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Now more than ever, we need journalists and storytellers who understand the strategic dynamics of social movements to help us win.
Now more than ever, we need journalists and storytellers who understand the strategic dynamics of social movements to help us win.
409 backers pledged $39,902 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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(En Español abajo)

It is a time of deep social conflict in the United States, Mexico, and throughout much of the world.  Amid this conflict, The School of Authentic Journalism provides an effective laboratory where we study and teach how to communicate the objectives and stories of social movements that seek to transform the world, and our view of it, for the better. Our work is to tell stories - and help others tell their own stories - in ways that make movements stronger, more effective and victorious.

Mercedes Osuna teaches "Safety In Conflict Zones," one of the most popular and important sessions at the school.
Mercedes Osuna teaches "Safety In Conflict Zones," one of the most popular and important sessions at the school.

But only with your support will the 2017 school be possible.

We have no endowment and our only financial support comes from readers and supporters to a nonprofit organization, The Fund for Authentic Journalism. We are a team of united individuals who share our ideas, knowledge, and our own time to train journalists to cover and support the struggles our world so desperately needs. 

Each year, the School of Authentic Journalism invites between 40 and 80 talented journalists and organizers to learn a unique form of struggle based on strategic media skills and nonviolent civil resistance. $30,000 is the minimum it costs to make a Spanish language session happen. However, if we raise $70,000, we'll be able to host a longer bilingual school in 2017 for English speakers too.

Augusto Mora, one of Mexico's most acclaimed young comic book authors, teaches graphic design for social movements.
Augusto Mora, one of Mexico's most acclaimed young comic book authors, teaches graphic design for social movements.

 

These are essential skills for a world that seems to have been suddenly immersed in a politics of hate that threatens to roll back our hard won victories, and expose our vulnerabilities. If we let them win, we could lose our rights.

During the last few months, many have gone to the streets, some have fought back using the courts, and still others are unsure of what to do and who to join.  Our school is made for people who may or may not have the answers, but who want to learn the tactics of strategic nonviolence, and strengthen the movements with whom they feel an affinity through new techniques for reporting and communicating, both within the ranks of a movement, and also to the outside world.

Abril Dávila, graduate and current professor of the school, with scholars Kati and Mimi.
Abril Dávila, graduate and current professor of the school, with scholars Kati and Mimi.

In our school I have gotten to know people that changed the course of their community's histories, like Mkhuseli "Khusta" Jack, organizer of one of the more effective boycotts during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa; Johanna Lawrenson, photographer and organizer who together with her late husband Abbie Hoffman, led creative and successful movements from upstate New York to Nicaragua; Rev. James Lawson, who changed the course of the Civil Rights' movement when he organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in Nashville in 1959; Mercedes Osuna, who helped train thousands of journalists and volunteers in support of the Zapatista rebellion in Mexico; and Renny Cushing, a U.S. community organizer who in the early 1980s stopped the growth of nuclear energy in its tracks.

In our school, you don't have to be affiliated with one particular struggle or ideology because what we teach can be applied to many different movements.  We examine which strategies work, and which don't. Learning to ask the right questions and imagining possible outcomes is part of what we do.

School founder Al Giordano confers with Mkhuseli "Khusta" Jack, one of the South African anti-apartheid movement's most successful organizers.
School founder Al Giordano confers with Mkhuseli "Khusta" Jack, one of the South African anti-apartheid movement's most successful organizers.

The School of Authentic Journalism redefines the relationships traditionally found within schools and among journalists, questioning the respective roles of journalists, organizers and social movement participants. It is a school that goes beyond teaching mere information and is instead draws on personal experience as its primary teaching material.  Its methodology was the creation of Al Giordano, who after moving to Mexico, founded the independent online newspaper Narco News, dedicated to reporting on the deadly consequences that the never-ending US-backed "War on Drugs" has had on much of Latin America, and which also reports the stories of social movements from throughout the American continent.

