Before the Zapatistas set up their own education system, many communities had no schools at all. Others had poorly-funded, and run, government schools, many of which had teachers irregularly, if at all. Often, lessons were not taught in the communities’ indigenous languages, nor were they based on the local customs and traditions. The children had to wear uniform. So, “we decided to set up our own autonomous schools”. Jessica Davies reports on progress in Zapatista Autonomous Education.