Center for Equity Promotion explores partnerships in Central America
The University of Oregon College of Education hosted a symposium earlier this year to highlight work in Central America by a team of researchers and educators from the UO Center for Equity Promotion, the University of Washington School of Social Work and Partners for our Children, and Eugene School District 4J.
The team consisted of Dr. Charles Martinez, Jr., UO College of Education’s Center for Equity Promotion; Dr. J. Mark Eddy, University of Washington’s School of Social Work and Partners for our Children; Carmen Urbina: Eugene School District 4J; and Betsy Ruth, Center for Equity Promotion, College of Education, University of Oregon
The presentation focused on the team’s recent visits to Roatán, Honduras, and to Antigua, Guatemala, to collaborate with governmental and non-governmental groups, community leaders and ministry officials to curb youth violence and enhance educational and social outcomes for youth. About 60 people attended the symposium.
“The countries of Central America provide a compelling lens through which to examine educational and social systems at their most challenged,” Martinez said.
The countries have been devastated by decades of civil wars, natural disasters and economic paralysis, as well as military, social and drug trafficking violence, he said. As a result, they face “enormous challenges as they strive to develop and sustain educational systems for their children,“ he said.
Martinez said very few children in the region have access to education and those who do rarely make it as far as sixth grade.
“Yet, many of the schools in Central America also include tremendous strengths, not the least of which is deep caring and love for children, and commitment to improve conditions for the next generation,” he said.
As collaborations in Central America develop, the team hopes to provide opportunities for students, educators and researchers to contribute to future educational projects.
- from UO College of Education