Testimonios of Life and Learning in the Borderlands: Subaltern Juárez Girls Speak

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This article presents the testimonios of two high school girls coming of age in one of the most marginalized areas of Ciudad Juárez, México who attend a school with a critical pedagogy orientation (Freire, 1970). Ciudad Juárez is a city on the U.S-México border and considered one of the most violent in the world today. These testimonios shed light on the life experiences and identity formation of young women coming of age in the south side of the border and reveal the knowledge and wisdom they have gained in their struggle for freedom, dignity, and life. They also expose the epistemological and pedagogical nature of young women's discourse and wisdom characterized by testimonios as counter-narratives, confessions, and consejos; and the role of a critical school in promoting such discourse. This article offers insight into the potential of schools to become sites of organic healing, critical consciousness, and agency in dystopic times by cultivating the use of testimonios as a way to center and legitimize subaltern knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-391
Number of pages19
JournalEquity and Excellence in Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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