The date of the Conference has arrived and, while we wait, something already seems to mark an important feature of this event: one breathes humanism.
The weekend rain has come to baptize a meeting that brings together hundreds of educators from more than twenty countries worldwide. They all represent diverse, international currents but the critique of traditional education-and its reproduction of an unequal society is common ground for the meetings, discussions and analysis.
A contrast against the dehumanizing tendency of education in the capitalist society can be seen immediately: love is spread here. People hug each other. We care about human beings.
Yesterday, many were commenting on their Facebook status about the banning of hugs among students from a school in New Jersey. We read with horror about this nonsense. Can love be forbidden? Can affection be regulated? Now, two students who are a couple, or friends or just classmates who respect each other risk being "reprimanded" by the simplest of gestures. If that was to happen in Nuestra Escuela (Our School), we would all be banned since, here, before beginning the school year, all students learn to hug their colleagues. Education is not confined to the contents of study and it should not lose its humanity. In that sense, IDEC is been celebrated in a good time.
The rain does not stop, but the hundreds of people arriving remind me of that protest slogan we’ve all sang so many times: "Neither with rain nor with bullet will this fight be over". The music plays, the dancers enjoy the occasional typical song and the rain stops in order for the sun to shine. It seems like a great message from nature. We have a future to work. For that, we are here.
The author is a teacher at Nuestra Escuela (Our School) in Caguas, Puerto Rico.