By: Patricia Ann Talley, MBA and Editor
June 13th marks the “100 Day Countdown” to the International Day of Peace (IDP) on September 21st. This year’s theme is “Education for Peace” and Ixtapa Zihuatanejo will participate with workshops on peace and non-violence throughout the schools in the community.
The Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Peace Committee, comprised of volunteers from the business and private sectors, is collaborating with the local Conventions & Visitors Bureau (CVB) to give workshops on non-violence and no-bullying to students throughout the area. Starting in September, the CVB will launch a community-wide program entitled, “Our Destiny is in Your Hands“ (Nuestro destino está en sus maños), which will include student workshops on the Environment, Quality Service, and Peace workshops on Non-violence and Human Development. The United Nations Peace Education Team sent Spanish language teaching materials from around the world for Ixtapa Zihuatanejo to use in our schools. The workshops will continue through the end of the year, concluding with a musical concert as reward for all who participated.
During a time when some people have a negative image of Mexico, the community of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Guerrero has committed to work towards creating a “Culture of Peace” throughout the area. Back in 2010, with the help of the Peace Center in Southfield, Michigan, USA, community members of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo participated in Peace Seminars on non-violence and constructed a Peace Pole Monument in Olof Palme Park as a reminder of the commitment to work towards peace. The community conducted a Peace Festival in September 2010 and again in November 2011, and was certified as a “Culture of Peace Community” in collaboration with the United Nations.
In 2012, Francisco Huitron Morales, a graduating student from Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero (Zihuatanejo’s tourism university) wrote a thesis on how to develop a culture of peace in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo that included many ideas to teach peace in our schools and to promote peace to the international community by hosting an International Peace Festival. The Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Peace Committee is using Francisco’s thesis to implement this year’s Peace Program.
“What better way to support our students!” says Professor Candaleria Donají Méndez Tello, a professor at the University who is a member of the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Peace Committee. “We are implementing a program for students, created by students. Our community depends on tourism – tourism means jobs, income and economic development for the people and families in our area. Kids learn about guns and violence from TV, video games and their surroundings. If we want our kids to be non-violent, we must teach them about peace,” she says.
In addition to the student workshops on non-violence, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo will conduct an official International Day of Peace Ceremony on September 21st. Officials and residents will gather at the community’s Peace Pole Monument and recommit their intentions of working together to create a “Culture of Peace.” Plans are also underway to host an International Peace Festival in March of 2014.
Educational Resources for You!
In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly officially declared September 21st as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace. By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in cooperation for this goal. The UN Resolution that established the International Day of Peace says: “Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”
You can take action! This year’s theme is “Education for Peace.” Here are some educational resources for you to share with your community and to teach to your kids.
Click to download these teaching documents.
For more information about the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area, see: