Mesoamerica

Development vs. Indigenous Rights a false dichotomy

Amnesty International released a report on indigenous rights this week called “Sacrificing Rights in the Name of Development: Indigenous Peoples Under Threat in the Americas,” which exposes the impact of development projects throughout the continent. In its own words: 

Challenging Mega-Dams through the People’s Permanent Tribunal

The La Parota mega-dam being constructed in Guerrero, Mexico will displace over 5,000 families and have an indirect impact on an additional 15,000 lives.  That is unless the Assembly of Environmentally Impacted Communities (ANAA) has a say in the matter.

Along with the Council of Communal Land Owners and Communities Against Construction of La Parota Dam (CECOP) and, another Grassroots grantee, the Mexican Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAPDER), ANAA has advocated that the state and federal government withdraw its plans to build the dam.

Mesoamerica

For the 15 million indigenous people, mixed heritage (mestizo) peasants farmers and farmworkers living in Mesoamerica, globalization represents the continuity of economic, political, cultural and military colonization. Nowadays the conquistadors are corporate boosters and technocrats pushing free-trade agreements and new government concessions to extract resources. Defending their resources rights and the right to stay in their homeland, indigenous and peasant farmers in Mesoamerica form a vibrant and inspiring social movement for social and economic justice and cultural and political autonomy.

Through grantmaking, education and advocacy, our Mesoamerica program helps advance the resource rights of indigenous and mestizo farmers, with a special focus on:

Indigenous Farmers Hostage in Guatemala -- Economically and Literally

 

In this third blog of the Field Notes series, Grassroots’ Program Coordinator for Latin America Saulo Araújo analyzes the situation in which Guatemala’s indigenous Mayans are facing fear and despair in their own land. Saulo is currently visiting partners and ally organizations in Central America.
 
When they heard about the work opportunity in another town, the peasants didn’t hesitate. Within just a few days, they left home to work for Otto Salguero, a wealthy cattle rancher who reportedly had jobs for all of them. After endless hours on a bus, the men showed up to work – hard work – but together they slowly and steadily adjusted to it.

Peasant women learn to fight for their land rights in Honduras

This is second blog in the Field Notes series. Read the first one here. Grassroots’ Program Coordinator for Latin America Saulo Araújo is reporting as he visits partners and allies in Central America.

Central America Peasant School teaches us lessons

This blog is part of a series of blogs that Grassroots’ Latin America Program Coordinator, Saulo Araújo will be posting during his site visit to Central America. Through the “Field Notes” blogs, Saulo will share contextual analysis and information from partners and allies.

Anti-violence campaign spreads through Central America

In Central America, a new campaign to stop violence against women is gaining momentum. Launched by the Via Campesina International (the Via), the campaign is aimed at changing not only the attitudes of men towards women, but systemic and institutional violence against women. 

Communities in Oaxaca Buried in Mud

The hillsides of Oaxaca literally slipped into mud and slid through community villages nearby. Among those affected by the deluge are Grassroots International partners: Mixe Peoples' Services; Center to Support the Popular Movement in Oaxaca;

Six Organizing Principles for a Sustainable Future

Some of the most important lessons I know about grassroots organizing come from the poet Wendell Berry, who advises, “Invest in the millennium; plant Sequoias.”