Producing and Recreating School: Models for Strengthening School Knowledge

The open calls and projects that make up the work with the school community and residents of Santa María la Ribera seek to accommodate different ways of knowing, teaching methods, and open cosmovisions, which, because they are situated within the spectrum of knowledge and field experiences not recognized by official school curricula and are located outside of the school institution, are not considered valid in curricular terms.

This effort includes multiple formats that are constantly being experimented with and developed: summer courses for public school students; activities with educators related to the exhibitions produced by Casa Gallina in the Geology Museum; visits to Casa Gallina’s garden as support for curricular subjects; agriculture and cooking workshops, and courses focused on reflecting about consumption; film projections and conversations in school premises; and the distribution of didactic materials among school communities.

Casa Gallina serves as a professional ally for the educational authorities in basic and upper secondary education in the community of Santa María la Ribera and is able to provide the necessary mediation with diverse neighborhood residents, associations, and professions in order to implement new content and activities that diversify what is learned within the schools. Conversely also, Casa Gallina corresponds to the interests of the neighborhood and allows different residents and civil associations to experiment with new forms of education that, rather than contravening the institution, traverse and recreate their fixed structures and pedagogies. This is the case of the other platform which was started recently: the prototype laboratory for educational initiatives developed by heterogeneous groups of neighbors and that are designed in the framework of the public school plan for curricular autonomy, and the creation of educational infrastructure for classrooms, in which neighborhood residents and other professionals are invited to design educational materials that support activities related to respecting the Earth and all living beings. These initiatives are recognizable as vehicles that renew and energize the connection between problems in contemporary social life and basic education, and promote the creation of subjects that are empathetic with the social and natural world.

Strategy implementation programs:

Recreate Training - Elena Zapata kindergarten

Date: April 17, 2024

Facilitated by: Cecilia Pompa

Ally: J Elena Zapata kindergarten

Participants: 5 trainee teachers from Santa Maria la Ribera

Format: in person

As part of the training program for the book/game Recreate, trainee teachers had an advisory session on using this material. The teachers are currently designing environmental care activities as part of their practical classroom activities with a group of their preschoolers. It is located in Santa Maria la Ribera, hence the material will benefit local boys and girls,


Recreate Training - Nellie and Gloria Campobello National School of Dance

Date: April 15, 2024

Coordinated by: Casa Gallina

Facilitated by: Cecilia Pompa

Allies: Nellie and Gloria Campobello National School of Dance, National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature (INBAL)

Participants: 44 Trainee teachers of folk, flamenco and contemporary dance

We met with students of the B.A. in teaching dance at the Nellie and Gloria Campobello National School of Dance, National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature (INBAL), to explore the book/game Recreate. This linkage extends the possibility of play as a learning tool for environmental education and its relation to creative practices such as dance.


Recreate Training -  Middle School N° 46, José Vasconcelos

Date: March 15, 2024

Coordinated by: Casa Gallina

Facilitated by: Cecilia Pompa

Allies: Middle School N° 46, José Vasconcelos

Participants: 16 teachers from Santa Maria la Ribera

Format: in person

During this session the entire middle school teaching staff participated in a training session on the book/game Recreate. They discussed integrating its didactic tools when planning projects, striving for environmental education to be a transversal element in various subjects.


Monsters and Mermaids Made From Light and Plants

Date: March 6 and 13, 2024

Facilitated by: Enero y Abril

Allies: Middle School N° 2, Ana María Berlanga

Participants: 30 estudiantes de Santa Maria la Ribera

Format: in person

In this workshop, first- and second-year middle school students explored the photographic technique of sun prints and created their own fanzine with their drawings, stories and poems they created.


Recreate Training -  Casa Tlacuache

Date: March 6 and 13, 2024

Coordinated by: Casa Gallina

Facilitated by: Cecilia Pompa and Mariana Malinalli

Allies: Casa Tlacuache and their close collaborators

Participants: 16 aliados de Casa Tlacuache

Format: virtual


The Recreate support program has extended its reach to other states and allies, this time it was Casa Tlacuache from Cholula, in the state of Puebla, who joined the effort. Over two virtual sessions with promoters and teachers of formal and informal education, they delved into the use of the didactic tools in the book and discussed the relevance of the projects they are carrying you in their own territories.


