Mexico is unique in that 2 organizations represent Federation EIL as Coalición Mexico. This week we’ll take a look at LAMAT, A.C.; and next week, we’ll introduce, Programas Educativos Interculturales (PEI)
(Adapted from About Our Institution: Federation EIL – Collective Histories, edited by Alvino Fantini.)
LAMAT Executive Director, Joshua Tripp, grew up in an “Experiment” family and was an Experimenter himself. In fact, even his grandparents participated as a host family; and Josh’s mother and her sisters were Experimenters. Later his mother served as a Group Leader, as did Josh. Even his brother and his cousins were Experimenters. Josh also worked in the original Experiment office in Mexico.
While finishing up their study of International Relations at University, Josh and three friends decided that they wanted to start a center which would fund research projects for college students interested in development issues, education, and cultural understanding for peace.
“That was how on, March 7, 2005, LAMAT was constituted an International Education nonprofit organization,” says Josh.
Over the years, LAMAT has grown, matured, and changed. New people have joined the team and new programs and projects have been developed. LAMAT also joined other national and international networks such as Federation EIL, the Mexican Association for International Education, and the Mexican Center for Philanthropy, to name a few, which has enabled greater participation in Mexican and international civil society.
“For LAMAT, it is vital that our programs are supported with solid educational content,” says Josh. “For this reason our organization works with leading universities in Mexico, allowing us to develop a broader portfolio of programs in areas as diverse as political history, marine biology, archeology, or art, to name a few.”
LAMAT also designs community service, cultural, educational, and volunteer programs in Mexico so that Mexican and international people can learn from each other in ways that facilitate tolerance and understanding among people.
With the help of international partners, LAMAT also develops programs worldwide so that Mexican participants can learn about other cultures while promoting their own culture in an active and responsible way.
To this day, LAMAT has sent and received participants to/from: the United States, Chile, Jordan, China, Argentina, Japan, Syria, Costa Rica, Morocco, England, Germany, India, Israel, Egypt, France, and Lebanon, among others.
“The international community that forms through such experiences is a veritable treasure,” says Josh. “National and international participants from all our programs, together with their host families, develop new perspectives of the world and want to keep in touch with people who share the same interests and the same openness toward a multicultural society.”
In the Mayan language, star is “ek,” but “Lamat” is the name of the particular star that the ancient Mayans used as a guide whenever they were traveling to explore their world. “Our mission is exactly that,” says Josh, “To serve as a guide for anyone interested in exploring the world. Follow your star.”
About Executive Director, Joshua Tripp: Joshua studied International Relations at Instituto Tecnoológico Autónomo de México in Mexico City and also specialized in Mexican History and Archeology at the National School of Anthropology and History. Joshua speaks six languages and has worked in International Education for twelve years. He served as consultant for Mexico‘s main airline to improve and open new cargo destinations in Asia and Latin America, and worked with an international non-profit micro-finance consultant agency. Most important of all, he comes from a long time Experiment family and was an Experimenter himself.