Giordano believes that journalism, as well as community organizing, are key for making change in this world, and that they both require similar skills.  And years ago, when young people from around the world asked him if they could work with him in the Narco News offices, he and a team of international fellow journalists launched the first session of the School of Authentic Journalism in 2002.

Thais Guisasola, Class of 2016
Thais Guisasola, Class of 2016

Al created the school to honor the work of the teachers and mentors that taught him, and he chose the term "authentic" in recognition of Mario Menendez, the Mexican journalist and publisher of Yucatan's "¡Por Esto!" who coined the term "authentic journalism" in reference to a kind of journalism which is always in the service of social movements and their interests.

My name is Fabiola Rocha.  I am the co-Director of the school.  I first attended a ten-day session as a scholar in 2013, and I left the school motivated and transformed, with new colleagues from all across the world. When the course was over, I was sure of one thing: I was ready for the fight.  I knew also that my fight was to support other struggles, and that my place is in the rhizome which is the School of Authentic Journalism. It is here that I can fight, shoulder to shoulder, alongside people who choose to combat poverty, racism, sexual violence, discrimination, and in many more struggles.

Karina González, veteran professor of the school.
Karina González, veteran professor of the school.

This is a time for us to become stronger. Some of us are immigrants, gay people, women, and minorities, who find ourselves immediately threatened. Some of us are not, but we are allies.  When we defend the rights of others, we defend our own vision of what life can and should be for all of us.

Projects born from the grassroots and funded by individuals are accountable only to the values on which they are founded.  Such is the case with The School of Authentic Journalism. Each year, The School of Authentic Journalism asks for your help in order to hold a new session, and the circumstances of this year makes this request even more urgent. Make sure this project continues.  Donate what you can, whether it is one dollar or a thousand dollars. The amount is not important. 

What is important is that you participate, and help us to build and maintain a project that can, literally, change the world.

Thank you.

Fabiola Rocha

Director of The 2017 School of Authentic Journalism

Estamos viviendo tiempos de crisis social y política en México, Estados Unidos y alrededor del mundo y en medio de este conflicto, la Escuela de Periodismo Auténtico ofrece un espacio en el que se replantean las formas en que comunicamos los objetivos e historias de los movimientos sociales que están cambiando la manera en la que concebimos el mundo; queremos hacerlos más fuertes, más eficientes. Más. Nuestro trabajo es compartir historias -y ayudar a otros a que cuenten sus propias historias-, para hacer más poderosos y efectivos a los movimientos, y sólo con tu ayuda la Escuela del 2017 será posible.

Nosotros no somos una empresa, no tenemos un fondo de retiro, nuestro financiamiento proviene de los lectores y donadores de la organización sin fines de lucro “Fondo de Periodismo Auténtico”; además de las colaboraciones de un grupo de personas unidas que entrega valores, conocimientos y tiempo para entrenar a un grupo de periodistas que apoyen las luchas que se necesitan.

Cada año, la Escuela invita a un grupo de entre 40 y 80 personas para mostrarles una manera de luchar basada en la utilización de medios de comunicación y resistencia civil noviolenta; en ella, luchadores sociales de todo el mundo se reúnen durante algunos días para pensar, planear y proyectar un mundo mejor. Para la realización de la Escuela se necesitan mínimo $30,000.00, sólo para la versión en español; pero si logramos reunir $70,000.00 seremos capaces de costear la versión bilingüe de la Escuela e invitar a angloparlantes también.

Súbitamente nos encontramos inmersos en políticas de odio, mucho más agresivas de lo normal, que abiertamente atentan contra los derechos ganados y nos restriegan en la cara nuestra vulnerabilidad, que si estamos dispuestos a dejarlos ganar, podrán pasar por encima de nuestros derechos.

En un mundo que se erige como una amenaza constante, podemos elegir: si algo me molesta al extremo de no dejarme vivir en paz, puedo tomar la decisión de aguantarlo o cambiarlo; y aunque quizá sólo hay dos opciones, caminos hay muchos.

