Migration and Education: Challengs

of Interculturality

Recibido (07/04/21 ) Aceptado (04/06/21)

Abstract: The teaching work implies facing constant challenges, in all academic senses, and among these, the challenges of cultural diversity in the classroom, where scientific, technological, social and cultural traditions of each person's place of origin coexist in the classroom. This paper evaluates epistemological proposals for intercultural teaching practices. Academic works developed to improve multicultural teaching practice are reviewed. The results show that there has not been a real and conscious debate on multiculturalism in the classroom and aspects related to migration and education. Anthropology has not taken a significant role in the subject.

Keywords: Multiculturalism, migration, education.

Migración y Educación: Desafíos de la Interculturalidad

Resumen: La labor docente implica enfrentar retos constantes, en todos los sentidos académicos, y entre esos, los retos de la diversidad cultural en el aula, donde conviven las tradiciones científicas, tecnológicas, sociales y culturales de los sitios de origen de cada persona en el aula. En este trabajo se evalúan las propuestas epistemológicas para las prácticas interculturales de la enseñanza. Se revisan los trabajos académicos desarrollados para mejorar la práctica docente multicultural. Los resultados muestran que no ha habido un debate real y consciente sobre la multiculturalidad en el aula y los aspectos relacionados con la migración y la educación. La antropología no ha tomado un rol significativo en el tema.

Palabras Clave: Multiculturalidad, migración, educación.


Mamani et al., Migration and Education: Challengs of Interculturality


The Real Academia de la lengua Española [1] defi- nes interculturality as the relationship between cultures, that is, the way in which cultures interact in societies. However, this concept has nuances and controversies because social reality is neither so simple nor so recep- tive. Social groups are very diverse and their characte- ristics are very broad. Exchange allows the construction of a new identity, associated with the sharing of diverse knowledge, processes, arts, music, dialects [2].

Humanity has been by habit a natural hegemonic group, which achieves progress through the oppression of the weakest, destroying cultures, customs, popula- tions to achieve their individual purposes [3]. Huma- nity itself has been evolving from the destruction of its own species, with the extinction of some groups and the overcoming of others. And as strange as it may seem, human cultures are hardly accepted among themselves, and there are more controversies than common succes- ses.

Therefore, the concept of intercultural education is not a simple subject, it is full of interpretations, points of view, and a diversity of possible well-defined prac- tices. Educators of intercultural spaces may have an appreciation of the difficulties of these activities in the exchange of cultures [2].

Intercultural education is a necessity in new times, where migrations are becoming more active and more diverse [4], [5]. In the last five years migrations from all over the world have been growing exponentially, and cultures have been inevitably mixing, but those cultu- res that by their nature are more robust and solid will prevail, or perhaps those that are more oppressive and aggressive, but in all cases, there will be an exchange and they will absorb each other, merging cultures and customs.

The training of intercultural teachers is not a simple task, even more so when the teacher's natural culture is not very receptive, or lacks prior knowledge of intercul- turality. The lack of intercultural receptivity does not distinguish between countries or nations, which means that regardless of the characteristics of the nations, there may be failures in intercultural education, because they are not standardized practices.

In this work the concepts of interculturality are approached, based on a bibliographic review and a con- trast of educational practices. An evaluation of academic and scientific contents is made to know the fundamental criteria of migration and education, as a transcendent challenge of interculturality. The concept is analyzed from different angles in order to clarify the panorama, and with the possibilities of projecting a more appro- priate educational scenario for the new times.

The first section describes the basic criteria of the research; the second presents the theoretical elements necessary to understand the concept of migration and education as strategic and fundamental axes of inter- culturality; the methodologies developed in different educational scenarios are then evaluated; finally, the results, conclusions and bibliographical references are presented.


The pluralism of cultures in Latin America has allowed economic activity and the diversity of peoples [6], even so, cultural differences, cultural biases, lack of acceptance of others and discrimination of people and countries within the same continent continue to prevail.