Animals Of My Community

Date: March 4 and 11, 2024

Facilitated by: Moises Ledesma

Allies: Middle School N° 46, José Vasconcelos

Participants: 25 students from Santa Maria la Ribera

Format: in person


During this workshop, the students of Middle School N° 46 created a personalized Memory Game with images of animals that are representative of their location, allowing them to become familiar with and delve into their close surroundings.


Recreate Training -  Bugambilia Nursery

Date: February 27, 2024

Coordinated by: Casa Gallina

Facilitated by: Cecilia Pompa

Allies: Bugambilia Creche

Participants: 7 teachers from Santa Maria la Ribera

Format: in person


Teachers and staff from the Bugambilia creche visited us to receive training on the program that accompanies the publication Recreate - A Compilation Of Educational Strategies. They reviewed several methodologies through play, to implement environmental education activities in their educational center.


National School for Preschool Teachers - Methodologies for Environmental Education at Preschool Level

Date: February 19 to 23, 2024

Coordinated by: Casa Gallina

Facilitated by: Cecilia Pompa

Allies: National School for Preschool Teachers

Participants: 14 students at the National School for Preschool Teachers

Format: in person


In the framework of the 76th Anniversary of Expresión Normalista, the National School for Preschool Teachers welcomed the Casa Gallina team and collaborators to share the workshop on methodologies of environmental training for preschool education with their BA students. There, they exchanged experiences, concerns and strategies to create environmental education projects aimed at the youngest.

Street Garden

Dates: October to November 2023

Facilitated by: Alonso Camilo Pérez

Allies: Augusto César Sandino Primary School

Participants: 30 parents from Santa Maria la Ribera

Format: in-person


This workshop was held throughout the month of October and half of November in Augusto César Sandino Primary School. Parents gathered to improve the communal garden outside the school, where they learned theoretical/practical tools on how to plant, water, care for and the growth of certain plants.

Literary Moments – training in activation of literary collections for school libraries

Dates: March to June, 2023

Facilitated by: Martha Garay and Gabriela Almeida

Allies: Augusto César Sandino Primary School, Santo Remedio Children’s Literature. 

Participants: 8 primary teachers and 211 students from Santa Maria la Ribera

Format: in-person


A workshop held between March and June in which students from all six grades of Augusto César Sandino primary school participated. The girls and boys were linked to reading while they were brought closer to nature.

Talk - Homeschooling

July 20, 2023

Coordinated by: Casa Gallina

Facilitated by: Guadalupe Noriega Velasco

Participants: 6 women from Santa María la Ribera


Neighbors discussed how to promote socialization, how to carry out the necessary procedures at the SEP (Ministry of Education), how to establish support networks, as well as how to save and manage resources surrounding homeschooling.

Literary Momento - Training in the Activation of Literary Collections for School Libraries

March 2 to June 30, 2023

Coordinated by: Casa Gallina

Facilitated by: Martha Garay

Allies: Augusto César Sandino Primary School

Participants: 150 students and 8 teachers.


This training, held in Augusto César Sandino primary school, consisted of accompanying the school’s teaching staff to help their groups establish emotional ties with literature. This process also included the handing over for safeguarding of the Earth Nook.

On-line Training for The Little Earth Nook

Date: April-May, 2023

Facilitated by: Mónica Alba

Ally: Alya Natura, environmental consultant.

Participants: 19 preschool teachers

Format: virtual


A support program was held to apply the implementation manual for the mobile fun library “The Little Earth Nook - Environmental Education for Very Young Children”. Through discussions during the sessions on theoretical and practical tools, teachers in public preschools, trainee preschool teachers and educational promoters developed proposals to carry out environmental activities in their places of work, along with the materials that comprise the library.

From the Library to the Garden

Date: Febuary - April, 2023

Coordinated by: Casa Gallina

Facilitated by: Moisés Ledesma

Allies: Pensador Mexicano Primary School

Participants: 210 students from Santa Maria la Ribera

Format: in-person


Over the course of two group sessions, students from 4th, 5th and 6th grades reviewed several gardens to learn the reciprocal relationship between species within them. The students designed imaginary gardens for their homes according to their personal interests.