En los últimos meses, varias personas salieron a las calles, otras interpusieron demandas y también hay quienes no saben hacia dónde ir, a qué integrarse. Nuestra escuela está enfocada para aquellas personas que teniendo respuestas (o no), quieran aprender tácticas de noviolencia estratégica, y fortalecer los movimientos con los que se siente a fines con otras técnicas para comunicar lo que sucede al interior de un movimiento y  hacia el exterior.

Durante la escuela yo he conocido a personalidades que cambiaron el rumbo de sus comunidades, como Mkhuseli 'Khusta' Jack, organizador de uno de los boicots económicos más efectivos durante la lucha contra el apartheid en Sudáfrica; Johanna Lawrenson, fotógrafa y organizadora que, junto con su esposo Abbie Hoffman, lideraron acciones creativas y exitosas desde el norte del Estado de Nueva York hasta Nicaragua; el Rev. James Lawson, quien cambió el curso del Movimiento por los Derechos Civiles en los Estados Unidos al organizar las sentadas en los mostradores de los restaurantes segregacionistas en Nashville en 1959; Mercedes Osuna, que ayudó a entrenar a miles de voluntarios y periodistas internacionales en apoyo a la rebelión indígena Zapatista en México;  Renny Cushing, organizador comunitario estadounidense que a principios de los 80 logró frenar el crecimiento de la energía nuclear sobre la marcha.

Algo interesante de la Escuela es que no es necesario que elijas una lucha, porque con lo que aprendas aquí, lo puedes aplicar a cualquier movimiento. ¿Qué es lo que hacemos bien, qué mal? Plantear preguntas y proyectar respuestas que contribuyan con la construcción del mundo como lo hemos imaginado, es parte del trabajo.

La Escuela de Periodismo Auténtico es un espacio de libertad en el que se replantean las relaciones, donde se repiensan los papeles de periodistas, organizadores y participantes de los movimientos sociales; una Escuela que va más allá de la enseñanza y se centra en la experiencia como material de construcción. Metodología fue ideada por el periodista Al Giordano, quien en su paso por México, empezó un medio independiente (Narco News) que se dedicaba a reportar sobre las consecuencias de muerte que la política de “Guerra contra las drogas” estadounidense había esparcido en toda América Latina y que actualmente reporta sobre cualquier lucha social en el continente americano.

Giordano sostiene que para que tanto el periodismo como la organización comunitaria son la clave para cambiar el mundo y además, requieren de aptitudes similares. Por ello, luego de que un grupo de jóvenes alrededor del mundo solicitaran trabajar en las oficinas de Narco News, reunió a un grupo de amigos periodistas de todo el mundo y realizó la primera versión de la Escuela de Periodismo Auténtico, 14 años atrás.

Al concibió la Escuela como una manera de honrar el trabajo de los maestros y mentores que le enseñaron, y escogió el calificativo “Auténtico” en honor a Mario Menéndez, periodista mexicano dueño del periódico yucateco “¡Por esto!”, quien acuñó el término para referirse al tipo de periodismo que siempre está al servicio de los intereses de los movimientos sociales.

Yo soy Fabiola Rocha, directora de la Escuela, llegué a ella como becaria en 2013, en aquel entonces, la experiencia era de diez días, y cuando salí de ahí, totalmente motivada, cambiada, con amigos en todas partes del mundo, tenía muy claro sólo una cosa: que había tiempo para luchar y mi lucha era apoyar otras luchas, mi lugar es en el espacio nodal que es la Escuela de Periodismo, porque desde aquí puedo combatir hombro con hombro con personas que eligen pelear contra la pobreza, la violencia machista, el racismo, la discriminación, el dolor, la depresión, o la lucha que se le ocurra.

