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Return to Chiapas

Both literally & figuratively, Chiapas is the bridge between Mexico and central America. Mexico’s southern-most state, it has a curious and complicated history of politics, land tenure and cultural clashes. It’s also an incredibly beautiful land of jungle and mountain highlands, both ecologically and culturally rich.

I first journeyed to Chiapas ten years ago this month on an alternative spring break trip my freshman year at American University. Now I’m back, setting up a pilot project for Digital Democracy where we are focusing on media & communications with indigenous communities under threat of eviction from the Mexican authorities.

I’m thinking a lot these days about agency, voice and narrative. The power of stories to perpetuate conflict, or help us transcend it. As I prepare to go offline the next few days into remote communities far from electricity, internet or cell phone reach, I’m aware I have as much or more to learn as I have to teach.

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