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Literacy and decoloniality in youth and adult education: Chronicle of an encounter in Iztapalapa, Mexico




popular education, critical literacy, decoloniality, youth and adult education


Research on youth and adult education (YAE) in non-school settings has questioned key assumptions of the dominant YAE policies and discourses, which in Mexico and other countries is still conceived as a remedial service. This article presents an example of the educational work of a grassroots organization focused on health promotion in Iztapalapa, Mexico, the most overpopulated, chaotic, dangerous, and historically marginalized area in Mexico City. Based on observation of events and interviews with residents and popular educators, a detailed chronicle is made of a massive encounter of the popular health movement (MSP), a network of healers and popular educators where practices of critical and implicitly decolonial literacy are evident through educational workshops and alternative therapies that facilitate contact between low-schooled local residents and highly educated and critically trained popular educators. The research illustrates grassroots educational and pedagogical alternatives in Latin America that seek to develop critical and implicitly decolonial thinking focused on changing the self-perception of low-schooled and low socioeconomic status people and help them to become transformative agents in their own lives and communities.


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Author Biography

Gregorio Hernández-Zamora, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana

PhD in Language, Literacy, and Culture; University of California at Berkeley. Profesor-Investigador Titular. Miembro del Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (SNI-CONACYT) de México.



How to Cite

Hernández-Zamora, G. (2023). Literacy and decoloniality in youth and adult education: Chronicle of an encounter in Iztapalapa, Mexico. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 31.



Educação de Pessoas Jovens e Adultas, Letramentos e Decolonialidade