Education/News/November 2017/Shaken but not deterred

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Shaken but not deterred[edit]

Author: Leigh Thelmadatter

A sophisticated animation about the "Vochol" a VW Beetle with Huichol beadwork

Summary: Two major earthquakes in Mexico affected Wiki Learning work, but I couldnt be more proud of our students and faculty who perserved to continue making fantastic Wiki contributions.

One of ten buildings (of 14 total) to be demolished to completely rebuild the campus

They say that in disasters you find out what stuff you are made of. Proof positive of this can be seen in the students and teachers participating in Wiki Learning Tec de Monterrey.

Mexico experienced two major earthquakes in September 2017, an 8.2 off the coast of Chiapas on September 7 and a 7.1 in the state of Puebla on September 19, on the 32nd anniversary of the infamous 1985 earthquake in a twist of cruel irony. The September 9th event damaged the coast and was felt significantly in most of southern and central Mexico, including Mexico City. The September 19th event had major impacts in Mexico City, Puebla, Morelos and a portion of Guerrero state.

Both have had effects on the work of Wiki Learning Tec de Monterrey. The 9/7 event produced numerous aftershocks, which limited a wikiexpedition on the third week of September. The 9/19 event, known here as 19-S, has shut down and nearly destroyed the Mexico City campus, where most Wiki Learning activities are based. Most tragically, 5 students were killed on this campus from the quake. During the rest of the semester, online and graciously-offered classroom space at other schools were used entirely for classes and essential administrative functions as a temporary campus is built on the athletic fields.

You might think that all Wiki Learning activities would have been cancelled as well, but this is not the case. Fall is the annual "Semana i" event. A week when students do projects instead of going to class. While three projects on the Mexico City campus were indeed cancelled, those on the Queretaro campus (new) and the Chiapas campus (also new) still went ahead even though Chiapas was still experiencing aftershocks from the September 9 event.

Interview of author and illustrator Alejandro Flores Pinto about reintroducing the Chilean comic Condorito into Mexico.

Although given the option to drop the community service requirement for the semester, 19 students at the Mexico City campus opted to continue contributing to Wikimedia, almost entirely in Wikimedia Commons. These incredible students not only did relatively "easy" projects such as photography and translation, but the continuation of a number of video and animation projects.

I am in awe of what these students have done, despite the emotional roller and the disconnect that comes from having no fixed place or time to meet and touch base. In particular, I share links to work that would be exceptional in the most privileged of circumstances, but coming from ruins of buildings and schedules, is beyond words.

More student work can be seen at

Tags:Wiki Learning Tec de Monterrey,