Es el momento de hacernos más fuertes, no sólo por los inmigrantes, los homosexuales, las mujeres, las minorías, también porque cuando defendemos los derechos de otros, defendemos nuestra propia concepción de cómo es la vida.

Lo interesante de las iniciativas que vienen de la sociedad y son sustentadas económicamente por ellas, es que no deben rendir pleitesía a nadie, sólo a los valores que las fundan. Así es la Escuela de Periodismo Auténtico. Cada año, la Escuela de Periodismo Auténtico pide tu ayuda para llevarse a cabo, este año no es la excepción.

Por todo lo anterior les pido: no dejen caer esta iniciativa, donen, no importa si es un dólar o mil, la cantidad no es importante. Lo importante es la participación, crear nuestros propias iniciativas y mantenerlas para literalmente, cambiar el mundo.

Gracias

Fabiola Rocha

Directora de la Escuela de Periodismo Auténtico 2017

Risks and challenges

For 15 years, The School of Authentic Journalism has been funded by our readers, viewers, and supporters. We have no endowment and no benefactors waiting in the wings should we fail to meet our goal. We are a team of hundreds, committed to making The School of Authentic Journalism better and stronger every year. But we can only do this through the generous support of hundreds of people during this campaign. Our school's survival, and our ability to train generations of new scholars, depends on you.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Preview "¡El Joe T. Hodo Show!"

    One of the flagship projects of NNTV and The School of Authentic Journalism is "El Joe T. Hodo Show," Mexico's only comedy news show featuring exceptional individuals dedicated to community organizing and the arts. A small group of donors gets to see each episode and give us feedback before we make the videos available to the public!

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    Half Price Coffee Mug!

    Every morning you can Rise Up! with the 2017 School of Authentic Journalism coffee mug featuring the logo of this year's campaign designed by Augusto Mora and Laura Garcia.

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    Half Price T-Shirt, Small

    (Size Small) Crafted and printed by School of Authentic Journalism professors/Social Directors Tiberio and Maia, these t-shirts feature the logo of the 2017 School, designed by Augusto Mora and Laura Garcia.

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    Half Price T-Shirt,, M

    (Size Medium) Crafted and printed by School of Authentic Journalism professors/Social Directors Tiberio and Maia, these t-shirts feature the logo of the 2017 School, designed by Augusto Mora and Laura Garcia.

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    Half Price T-Shirt,, L

    (Size Large) Crafted and printed by School of Authentic Journalism professors/Social Directors Tiberio and Maia, these t-shirts feature the logo of the 2017 School, designed by Augusto Mora and Laura Garcia.

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    Half Price T-Shirt,, XL

    (Size XL) Crafted and printed by School of Authentic Journalism professors/Social Directors Tiberio and Maia, these t-shirts feature the logo of the 2017 School, designed by Augusto Mora and Laura Garcia.

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    "The Sonet Walker"Novel by Bill Conroy

    (Paperback version.) School of Authentic Journalism professor and investigative journalist Bill Conroy's newest science fiction novel is a tale of caution and hope set in a near-future society that is ruled by a ruthless, tyrannical government, which maintains control through a social network called Sonet. The book follows the journeys of Synthia Washington, a seemingly normal teenager who is trying to navigate a chaotic, unforgiving world while also seeking to discover the source of her special gift — which has made her a target of the oppressive government. That gift also has the potential to change the course of her society — and her life in the process. In the end, The Sonet Walker is a thriller written for all ages that also is very relevant to the times we live in today.

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    Book of Poetry, "Mudanzas descarnadas"

    (Book in Spanish only)
    "Mudanzas descarnadas" by Alejandra Collado, Class of 2016, is a collection of her work written between 1998 and 2015. In her own words, it consists of "Poetry, anecdotes, and messages returned to sender; recollections of fleeting moments before they are forgotten, and memories of times of transformation and triumph."

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    Authentic Journalism Coffee Mug

    Every morning you can Rise Up! with the 2017 School of Authentic Journalism coffee mug featuring the logo of this year's campaign designed by Augusto Mora and Laura Garcia.

