Un Mundo believes that there are objective and subjective factors related to development. Objective factors are those such as poor health, illiteracy, and oppressive economic and social systems. Subjective factors include cultural identity, ethics, and beliefs - in other words, how people perceive the world around them. Un Mundo also believes that a significant factor in the challenging cycle of underdevelopment in Honduras exists as a direct consequence of colonization, and that many of the dynamics created by colonization continue operating today. By treating subjective and objective factors of development as historical realities, and, as such, susceptible to transformation, we strive to be agents of change in that transformation. Our ideology and these perspectives in development work are grounded in our philosophy of empowerment.
One convincing explanation of the conquest and colonization of the Americas over the last five centuries is that the European powers were able to conceptualize the pre- and semi-literate native populations in such a way that allowed the Europeans to conquer, through division and deceit, an essentially paralyzed Native American culture. This explanation is in large part built on the premise that underlying economic agreements give rise to social and cultural formations. By encouraging the maximization of benefit, the premise maintains, western capitalism promotes risk taking and in turn rationality and creativity, while the fear of famine is the greatest motivator in a subsistence agrarian economy constantly threatened by environmental disaster. As a result, that culture which was orientated towards the past, ritual, mythic thought and the indigenous cosmovision was less able to improvise when confronted by the other, totally unforeseen, culture motivated by a vision of the future and western European values. Upon their encounter with the Europeans, the Native Americans suffered a virtual cultural paralysis, as their means of interpreting the world and communicating were broken in the face of an occurrence so dramatic and without precedent. The very structured vision of the world held by the indigenous population was one in which any out-of-the-ordinary event was considered the herald of another; prophecy and the law were designated by the same word, and individual destiny was totally predetermined by a cosmic/religious/social order. When this culture lost its ability to interpret events coherently, as ritual and divination were suddenly unable to offer orientation, the population lost its capacity to effectively resist the predatory interests of the colonizers. This same tradition dominated by a vision of the world that acted as a catalyst for an improbable conquest proved to be fertile ground for the subsequent colonial subjugation, creating a false consciousness that today hides the true nature and origin of those left in the dust by the colonial system. This allows us not only the means to understand many of the apparently ironic social and moral arrangements in lesser developed communities, but also offers the pedagogic lesson that so-called “underdeveloped” peoples must learn to unite themselves and develop a critical consciousness to be able to resist the powers that be and control their own destiny.
Given that Un Mundo recognizes and addresses subjective and objective factors of underdevelopment, education permeates all of our projects and programs. Our process of education is best described as a pedagogic dialogue, defined as a consciousness that is both interactive and reflexive in contrast to a static transferring of ideas. We view pedagogic dialogue as a personal exchange, founded in love, humility and faith that transcends class and makes true solidarity possible – and exchange that implies respectful recognition of the worldviews of others. Our embrace of pedagogic dialogue is at the heart of all that we do, and is inspired by the simple but revolutionary idea that through the undeniable force of women and men engaging in an honest exchange, the unity and critical consciousness necessary to achieve an authentic change in their lives is possible. The need for a pedagogic focus in development work is evident in the many ironies of underdevelopment, such as the numerous rural farmers whose children are malnourished because they sell all the food that they produce, or the untold numbers of those who die from illnesses alongside donated medical equipment that no one knows how to use. Un Mundo is revolutionary in that we take on the subjective factors of underdevelopment through pedagogic dialogue, and typical in that our methodology addresses the objective factors of underdevelopment.
The methodology of Un Mundo begins with the design and evaluation of community-developed programs and/or projects in the fields of health and education. Our programs and/or projects are unique solutions to specific needs of the communities. We facilitate these programs in the marginalized communities with whom we work over the long-term. These communities are strategically selected to benefit as many people as possible and eventually form a support network with other communities. Our programs are designed to help transform an oppressive social order and debilitating vision of the world, so that marginalized communities can more thoroughly achieve their potential. We ensure that our methodology serves to faithfully promote our mission by aligning our projects with carefully articulated objectives.
All of Un Mundo's programs are designed to include three levels of objectives: immediate, intermediate and long-term. Our immediate objective is to facilitate access to healthcare, education and livable wages. Intermediate objectives include the realization of a pedagogic dialogue in order to promote unity and a critical consciousness. Our long-term objective is to promote dignity, community and self-sufficiency. Si bien nuestros objetivos inmediatos e intermedios son 'instrumental', en que ayudan a avanzar en nuestros objetivos a largo plazo de abordar directamente los factores objetivos y subjetivos del subdesarrollo, también directamente a promover nuestros objetivos a largo plazo, siempre que limita nuestra participación activa a la de limitarse a facilitar nuestros programas y/o proyectos.