Date: 9 March. 2023

Coordinated by: Casa Gallina

Facilitated by: Alejandro Chávez y Andrés González

Allies: Moisés Sáenz Secondary School

Participants: 780 students from Santa María la Ribera

Format: in-person

Three performances of a play inspired by the biodiversity in Santa Maria la Ribera were performed in the auditorium of Moisés Sáenz Secondary School. All of the student community participated in this event, through body expression and music, with the aim to promote their interest in botanical observation.


Workshop on Environmental Education Methodologies in Preschool Learning

Date: February 2023

Facilitated by: Ketzali Arreola, Rodrigo Flores, Rodrigo Simancas and Mariana Malinalli

Allies: The National School for Preschool Teachers

Participants: 16 students at the National School for Preschool Teachers

Format: in-person

In the framework of its 75th Anniversary, the National School for Preschool Teachers welcomed the Casa Gallina team to share with their students strategies for community intervention and learning regarding environmental education at preschool level. This opportunity allowed the exchange of experiences and knowledge with their students, with a view to future collaboration with them.

Generational Exchange

Date: November to December 2022

Coordinated by: Casa Gallina, Ari Monroy

Taught by: Yolanda Melgarejo, Teresa Mendoza, Martha Garay, Rosalía Terán and Moisés Ledesma

Allies: Public Primary School República de Cuba

Participants: 17 girls and boys, students from Santa María la Ribera

Format: in-person


Third grade of primary students participated in three workshops implemented by neighbors in the Casa facilities, one on traditional festivities and two on urban agriculture techniques. Furthermore, they attended a session on literary creation and the environment, led by literacy promoter Martha Garay, in which they integrated conclusions from this process.

Training Program on Environmental Education for Preschool Teachers: The Earth Nook

Date: October 2022

Facilitated by: Mónica Alba

Allies: Alya Natura

Participants: 16 Preschool Teachers

Format: in-person

Training was held in environmental education for preschool students, in which Mónica Alba, who designed the program and contents of the mobile ludic library that goes with it, worked over 3 intensive sessions with preschool teachers in public preschools and informal educators in Santa María la Ribera, with the aim to implement the program with their students in early 2023.

Education, Play and Creativity

Date: July 11, 2022

Led by: Rodrigo Flores López

Participants: 11 teachers from Elena Zapata preschool.

Format: in-person


This workshop on educational methodology inspired by Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences was given by Rodrigo Flores. At the end, the teachers developed a proposal of a didactic activity that drew on said theory. This activity was held in the framework of The Earth Nook, an educational program aimed at children, coordinated by Casa Gallina in cooperation with numerous specialists, teachers and families.


Workshop: Dance In My Environment

Date: June 2022

Led by: Erándeni Itsaí Gallardo Vázquez

Participants: 13 girls and boys from Santa María la Ribera

Format: in-person


A workshop focussed on early childhood to help them recognize their body as a medium to empathize with the sensorial stimuli in their community, as well as to liberate their corporal impulses and link them to the spaces they inhabit daily.


SIlvestre sonora (Feral Sounds)

Date: June 2022

Artistic intervention by Circe Irasema in middle school No. 4, Moisés Sáenz

Ally: Middle School No. 4, Moisés Sáenz

Participants: 894 members of the school community (teachers, students and administrative staff)

Format: in-person


The installation of the piece Feral Sounds was completed. It was developed by artist Circe Irasema in conjunction with a group of students from public middle school No. 4, Moisés Sáenz. The piece will remain permanently installed in one of the school's interior gardens, to be used and enjoyed by the entire school community. The piece is about the fauna that lives in the Valley of Mexico and their onomatopoeic sounds; it aims to encourage the youngsters to listen to the sounds made by local fauna in the building’s gardens.


Workshop: Literary Shoots

Date: May–June 2022

Led by: Martha Garay, Sandra Jiménez and Gabriela Munguía

Participants: 31 students from middle school No,. 4 Moisés Sáenz

Ally: Middle School No. 4, Moisés Sáenz z and Santo Remedio. Children Literature

Format: in-person


A workshop consisting of six sessions where participants worked on possible linkages between children's literature and direct contact with nature. To do so they resorted to a collection of specialized literature and worked directly with plants and the sculpture Feral Sounds by Circe Irasema which had already been installed in the school gardens.


