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  /    /  Miguel Ángel García Rivera

Mexe, 2015

Mexe is the word in the language Hñahñu (Otomi) equivalent to spider in english.This is the name of the community where the ruins of the school Escuela Normal Rural Luis Villareal are located, in the municipality Francisco I. Madero, State of Hidalgo.

About the series:

“ (…) The dust accumulates at the bottom of the dormitories, dining room, first aid room, laundry room. The area, about four hectares in size, shows the wreckages of almost five years of abandonment and vandalism: broken glass, chipped doors, rusty water and gas pipes, destroyed sinks, fallen walls.

The murals, now pale and cracked, are falling into hundreds of pieces. The wind takes through the lonely aisles the dried out paint that gave shape to the figures of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Ilich Lenin, Emiliano Zapata, Che Guevara, Lucio Cabañas; just as peeled, the symbol of the Federation of the Peasant Socialist Students of Mexico (FECSM, the student organization of rural norms): a left clenched fist with the initials of the organization, the legend “For the liberation of youth and the exploited class, we will triumph!”, and the names of the other 16 allied schools from the country.

Up to 2003, the Normal Rural Teachers’ College Luis Villarreal had a population of 600 students and, just as the other Normal Rural Teachers’ Colleges, counted with a boarding school system managed by the students themselves:  dormitories, dining room, monthly scholarship, modules of agricultural production and cultural and sports clubs.

Nowadays, officially, the college only exists virtually, due to the lack of facilities, the students have to take classes in some high schools of the municipality, mostly in the technic school 14. The facilities have been occupied by a technic university and they are only allowed to access the first aid room area, which is completely abandoned.

Only 76 students conform the community of ‘normalistas’ that will graduate next july. This is the last generation of degrees in primary school education, preschool education and special education. With the previous, the school that was standing for more than 80 years against the federal, state, and municipal authorities, and that received national recognitions to the quality of its programs and that accomplished the support of the surrounding communities, will be closed down.

The Escuela Normal Rural Luis Villarreal of El Mexe, Hidalgo, was found in 1921, under the program of

educational policy for the countryside promoted by Plutarco Elías Calles. It occupied 81 hectares of the old hacienda San Antonio, property until that time of the Roquena family. Donated 8 hectares and with 73 incorporated in 1935 to the project of Normales Rural Teachers’ Colleges by Lazaro Cardenas.

Taken from the magazine Revista Contralínea/ México. Publication date: 2nd fortnight February 2008 | Year 5| No. 96

Guest photographer


Miguel Ángel García Rivera

Born in Hidalgo. Bachelor in Visual Arts at Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, in 2008 he won the scholarship FotoEnsayo, that same year he worked as an assistant at the laboratory of Alicia Ahumada. He has participated in two editorial projects for the Estado de Hidalgo: El Carnaval en el Estado de Hidalgo, 2009; and El arte popular de Hidalgo. Rituales, uso y costumbres, 2011. Educated being /free being and photography professor at the Centro de Estudios Superiores in Hidalgo.

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