We live in a time of simultaneous crises on different fronts and of upheaval and vertiginous changes without precedent in history. The paradigms that supported our vision of the world and our activities until a few years ago no longer work. Within this convulsive framework our academic experience is placed. Everything is in the process of transformation—including ourselves—thus, we have chosen to follow it with profound reflection.
It is not surprising to us why dehumanization and destruction of the natural environment are the key issues everywhere. The main cause of the crisis has to do with our fragmented approach to perceiving reality, that conceives ourselves as separated from the flow of life, which pervades what we do and how we deal with problems and the proposals to solve them.
In producing human settlements, we have ignored social, cultural and natural dimensions. Similarly, we have considered ourselves aside from the rationality that rules natural processes without admitting that human life is inextricably related to them.
Taller Chapala is an interdisciplinary project that seeks to propose, in the long run, strategies for designing and implementing a regional model of social sustainable development for Lake Chapala's local basin. It joins together the academic efforts of faculty and students of two universities: the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente and the University of Guadalajara. Since the studies we have undertaken respond either to real problems or demands formulated to the academic team by social groups or government agencies, Taller Chapala integrates in a unique process, teaching, research and interaction with social players and institutions.