went to the municipalities for the weekend and participated in problem-diagnosis and development meetings, an opportunity that I have not been able to take advantage of again because of my class schedule, though I intend to do so. The working environment is casual, comfortable, my colleagues are wonderful and overall, my time spent there has contributed greatly to my learning of Spanish, my understanding of social problems in Mexico, and my knowledge about community development.”