By: Paloma A. Valdivia-Jiménez, CEDO Education, Communication, and Outreach Manager

In the framework of celebrations for Education Day (January 24) and Environmental Education Day (January 26) in Mexico, we are launching one of the most innovative educational projects of the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO): Escuela del Mar (School of the Sea).

CEDO recognizes that education is fundamental to transforming progress in people and societies. Aligned with our mission to foster active communities and resilient ecosystems in the northern Gulf of California and other ecoregions by integrating people, knowledge, and solutions, 2021 is the year for establishing and beginning to operate a regional Escuela del Mar. The program will provide capacity building, technical training, and labor skills certification to our community partners whose activities depend directly or indirectly on the sea, and will allow them to formalize knowledge and acquire new tools to professionalize their skills and improve their employability and their income.

For Escuela del Mar to become a reality, CEDO must be accredited as a Competency Certification and Evaluation Entity (ECE) before the National Council for Standardization and Certification of Labor Competencies (CONOCER)[1]. This accreditation will allow us to train, evaluate, and certify the skills based on competencies standards registered with the National Registry of Competencies (RENEC)[2], to finally ensure excellence in the operations and services provided by our community partners, and request CONOCER the issuance of official certificates before the Ministry of Public Education (SEP)[3]. Currently, CEDO’s candidacy has been submitted to the CONOCER Accreditation Committee, and our Project for Participation in the National System of Competencies (Escuela del Mar) is being evaluated. CEDO is confident that we will be approved and that by the end of this semester we will be formally operating as an ECE.


In the first phase of Escuela del Mar, we will be mainly working with fishermen and members of the value chain of the crab and white clam fishery improvement projects (FIPs) where CEDO is a partner, as well as with other independent or organized fishermen and communities associated with Natural Protected Areas. Table 1 shows the competency standards that we will focus on in this first phase.

Table 1. Proficiency standards of the first phase of CEDO’s Escuela del Mar

Course Number Title
EC0020 Planning and design of investment projects in the rural sector
EC0070 Coordinating actions to implement investment projects in the rural sector
EC0076 Evaluate candidates’ competencies based on Proficiency Standards
EC0578 Applying best practices to handle fishery products on board of smaller vessels
EC0627 Follow-up agri-food, aquaculture, and fisheries health and safety actions
EC0820 Monitor riparian fishing activity
EC0821 Operate technical actions for agri-food, aquaculture, and fisheries health and safety
EC1154 Training in the rural sector

With Escuela del Mar, in addition to meeting one of our institutional goals for 2025, which is to offer education programs and learning spaces for regional communities and producers, we are aligned with the National Development Plan and contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals #4 and #8 in the framework of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).