Intercultural education will soon become a reality in Venezuela, if Professor Angela Diaz has anything to do with it.
She spoke at at a public event today in Washington sponsored by TransAfrica Forum. Diaz has been making her way around the U.S. capital, speaking at Howard University and meeting Members of Congress to discuss the Afro-Venezuelan experience.
Diaz is a member of the Network of Afro-Venezuelan Organizations (La Red de Organizaciones Afrovenezolanas), has worked tirelessly over the past decade to help create a more inclusive education system. Like the U.S., Afro-descendants and Indigenous peoples in Venezuela have been too often distorted or omitted from public school curricula. Due to the work of people like Diaz, Venezuelan students will learn about all the ethnic groups that built the South American continent.
The new inclusive curriculum has been implemented in 17 states so far. Part of the process involves inviting community elders into the schools to teach. In one school, grandparents taught students how to make a fish recipe, which is stuffed in a plantain leaf. Fish is a vital resource for residents along the Caribbean coast, many of whom identify as Afro-Venezuelan. Along with the recipe, the children learned about history, culture, art, and the environment. Sharing ancestral knowledge is the key to transmitting what has been left out of the history books.
Diaz emphasized that students are inspired when they can see themselves and their communities represented in their lessons. See more of Professor Diaz’s work with Fundación Curduvare.