Each of the four UVI centers has a Regional Advisory Council (CCR in Spanish), formed by community leaders and actors from various institutions and organizations, interested in the region’s development. They offer advice and make suggestions on possible directions in academic, outreach and research activities.
The Regional Advisory Councils –as well as wider groups of producers, organizations, social actors and communities in general– receive periodic advances of research work carried out by faculty and students jointly. Communities become part of the research work, providing feedback on work and receiving information and results. This reciprocity builds confidence and makes is possible to collaboratively carry out projects that seek solutions to specific problems.
When the project topic chosen by a student is assessed for its pertinence and outreach, the need for an ample and profound diagnosis is reiterated to students. This diagnosis involves conceptual and theoretical development on the research processes that arise throughout these processes, not a priori. The theoretical tools that we use to understand a phenomenon are not only found in books, but also in local knowledge, in the wisdom of the men and women of these regions, which is theoretical knowledge.
The indigenous theoretical concepts help, and have always helped, to think and rethink reality and phenomena. This theoretical perspective of the communities, gathered, rethought in a living and ancestral way, may be fertilized with other perspectives and knowledge. That is what we mean by intercultural education and why UVI is necessary and important in intercultural environments of the state of Veracruz to formalize and systematize this depreciated theory and develop a knowledge dialogue.
This is where the training and presence of young people are needed to save collective memory, community memory and reconcile the generational gap in the communities, when young people’s beliefs are far removed from those of their parents and grandparents. Traditions can be seen as an intercultural and intergenerational space, where a shared effort is made to by generations to preserve them, where possible.