Mundo de Talentos

Mundo de Talentos is a new vocational training program for children between 10 and 13 years old in the South of Mexico. As a non-profit, we introduce children to interesting professions and study subjects through an intensive three-year program held each Saturday. Passionate professionals (volunteers) share their work experiences and invite children to learn in a participative manner about possible career opportunities. The project motivates the inclusion, curiosity, and empathy of children, by sharing real-life experiences in subjects as diverse as philosophy, medicine, the arts, biology, architecture, journalism and many others.

The main focus of the project caters to children from low-income families who would otherwise not have access to vocational training. Therefore, participation is free, apart from a small transportation fee when required. As a result, Mundo de Talentos primarily serves public school students, however does not exclude children attending private schools. One of the objectives is to foster empathy among youth of different socioeconomic backgrounds. Therefore, children from different neighborhoods are invited to participate.

Classes are held at the elementary school for alternative education Pequeño Sol. An inspiring location set in the backdrop of a forested area outside the center of San Cristobal de Las Casas.

The duration of the program extends for a three year cycle. Upon which, students will obtain a graduation certificate. In our inaugural year, the program launched in January 2019, with a student body encompassing 40 participants. By the third year, Mundo de Talentos will reach a maximum capacity of 120 students.

We strive to implement an inspiring, diverse, and above all, fun program that encourages youth to continue developing themselves and become active and empathetic citizens.

General objective of the project

Mundo de Talentos contributes to the personal and professional development of Mexican youth. We take into account the strengthening of their self-esteem, and the improvement of their sense of belonging in society. By providing firsthand experience, Mundo de Talentos, strives to make life and career goals a more tangible reality for the students, so that they can better dictate the outcome of their futures inside the community and beyond.

Founders

Mundo de Talentos was founded in 2017 by Laura Baas and Eleni Asimakopoulos. Laura has Dutch Nationality and has lived in Chiapas, Mexico since 2010. She has over 15 years experience in the field of social investigation and the defense of human rights, specializing in the regions of Nicaragua, Bolivia and Mexico. Eleni Asimakopoulos is passionate about alternative styles of education. Since she graduated in 2006, Eleni has stimulated young people´s social and cultural development through different educational projects, among which IMC Weekendschool. Both Laura and Eleni´s conviction to help facilitate young people in the choices they make regarding career and life goals led them to launching Mundo de Talentos.

Funding

The confidence and financial support of the Dutch shipbuilding company DAMEN SHIPYARDS, IMC Charitable Foundation and DSM Nutritional Products made possible the official start of the activities of Mundo de Talentos in January 2019. On January 25, the official opening took place with the students, parents, school boards, delegates from Damen Shipyards and DSM Nutritional Products, the municipal head of Education of San Cristobal de Las Casas, and the team of Mundo de Talentos. At the location of the Pequeňo Sol primary school, the students and the team celebrated the start of the first year together with the guests.

Other contribution

In addition to financial means, Mundo de Talentos also looks for substantive cooperation by connecting two worlds; our prospective partners and the students looking to be inspired by them. Through various methods such as the utilization of guest teachers, comprehensive educational packages, and adaptable curriculums Mundo de Talentos allows for companies and organizations to obtain a platform to enthuse students about a particular craft or work field.* In this way, perspective entities contribute to the development and future prospects of young people in Mexican society.

Global Network

This project takes inspiration from IMC Weekend School based in the Netherlands. Initiated in 1998, the concept of IMC Weekend School has garnered rapid success, and has begun expanding globally with initiatives in Belgium (three branches) and Germany, and over thirty Weekend School spin-offs in the Netherlands. The concept works! Research shows that IMC Weekend School alumni are more self-aware, confident, more connected with society, and have better professional prospects. In 2018, IMC Weekend School celebrated it’s 20th anniversary.

In 2009, IMC Weekend School was awarded winner at the Marketplace of Ideas – United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. In 2010, IMC Weekend School was a finalist for the WISE Awards (World Innovation Summit for Education).

Mundo de Talentos Pilot Project

From January to March 2018 a successful pilot project was implemented in San Cristobal de Las Casas. A pilot project helped us adapt the content and ways of working to the context of Chiapas.

The volunteers of the team of Mundo de Talentos were all trained by a veteran employee of IMC Weekend School. Twenty students from two different schools were selected to be part of the pilot project. During five Saturday’s the students met different local guest teachers that showed them the world of agriculture, biology, language and music.

The principals and the teachers of the schools involved were very enthusiastic about the pilot and endorsed the importance of the supplementary education of Mundo de Talentos; deeming it a vital necessity to the students regular educational curriculums.

Quotes of people involved in the project:
Female student

I felt excited about the project because we did things that I never normally do in my life

Mother of one of the students

I am very grateful to the project because my son was being quite aggressive and depressed. We went through a difficult family situation which made my son very depressed and he even started failing subjects at school. With the project of Mundo de Talentos he became so animated and cheerful again! We even see that he has better grades in school, and is showing better behavior in the classroom.

Guest teacher

Participation in Mundo de Talentos as a guest teacher helped me to rethink my ways of sharing information and especially with such a young urban audience!

Teacher public school

“I think Mundo de Talentos is a magnificent project for my students because we need vocational training. Here in Mexico we do not focus enough on vocational training, so that students, when they are adolescents, are able to make the right decisions for their future”.

*For more information about the project please contact Laura Baas at: info@mundodetalentos.mx or telephone: +52 967 118 7578 www.mundodetalentos.mx