Tierra Indígena Montessori (TIM) is a newly emerging Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that facilitates reparations to Indigenous Peoples by supporting them in establishing educational spaces that maintain, strengthen and revitalize their ancestral languages and cultures through the Montessori Method. In collaboration with the network of Wildflower Schools, we aim to promote biocultural diversity, the inextricable link between the environment, ways of knowing and the languages that encode the knowledge. By building educational spaces that prioritize the autonomy and liberation of community members through Indigenous Education, we work to heal a long history of collective trauma and systemic oppression. We offer partnership to communities throughout Mesoamerica where linguistic and cultural diversity is at the most risk of loss. The work seeks to include language documentation, creation of Montessori and other pedagogical materials, fundraising, support of local community Teacher Leaders through certification, and offering school operational guidance. The first community that is exploring partnership is a community in Oaxaca, Mexico that speaks Xidza, a variant of the Zapotec language family.
Help Rayo Cruz, member of the Bëni Xidza community lead the documentation of his language. Rayo will work in collaboration with The Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages using their open source software. The proprietary rights of this body of work will belong to the Bëni Xidza community itself and will be available for their future use as they see fit. We will use Rayo’s language documentation to help us create Montessori and other pedagogical materials in Xidza for the future Giajladxi (Heart Flower) School.
Rayo is a Linguist and Xidza Teacher who disseminates his teachings through social media. Rayo has co-authored a Xidza grammar book and is host and author of the youtube channel Bëni Xidza.
Your support will help pay for technology such as laptops, microphones and editing software as well as compensation for the speakers contributing their knowledge.
Help send four Bëni Xidza educators to become certified in Montessori. This first round of training will serve in preparing the guides for the Infant & Toddler and Primary classrooms.
We envision a world in which children grow up in thriving communities where there is a deep understanding of their relationship to the land where they live, practice the traditions that celebrate their cultural roots, and fluently speak in the languages of their ancestors.
Biocultural diversity refers to the inextricable link between preserving biological diversity, indigenous ways of knowing and ancestral languages. In each place, the local environment has sustained people; in turn, people have sustained the local environment through the traditional wisdom and behaviors embedded in their cultures and languages.
Today, that biocultural link remains the strongest among people who have maintained close material and spiritual ties with their environments. Meanwhile, globalization, racism, and corporate greed subtly and explicitly work to extinguish all three elements of biocultural diversity from place. This project is in direct resistance to those oppressive forces and aims to support communities where there is community interest in maintaining, strengthening and revitalizing all three of the elements of biocultural diversity. There is momentum in society to work to create new regenerative systems that will reverse climate change and this is one way that we can work together in favor of that goal and is an invitation to others to participate in this healing project through thought partnership, creation or direct funding.
OUR FIRST SCHOOL
El Rincón de la Sierra Juárez, Oaxaca and the dream of opening Giajladxi (heart flower) School
El Rincón of Sierra Juárez, Oaxaca is a mountainous and tropical region in the Northeastern corner of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico made up of about 35 villages. There are around 50,000 speakers of Xidza, an at-risk variant of the Zapotec language family. About half of the population has now migrated to Oaxaca City, other parts of Mexico or the United States. We hope to help make high quality learning materials available to Bëni Xidza families wherever they may live.
While many bilingual schools exist in Oaxaca, they tend to face structural and bureaucratic obstacles, preventing communities from being able to offer high fidelity bilingual education programs. The laws have recently changed, making this a ripe time to create truly enriching schools with bilingualism at the center.
|1. Exploring||Summer 2021|
|2. Planning ← We are here.||Summer 2022|
|a. Language Documentation||Spring 2023|
|b. Teacher Certification||Summer 2023|
|c. Material Making in Target Language||Summer 2024|
|d. Campus Acquisition||Summer 2024|
|4. School Opening||Summer 2025|
|5. Ongoing School Operational Support||Continued|
9 Wildflower Principles
Wildflower Nine Principles describe critical ways that our schools bring our purpose, values and norms to life. They are not the only way a community could seek to pursue our purpose and live into these values and norms, but they articulate the choices we’ve made about what to collectively uphold and by extension the aspirations that define what it means to be a Wildflower school.
An Authentic Montessori Environment
providing a peaceful, mixed-age, child-directed environment
A Teacher-Led School
committed to remaining small, non-hierarchical and responsive to the needs of children
A Shopfront Setting
a neighborhood-nested school committed to working in partnership with the surrounding community to create an environment that is healthier for children
A Laboratory for Innovation
committed to exploring new ideas and the ongoing, scientific study and improvement of our practice
A Seamless Learning Community
blurring the boundaries of home and school
A Commitment to Equity
working to create diverse, inclusive learning environments that work for justice as the foundation of peace
An Attention to Beauty
cultivating a deep beauty in all things – in the design, culture and artistic expression within our school environments; in our interactions with one another; and in our relationship with ourselves
A Focus on Nature
emphasizing the nonseparation between nature and human nature
A Decentralized Network
advancing an ecosystem of independent wildflower schools that mutually support one another, and sharing our approaches openly for the benefit of all children
Tierra Indígena Montessori is a member of the Wildflower Schools Network
Wildflower is an ecosystem of decentralized Montessori micro-schools that support children, teachers, and parents. Our schools aspire to give all children and families the opportunity to choose high quality, beautiful learning environments as they follow life’s unfolding journey.
About Wildflower Schools
Our aim is to be an experiment in a new learning environment, blurring the boundaries between home and school, between scientists and teachers, between schools and the neighborhoods around them. Our schools are small and teacher-led, with deep parent engagement. At the core of Wildflower are 9 principles that define the approach.
Our network is supported by a foundation that works to build capacity, systems, tools and research to grow and strengthen the network.
Learn more about our story.
Blurring the boundaries between home-schooling and institutional schooling, between scientists and teachers, between schools and the neighborhoods around them. At the core of Wildflower are 9 principles that define the approach.
After the first Wildflower school was created in January of 2014, there was intense interest in the school and the approach. This interest led us to open-source the model and help other family groups and teacher-leaders to create new Wildflower schools. Each teacher-leader at each Wildflower school serves on the board of at least one other Wildflower school, creating a community of schools that are linked by both a shared philosophy and a network of shared relationships.