Devising an intercultural education in Latin America implies beginning by accepting the differences within each of the nations, as in the particular case of Ecua- dor where the population of the Sierra is not compatible with the coastal population, Indians and blacks [7], in a territory of only 283,560 km2, with this type of situa- tion, it is difficult to think that other cultures with other customs and traditions can be accepted, and it is even more complex to devise an intercultural education in a scenario so marked by racism.

In 2010, Law No. 26561 was enacted in Peru, crea- ting the Ministry of Culture and the Vice Ministry of Interculturality [8]. However, reports of racism and dis- crimination are alarming, and reveal high levels of ra- cism in the Peruvian population (Fig. 1). As in the case of Ecuador, it is difficult to devise an intercultural edu- cation in a population with such high rates of racism.

Mamani et al., Migration and Education: Challengs of Interculturality

Percentage of people









Fig.1. Discrimination in Peru [8]

Nations with high levels of racism and discrimina- tion are less likely to establish intercultural educational methodologies, and are therefore more likely to remain with traditional methods and to bias educational proces- ses to local trends.

Other authors [9] express that intercultural problems in Latin America are conditioned to poverty, diverse economic situations, and have been historically discri- minated populations. Indigenous and Afro-Latino peo- ple are treated as minorities and their reasons for migra- tion are always to survive difficult political situations, which makes them victims of poorly paid, low quality and precarious jobs.

Economic evolution has revealed discrimination when hiring personnel, as well as the exclusion of peo- ple for cultural, regional or poverty reasons, even when professional skills may be high.

Formal education is another core of iniquity [9], as

it does not contemplate respect for cultural differences but focuses on the assimilation of people to the "natio- nal identity". Migrants become eternally discriminated against by social systems unwilling to respect their tra- ditions, religions and ways of life.

A.Formal education and the challenges for effi- cient intercultural education

Formal education is made up of rules and methodo- logical strategies that guide a curriculum and training directed towards an end; the culmination of a school period composed of subjects and programmatic content. Thus, formal education has specific programs to be ful- filled and provides for the recognition of the completion of the programs.

There is compulsory basic education, the characte- ristics of which are described in Figure 2.

Fig.2. Basic characteristics of compulsory formal education.


Mamani et al., Migration and Education: Challengs of Interculturality

However, some disadvantages can be highlighted:

•There is no recovery of lost time.

•There is no feedback of all the subjects that could not be seen previously.

•It requires discipline to comply with the demands of the subjects.

•It requires a lot of time to elaborate the planning. •It is necessary to have a supervision of the contents

that have been taught.

In order to achieve efficient intercultural education, it will be necessary to value individual cultures, which implies a reform of the curriculum and academic struc- tures. This means that content must be redesigned to take into account the diverse traditions and cultures that may exist in the classroom. It can be observed that the main problem could be language, but teaching metho- dologies should be established that are adapted to the diversities of the classroom and that appropriate strate- gies for interculturality can be defined.

On the other hand, intercultural education comprises a teaching-learning modality based on the interpretation of realities, of productions, transmissions and applica- tions of knowledge, and of ways of transforming and innovating. This requires a transdisciplinary practice, where academic knowledge is built from the demands of the actors who live the problems on a daily basis, who are able to share perspectives, knowledge and rele- vant interpretations to address the problems in an inte- grated manner [10].


This work has been developed with the compilation of various academic and scientific studies that highlight the cultural, racial and intercultural situation in Latin America, with a view to a more pluralized and appro- priate education for all cultural identities. For this pur- pose, a bibliographic search process was carried out to select suitable material, with reliable characteristics for its review (Fig.3).

Fig. 3. Methodology of the bibliographic review, considering the selection of the material, the relevance of the information and the characterization of the data collected.

The inclusion criteria for this study are detailed in Table 1, where it is possible to appreciate that the source of publication was taken into consideration, as well as

Table 1. Inclusion criteria

the subject matter and other aspects that make the infor- mation valid and reliable.

Mamani et al., Migration and Education: Challengs of Interculturality

Therefore, those works whose information was not focused on the topic of study were discarded, or those whose sources were not reliable, where the information had the necessary argumentation and the identification of the authors.

