HEART OF MEXICO: VALLE DE BRAVO, 2014
The Heart of Mexico program was founded by Thorne Anderson and Lenin Martell. The project, now entering its third year, brings together students and faculty from the University of North Texas (UNT) and the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) for one summer month in a small town in Mexico state. The Dallas Morning News supports the program with members of their editorial staff who serve on the faculty.
This year 11 UNT journalism students were joined by five UAEM journalism students and six UAEM translation students. Students were divided into six teams trans-cultural teams, each comprising at least three of these specialties: writer, videographer, still photographer, and translator. Academics from the UAEM Department of Tourism presented their research to the Heart of Mexico group to provide a foundation for students’ field work.
Following intensive training as a group in the art of narrative storytelling, the teams were immersed in the small-town of Valle de Bravo and a nearby village, Pipioltepec. Students lived in the homes of local people and found their own story subjects. They revised their stories extensively through faculty consultation and group workshop exercises, and they presented their stories in a public forum open to a local audience, even including the subjects of the stories.
The Heart of Mexico project performs as a beacon for cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary collaboration and narrative multimedia storytelling. Each year the project expands its capacity as a field school where journalists and academic researchers might come together for mutual benefit – to intensify the depth and quality of storytelling, to provide an outlet for academic researchers seeking a wider popular audience, and to explore the boundaries and potential for narrative evidence.
Desiree Cousineau, Writer in Residence
WEBSITE PROJECT MANAGER
Thorne Anderson, UNT School of Journalism, Director
Lenin Martell, UAEM Department of Communications, Director
David Tarrant, Dallas Morning News, Writing Instructor
Hugo Andrade, UAEM School of Languages
Samantha Guzman, UNT, Project & Still Photography Instructor
Alfredo Corchado, Dallas Morning News, Mentor and Writing Coach
Romano Segrado, UAEM School of Tourism
Rocío Serrano-Barquín, UAEM School of Tourism
PROJECT FINANCIAL, STAFFING AND LOGISTICAL SUPPORT FROM
Joint UAEM-UNT Research Seed Funding Program
UNT Frank W. & Sue Mayborn School of Journalism
UNT Study Abroad Office
UAEM Department of Communications
UAEM School of Languages
UAEM International Office
Dallas Morning News
Feng Ruan & Paul Valdés
“Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie, (CC)