Participatory Mapping in Guerrero, Mexico - Drake Sprague Photography



Capacity building - the process of developing and strengthening skills, abilities and processes that communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive - is key to my work as a geographer. Participatory mapping is a form of mapping that encourages involvement of an entire community to collectively map out the locations of resources and assets vital to their well being and success. The same approach used for mapping community resources can also be applied to enabling a group of indigenous missionaries plan an outreach across a defined region. In 2012 I had the opportunity to work with a group of indigenous missionaries from the Me'phaa tribe in the remote mountains of Guerrero state in Mexico. While traditional 'participatory mapping' often involves developing a map from scratch, in this case I arrived with maps that I previously created in an attempt to better understand the linguistic variations of Me'phaa people groups across the state. 

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