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    "Gringoyo Presidente" Coffee Mug

    Joe T. Hodo, host of NNTV's comedy adventure show is currently running for President of Mexico, unless organized Mexicans can stop him. Joe is just one of the many characters played by Gringoyo, NNTV Director Greg Berger's alter ego. Have a cup of Joe with Joe every morning!

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    Two Hours of Writing Services

    Professional writer Rachel Alembakis will provide you with English-language writing and editing for two hours. Want something written for your organization? Need a piece edited for style and content? No job too big or too small.

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    Mexican Comic, "Strong Statements"

    (In Spanish only) Authentic Journalism Professor Augusto Mora is one of Mexico's best-known emerging comic book artists. His satirical graphic novel, "Fuertes Declaraciones" (Strong Statements) skewers the authoritarianism and corruption that has been associated with the presidency of Mexico for generations. Just ten autographed copies of the graphic novel are available!

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    Snow Day Special "Al Giordano's America"

    Only available during the snowstorm of March 14th, 2017! Get a subscription to"Al Giordano's America," the popular online newsletter by School of Authentic Journalism founder Al Giordano. A $70 value for only $50, available for one day only! Offer expires at midnight ET tonight.

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    Authentic Journalism T-Shirt, S

    (Size Small) Crafted and printed by School of Authentic Journalism professors/Social Directors Tiberio and Maia, these t-shirts feature the logo of the 2017 School, designed by Augusto Mora and Laura Garcia.

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    Authentic Journalism T-Shirt, M

    (Size Medium) Crafted and printed by School of Authentic Journalism professors/Social Directors Tiberio and Maia, these t-shirts feature the logo of the 2017 School, designed by Augusto Mora and Laura Garcia.

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    Authentic Journalism T-Shirt, L

    (Size Large) Crafted and printed by School of Authentic Journalism professors/Social Directors Tiberio and Maia, these t-shirts feature the logo of the 2017 School, designed by Augusto Mora and Laura Garcia.

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    Authentic Journalism T-Shirt, XL

    (Size XL) Crafted and printed by School of Authentic Journalism professors/Social Directors Tiberio and Maia, these t-shirts feature the logo of the 2017 School, designed by Augusto Mora and Laura Garcia.

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    Subscription to "Al Giordano's America"

    School of Authentic Journalism founder Al Giordano has been reporting on politics in the U.S. for decades. His subscription-only newsletter "Al Giordano's America" became a sensation during the 2016 presidential elections for its insightful and entertaining analysis and commentary on the struggle to build a new multiracial electoral left coalition. Become a subscriber!

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    Grant Writing Consultancy, 2 Hours

    Kris Berger - an experienced, successful NYC-based non-profit program director, manager, and grant writer - will provide two hours of editing and brainstorming services. Whether you are starting a new grant proposal or revising /renewing an existing one, Kris will give you great programmatic advice and detailed content and stylistic advice.

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    Photo Print by Rodrigo Jardón, Palestine

    This beautiful print from Bil'in, Palestinian Occupied Territories, was taken by photojournalist and School of Authentic Journalism Professor Rodrigo Jardón. Get a poster size copy of the print. To see the print, email Greg at gringoyo@gmail.com. (For framed copy, see $160 donor level.)

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    Portraits, Elderly women of Guanajuato

    Ilse González, Class of 2016, produced a short documentary in a home for the elderly in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. As part of the project, she created three portrait prints of women who appear in the film, which can be yours four a gift of 90 dollars are more.

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    Five Prints From the"Asphalt Chronicles"

    2016 School of Authentic Journalism graduate Memo Bautista tells in-depth stories about Mexico City's forgotten streets, characters, and eats in his popular "Crónicas de Asfalto" (Asphalt Chronicles) which appears in print and online every week. Get five of his most iconic photographs from the Chronicles in 8 x 12 prints.

