Educational leaders from Mexico visit Kanewai at UH Manoa campus

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Lillie Andrews, (808) 956-0980
Assistant Specialist, School of Hawaiian Knowledge
Posted: Oct 19, 2015

The lush oasis of Ka Papa Loʻi o Kānewai Cultural Garden served as the location for indigenous education leaders from Mexico to meet with faculty and staff from Hawaiʻinuiākea on Friday, October 9.

A traditional Hawaiian greeting in the hale pili was followed by a talk-story session led by Dr. Maenette Benham, Dean of Hawaiʻinuiākea.  After introductions and some background on Kānewai, the discussion turned to the similarities between the histories of the indigenous people of Mexico and Hawaiian people. 

“We have so much in common,” said Dean Benham, “including the importance of preserving culture through language and traditions such as medicinal arts.”

The Mexican group was excited to visit Kānewai and hoped to see a place that parallels some of the work they do at their universities. There was also a discussion of the potential to create an intercultural educational exchange between Hawaiʻi and Mexico.

Members of the visiting group included Guadalupe Camargo Orduno, president of the Autonomous Indigenous University of Mexico; Veronika Kugel, PhD, president of the Intercultural University of the State of Hidalgo; Cesar Palacios Gonzalez, president of the Superior Intercultural Ayuuk Institute; Samuel Salvador Ortiz, assistant from the Office for the Development of Indigenous Communities at the University of Guadalajara; Albert Sanchez Jimenez, president of the State of Puebla Intercultural University; and Monica Vivian Mascareno, PhD, academic director at La Salle Noroeste University. The group was accompanied by two translators.

Jon Yasuda contributed to this story.

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