The review was focused on the most recent findings on migration and interculturality of Latin American peoples; however, it was possible to recognize that the

problem of cultures in Latin America is not something recent, but dates back to ancestral times. Figure 4 shows the most relevant aspects that were taken into account for this bibliographic review. Information on poverty, labor conditions, language, clothing, discrimination and traditions were taken into account as fundamental axes in the search for information and its impact on educatio- nal teaching methodologies.

Fig. 4. Aspects describing interculturality, according to data from the literature review.


Once the research process was carried out, the fo- llowing results were obtained:

1.Formal education should be the best tool to esta- blish effective intercultural criteria in all social sectors, however it is not a simple debate since education has nuances that are difficult to converge, among them we

can mention teacher training, methodological processes and state policies that intervene in the culture of mi- grants to subject them to the "national culture", brea- king any possibility of interculturalism.

2.In Peru, national discrimination reveals a deep so- cial flaw, which undoubtedly will not accommodate in- tercultural education, Fig. 5 shows the sectors with the highest rate of discrimination in Peru.

Degree of discrimination







Places with greater discrimination

Fig. 5. Places with greater discrimination of Peruvians in Peru [8].


Mamani et al., Migration and Education: Challengs of Interculturality

The figure shows a high degree of discrimination in hospitals, which reveals a major social problem, sin- ce this is not just any place but a hospital where there should be the greatest receptiveness to differences and where all personnel should have the greatest acceptance of others. According to the Peruvian Ministry of Cultu- re [8], the greatest discrimination is due to social, racial or economic differences.

3.Intercultural education must be supported by strong, serious and firm State policies that allow res- pect for different cultures and whose methodological structures are focused on the multicultural knowledge of nations, with a predominance of racial, religious and ancestral knowledge acceptance..

4.In November 2020, the United Nations Develop- ment Program [10] evaluated more than 300 Venezue- lans and it was evidenced that only 6% are accepted in the formal labor market, but the most difficult thing that

the survey revealed was that 43% of employers have had some kind of violence towards foreigners.

5.Indigenous and foreign populations are the most discriminated against in all of Latin America, represen- ting a fragile sector in the search for employment and security of life.

6.The alarming figures of discrimination in Latin America suggest that education requires a profound re- form that values and recognizes the intercultural impor- tance of peoples, and that is centered on training for the future of nations and the consolidation of peoples.

7.The Peruvian Ministry of Culture [11], [8] iden- tified the main reasons for discrimination (fig.6) and it was possible to recognize that the highest percentage refers to physical features, which seems interesting con- sidering that Peru and all of Latin America has varied features resulting from racial mixtures.


Skin color



Physical features

Fig. 6. Reasons for discrimination in Peru [11].

8.Research reveals that the places where discrimina- tion is most common is in public spaces with 41.2%, fo- llowed by places of consumption such as supermarkets, food places and restaurants with 19.8%.

9.On the other hand, it was observed that the main aggressors are male (67%), although female aggression is not ruled out (33%).

10.The data revealed are alarming, even more so when it comes to focusing on inclusive, intercultural and pluralistic education, but the road seems longer than it should be, since recognizing the other does not seem to be a simple task in Latin America.

11.Intercultural appreciation should be seen as an advantage for nations and not as a threat, since diver- sity can promote new economic and scientific develo- pments.


Once this work has been completed, it is possible to draw the following conclusions:

1.Achieving a balance between national identity and multicultural acceptance is a challenge for Latin Ameri- can nations, and this entails the restructuring of an inter- cultural educational model, without discrimination and focused on the integration of races and cultures in a real way, and not only in the generation of ambiguous and inactive laws.

2.Intercultural education is holistic in nature, there- fore it is not just another subject but a philosophy of education that must be immersed in the educational programs of the different categories. This means that it cannot be something superficial but something conti- nuous in the teaching-learning process.