La Santamasimbiosis at El pensador mexicano Primary School

Date: May 2022

Led by: Ushuaia Camarena

Participants: 400 students at El pensador mexicano

Ally: El pensador mexicano Primary School

Format: in-person


The animated short film La Santamasimbiosis –created by girls and boys from Santa María la Ribera– was presented to El pensador mexicano’s community over several days, coordinated by Ushuaia Camarena, a teacher who used games, dancing and conversational dynamics to reinforce the short’s message, focused on regreening the city.


Tracking Biodiversity in the School Yard

Date: April–June 2022

Led by: Jessarela Miranda and Moisés Ledesma

Participants: 32 students from middle school No. 4, Moisés Sáenz

Ally: Middle School No. 4, Moisés Sáenz

Format: in-person


This workshop was developed over 8 weeks and motivated students to observe, identify and register the biodiversity they cohabit with at school.

At the end, the process was shared with the entire community, and will culminate in the installation of a permanent board within the school which will gather observations by all the students.


Nature is Knowledge, I Build Myself With It

Date: March–July 2022

Led by: Sofía Echeverri and Gabriela Almeida

Participants: 15 female students from Ana María Berlanga Middle School

Ally: Ana María Berlanga Middle School

Format: in-person


A process of dialogue between students and artist Sofía Echeverri where, through knowledge of the flora and fauna that inhabit the Valley of Mexico, each student created a character named according to its attributes. Following this exchange process, the students shared the work they had done with the rest of the school community in a display where they socialized their creative development and the characters’ traits.

This process is the first phase to create a piece that will be mounted permanently in the school’s grounds.


Workshop Masks and Barter

Date: February–March 2022

Coordinated by: Rodrigo Flores Lopez

Participants: 20 inhabitants of Santa María la Ribera

Format: in-person


For this workshop led by Rodrigo Flores, each participant worked on producing a mask and assigning its value, in such a way that whoever wished to acquire it could do so through barter. An exhibition was held at the end, when these masks were available to neighbors attending, in exchange for jokes, grimaces or objects that a child could offer for the mask of their choice.


Earth Nook in República de Cuba primary school

Date: January–July 2022

Coordinated by: Casa Gallina and Ari Monroy

Participants: 28 girls and boys who live in Santa María la Ribera

Ally: República de Cuba School

Format: in-person


Teacher Ariadna Monroy, who gives 3rd grade in the República de Cuba primary school, has hosted the Earth Nook in her classroom since January 2022. In other months she has incorporated contents from this fun moving library to reinforce her lessons, particularly in reading comprehension and mathematical skills. Furthermore, she has hosted and led activities programmed by Casa Gallina, such as workshops, presentations of animations and guided tours of the Casa.

Earth Nook

Date: June-August 2021 

Coordinator: Moisés Ledezma

Participants: 34 neighbors

Format: in-person

Activities began in Earth Nook, a space dedicated to girls and boys, coordinated by the teacher Moisés Ledezma, which offers a wide array of didactic tools related to environmental topics, ranging from childrens’ books and didactic material to manuals for the implementation of learning dynamics. Currently, Earth Nook invites neighborhood girls and boys to turn their school assignments into a game and discover fantastic books. Furthermore, we are now working with teachers in neighborhood public schools, for them to incorporate the numerous resources at Earth Nook into their work in the coming months.

School visits to the Geology Museum: Maize, Biodiversity and Culture. An Approach Based on Everyday Consumption

Educational program: Cecilia Pompa and the mediators team of the Geology Museum

Dates: March – August, 2019

This exhibition presents a series of objects and information that enable reflection about the past and present socio-cultural processes and aspects of the current system of maize production. The school visits seek to use the exhibition to articulate a reflexive body that makes the issue resonate with students, their concerns and their everyday relation with maize through consumption.

The school visits to this exhibition allow new generations to delve into the complexity and cultural and gastronomical wealth of maize, as well as to recognize the importance of caring for this common good in society in general. At the same time, in collaboration with science teachers, the visits aim to help students understand the importance of ecosystemic equilibrium in human productive activities in relation to its scientific and humanistic aspects.


