Acompanar Obediciendo: Learning to Help in Collaboration with Zapatista CommunitiesReport as inadecuate

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Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, v10 n3 p43-56 Sum 2004

Joint service-learning programs of Wake Forest University and the University of Texas-El Paso are working to develop an anthropologically-informed service model for/with the authors' Universities, our students, and our community colleagues. Building on extensive ethnographic fieldwork and experience leading experiential programs, the model results from consultation and communication with the communities we "serve." This paper provides a case study of the authors' experience in Chiapas, Mexico, where collaboration with community partners is producing a refined theory and practice of service. It begins with the community's own definition of assistance and service, and continues through a commitment to acompanar (accompany) the group before, during, and after the service experience, producing a program and relationship based on symmetry and sustainability. (Contains 9 notes.)

Descriptors: Service Learning, Foreign Countries, Summer Programs, Field Experience Programs, Experiential Learning, Cooperative Planning, Cooperation, Ethnography, College Students, Teaching Methods

Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, University of Michigan. 1024 Hill Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-3310. Tel: 734-647-7402; Fax: 734-647-7464; Web site:

Author: Simonelli, Jeanne; Earle, Duncan; Story, Elizabeth


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