San Cristobal De Las Casas, Mexico


Photographer: Eleani Martínez

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Manuel Duran Cruz runs the the Musical Creation Programme at El Ingenio, an educational centre for disadvantaged children and youth in San Cristóbal de las Casas, a town in southern Mexico. Manolo, as most people call him, began teaching music when he was in high school. After graduating from university, he moved to Lebanon for two years, running music and arts workshops with displaced migrant youth at cultural centres in Beirut. He then lived in Colombia, helping to organise music projects for young Colombians of African descent. He moved to Chiapas six years ago, and since then has helped more than a thousand people learn musical instruments, write lyrics and make and record their own music.