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    Five Prints From "The Street Series"

    Antonio Hernández, photography professor at The School of Authentic Journalism, is the lead videographer for NNTV, and also an experienced photographer of street portraits. Get five beautiful photographs of people he's met in Mexican towns and neighborhoods in 8 x 12 prints. If you'd like to see the prints, send an email to Greg at gringoyo@gmail.com.

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    Lodging/Tour: Mexico's Largest Pyramid

    Have you been to the Great Pyramid of Cholula, Mexico's partially buried temple, the largest in the country? Our professor Erik Coyotl, born and raised in Cholula, Puebla State, will provide lodging for two people and then give them a tour of the amazing archeological wonder and its new regional museum. NNTV Director Gringoyo will very happily tag along as a translator for the tour if required.

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    One Week's Lodging in Mexico City

    Mexico City is one of the greatest cities on Earth: No other city except Paris has as many museums, and relaxed, working class neighborhoods host markets that in a few cases, even date back before the Spanish conquest. Come take in the city, soak in its history, enjoy its cultural and culinary scene, and stay with a companion in the guest room of Rok Alcantara's strategically located apartment.

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    Framed Print - Rodrigo Jardón, Palestine

    This beautiful print from Bil'in, Palestinian Occupied Territories, was taken by photojournalist and School of Authentic Journalism Professor Rodrigo Jardón. Get a framed version of this gorgeous print. To see the print, email Greg at gringoyo@gmail.com.

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    Custom Web Design

    Need a new web page? Juan José Olivera, web designer and programmer, can hook you up! Juan José speaks Spanish and English and will get you new site up and running from his base of operations in Bolivia,

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Weekend in Cuernavaca

    Come visit Cuernavaca, Mexico, the City of Eternal Spring! School of Authentic Journalism Co-Director Greg "Gringoyo" Berger will hand you the keys to his private studio apartment in the center of Cuernavaca for three nights with your gift of $200 or more! He will also show you around the area.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Framed "Asphalt Chronicles" Prints

    Receive the prints from the previous reward framed and ready to hang.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Framed "Street Series" Prints

    Receive the previously mentioned "Street Series" prints framed and ready to hang. If you'd like to see the prints, write to Greg at gringoyo@gmail.com.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Open Bar in Mexico With Al

    Coming to Mexico City? Would you like to spend some time with Al Giordano, founder of the School of Authentic Journalism and Narco News? Al will entertain you and up to four friends at his favorite Mexico City watering hole and treat you all to two hours of open bar with your gift of $250 or more!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Weekend in Beautiful Tepoztlan

    The town of Tepoztlan, while only 90 minutes from Mexico City, is one of the most beautiful towns in the country. Home to the unparalleled Tepozteco mountain range, you can climb to a pyramid on top of a peak, enjoy one of the bast markets for traditional food in the country, and mingle with people whose roots in the town go back generations as well as international expats. Professor Alsi Castaneda will by your guide and host for two people for two nights!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Weekend in Puerto Escondido, Mex.

    Puerto Escondido, Mexico, is one of the world's greatest beach towns, and when you pledge $300, you and a companion can stay in the guest house operated by Professor and School Social Director Maia Facen for an entire weekend. Plus, Maia will give you a guided tour of the many beaches in the area. Puerto Escondido has it all: Small cove beaches, beaches for surfing, snorkeling, seaside hammocks and great body surfing, and amazing restaurants. And the greatest hostess on the planet! But this is a one-time limited reward...hurry!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Catered Meal in Mexico by Al Giordano

    Come to one of the world's greatest cities and have a meal prepared by a great chef: Al Giordano, founder of The School of Authentic Journalism. It's no secret that Al is a great cook, and hundreds of graduates of the School of Authentic Journalism are witnesses to the fact! Al will host you in a private home for dinner in Mexico, where he will prepare a meal for up to five people based on your dietary preferences and needs.

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Funding period

- (26 days)