A Little Adventure: First Module CED in Oruro
On Thursday, I was at the AIPE office getting ahead with my research when I heard that the first module CED was going to be held in the city of Oruro next day. Knowing that I missed my chance to take it in La Paz, I asked the Bolivian instructor Ricardo Valverde to let me integrate his class for this first module. Then, the next day I was standing with my suitcase in the terminal waiting for a bus going to that small city located three hours away from the capital, Oruro. On Friday June 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, the first module CED started, in which I had the opportunity to learn the basics of the CED approach. It was a great opportunity to learn from all the experiences of my classmates, who come from different communities in Oruro.
The students were professionals from different backgrounds, economists, psychologist, lawyers, nurses, and business people, who were part of territorial communities and community organizations, such as ACOPOdypp (Asociacion de Comunicadores Populares del Pueblo y Para el Pueblo – Association of community communicators by the people and for the people). Also, government representatives were taking the first module of CED, such as the indigenous council of the community Bellen de Andamarga, Mrs. Catalina Soto. As a fourth year student, it was an amazing opportunity to learn alongside classmates who have years of experience about project management, agriculture, communications, development and economy. It feels like a jump out of the books to the real world, which is an invaluable experience.
On Sunday, we all had to make presentations on how we would apply the concepts learned on the module in a real community. Most of my classmates chose territorial communities, such as Chuquichambi and Huari, which are their own communities. That was one of my favorite activities in the class because we got to evaluate how we can potentially apply the theory in real communities that matter to us.
It was interesting to see how CED is applied in the classroom; every experience was valued, and we all had something to share and something to learn. I had the opportunity to share with my Bolivian classmates life as student at Simon Fraser University and talked to them about the CSCD (Center of Sustainable Community Development) at the university.
At the end of the module, I was sad to say goodbye to the class who received me like one of their own. Definitely, this was an unforgettable experience.