Agriculture Workshop for Teens

Dates: February – March, 2019

Facilitator: Lourdes Cruz Terán

Partner: Centro Cultural y de Capacitación Integral

Participants: 15 students from the CCCI


This workshop was conceived as a substitute for the subject of biology for students in the last year of a neighborhood school: Centro Cultural y de Capacitación Integral, and it was taught by neighbor Lourdes Cruz Terán, who is a biologist, and horticulturalist.

This activity enabled students and teachers to validate their concrete observations about the processes of the formation of life in a project that involved planting and caring for a garden in the winter. For this purpose, during one quarter, the school allocated the time that would have been used for this subject, for attending this activity. The workshop allowed school authorities to establish a curricular relation between education on the subject and observations in a concrete space.


School Gardens and Urban Agriculture Club

Dates: February – July, 2019

Facilitator: Dante Aguilar

Partner: Secondary School No. 46 José Vasconcelos

Participants: 30 students


A working relation has been started with the José Vasconcelos secondary school with the urban agriculture and school gardens club, taught by Dante Aguilar. The group of participants from the school has reactivated the practice of urban agriculture aroun a previously installed garden infrastructure.

This workshop works within the framework of club activities of the Secondary School and has allowed for the strengthening and maintaining of a garden that was on pause inside the school. The school lacked an educator and adequate work plans for the space and this has allowed educators specializing in agriculture to connect with students and take advantage of the infrastructure they have access to. The work program is carried out throughout the school year.


Garden Explorers, Open Visit to Casa Gallina’s Garden

Collaborators: Valeria Ramírez and Dora Olivia Reyes


The Science professor, Dora Olivia Reyes, is responsible for the garden club in the Centro Cultural de la Ciudad de México Secondary School. As a complement to the garden activities, she periodically visits Casa Gallina’s garden with her students to exchange advice, techniques, and methods with the horticulturalist Valeria Ramírez, responsible for the maintenance and open agriculture consultations at Casa Gallina.

Opening up Casa Gallina’s garden as an open space where school activities take place enables the house to be constantly linked to the different schools in the locality. Direct work in a larger scale garden also allows the student to come into contact with processes of sowing, cultivating, and harvesting that are different from those developed in a school garden. 

Making Preserves and Food Sustainability Workshop for Girls and Boys

Dates: January–March 2020

Coordinated by: Ariadna Monroy, Ixchel Aguilar and Juan Carlos Hidalgo

Participants: 23 neighbors

January–March 2020


Fourth grade students from the República de Cuba Elementary School—who had previously participated in the Nutrition with Mexican Ingredients Workshop—continued their experience at Casa Gallina by learning how to prepare different types of preserves, which served to exemplify knowledge on the states of aggregation of matter, which they study in science classes. They also participated in educational activities that addressed the notion of “environmental footprint” in relation to the production, distribution and storage of the food around them, as well as raising awareness of the environmental, social and health consequences associated with food waste and the processed food industry.


The workshop was planned and implemented by Ariadna Monroy, the group’s teacher, working in conjunction with local chefs Ixchel Aguilar and Juan Carlos Hidalgo. The children produced sauces, milk caramel, snow cones and pickles to share with other students, teachers and family members at their school.


The Universe of the Urban Vegetable Garden

Dates: February–March 2020

Coordinated by: Dante Aguilar

Participants: 13 neighbors


A workshop facilitated by the horticulturist Dante Aguilar to the fifth-grade group from the Nueva Generación Institute, located in the Santa María la Ribera neighborhood, in which the students associated knowledge of biology and mathematics with the behavior of the elements that make up an community vegetable garden; they also learned the principles of permaculture in a practical way. On a second stage, this workshop aims to engage parents, teachers and other students in the creation of a school garden at the Institute.


This is the first workshop Casa Gallina implements with a private school in Santa María la Ribera, held under the agreement that, in exchange for it, the school will donate books for children that feature environmental education themes (previously selected by Casa Gallina). Said donation will contribute to the Earth Nook editorial collection, a mobile game library that will begin implementation the next school year, in a public school network within the neighborhood.