3.As individuals of a changing society, it is neces-

Mamani et al., Migration and Education: Challengs of Interculturality

sary to recognize our own weaknesses regarding discri- mination and racism, since they are the reflection of an irrational and unevolved behavior, even more so in the times humanity is living in and with the scientific and technological advances of the present.

4.Education itself must be rethought, not because academic activities should be made easier for students or because greater methodological strategies should be included to help in the completion of careers, but be- cause humanity is being transformed by external factors that force societies to rethink their actions and define strategies for change.


[1]RAE, «Real Academia Española,» 2021. [En línea].

Available: https://dle.rae.es/intercultural#Ra6Zgbj.

[Último acceso: 01 julio 2021].

[2]J. Godenzzi, «Equidad en la diversidad. Reflexiones sobre educación e interculturalidad en los Andes y Ama- zonía,» Centro Bartolomé de Las Casas, , Cuzco-Perú. [3]Y. Harari, De animales a dioses, Titivillus, 2014.

[4]V. Rovagnati, E. Pitt y N. Winstone, «Feedback cul- tures, histories and literacies: international postgraduate students’ experiences,» Assessment & Evaluation in Hi-


gher Education, 2021.

[5]M. Tovar, «Una América plural: Los retos de la in- terculturalidad,» La Piragua, vol. 24, nº II, p. 66, 2006. [6]M. Tobar, «Una América plural: los retos de la in- terculturalidad,» La piragua, vol. 24, nº II, pp. 66-76, 2006.

[7]El Universo, «¿Es el Ecuador racista?,» 17 marz0 2003. [En línea]. Available: https://www.eluniverso. com/2003/03/17/0001/21/A43872FA22014CF7943CF- 6B117E70E94.html. [Último acceso: 4 julio 2021].

[8]Ministerio de Cultura, «Discriminación y Racismo en el Perú,» [En línea]. Available: https://alertacontrael- racismo.pe/discriminacion-y-racismo-en-el-peru. [Últi- mo acceso: 4 julio 2021].


[10]Unión europea de protección civil y ayuda humani- taria, «Conociendo a la población refugiada y migrante de Lima Metropolitana,» PNUD, Lima-Perú, 2020.

[11]Ministerio de Cultura del Perú, «Estadísticas de reportes,» Ministerio de Cultura del Perú, Lima-Perú, 2013.

Lolo Juan Mamani Daza, Doctor con mención en: Ciencias Sociales. Licenciado en Antropología. UNSA; Magister con mención en: Estrategias de desarrollo y políticas sociales. Docente de la Escuela de Antropología de la Universidad Nacional de San Agustín de Arequipa. Docente del curso de Proyectos de desarrollo UAP – 2012-2013; Docente Doctorado de geografía: Investigación.

Ana Rosario Miaury Vilca. Magister en Gerencia Social de la Escuela de Posgrado de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, con estudios en el Doctorado en Gobernabilidad y Gestión Pública Estratégica; Diplomada en Gobernabilidad y Gerencia Política The George Washington Univesity The Graduate School Of Political Management y la Corporación Andina de Fomento. Docente del Programa de Sociología de la Universidad Nacional de San Agustín de Arequipa.


Mamani et al., Migration and Education: Challengs of Interculturality

Liliana Rosario Alvarez Salinas, Doctora en

Psicología. Trabajadora Social y Psicóloga. Maestra en Ciencias, con mención en Gerencia Social y de Recursos Humanos. Docente de la Universidad Nacional de San Agustín de Arequipa, en la Facultad de Ciencias Histórico Sociales, Escuela Profesional de Trabajo Social, Docente investigador UNSA-


Hilda Lizbeth Pinto Pomareda. Maestra en Ciencias, con mención en Gerencia Social y de Recursos Humanos, con experiencia en el puesto de Gerente Jefe de Departamento y de Área en la Gestión Pública. Docente Asociado en el programa de estudios de Trabajo Social, delegada de los docentes auxiliares ante la Asamblea Universitaria, Docente investigador UNSA- INVESTIGA.

Mamani et al., Migration and Education: Challengs of Interculturality