MEXICO CITY – I’ve been an instructor in one of Inter Campus’ projects which helps boys and girls from the Triqui tribe for five years now. They are an indigenous population that live in a poor neighbourhood in Mexico City, where I was born and grew up.

When our friends from Inter Campus offered me the chance to be a part of their training visit to Chiapas, I never would have thought it would be one of the best experiences of my life.

After a long trip, we got to Caracol IV de Torbellino de Nuestras Palabras, an autonomous Zapatista region in Morelia. We were received by the Junta of Good Governance and the Committee for Education, to whom we explained the details and aims of our Inter Campus mission. It was only then that they told us the place where we would hold the training course over the following days.

Joined by a few compas from from the Junta and the Committee, after a nice plate of rice and beans, we set off for Tierra secondary school. Around 50 teachers and 130 boys and girls were waiting for us at the school. Straight after the introductions, we handed out Nerazzurri kits and organised a fun tournament.

That’s how the course began for both the students and instructors, using the same methodology that I had learned from the Inter Campus coaches and which I had the pleasure of sharing with our Zapatista companions.

We went to bed early that night and, despite the accommodation not being up to the standards we’re used to, we still managed to rest up happy, enjoying the simplicity of life.

We had three fantastic days of theory and training on the pitches, starting at 06:00 in the morning. The torrid heat in the day made running the sessions difficult. There was no better way to cool off than with a dip in the Tzoconeja river, a fantastic spot that allowed me to contemplate the situation the indigenous Zapatista people live in. After the theory with the local instructors, we finally had a dinner of bread and coffee.

This magnificent experience, which enriched me as a person, thanks to the values of the people, ended unexpectedly. All of a sudden a procession of elderly Zapatista people appeared. We watched them celebrate planting corn, a staple crop for the survival of the Chiapas people. The atmosphere became solemn when, inside the little church, the elderly paid tribute in the hope of a fruitful harvest. The church was full of kids dressed in black and blue, adults and the elderly. They all stood praying, literally dancing on the spot.

Adancito Bravo Rosales