Honduras: The Fight for Reparations Delegation Returns!

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Delegates gather with the community leadership of San Juan, Tela Bay. San Juan is currently in the process of their own international court case against the Honduran state for violating their rights as Indigenous peoples with rights to their ancestral territories including the land and sea. (Photo: Raul Medina Ceballos)

The Witness for Peace delegation “Honduras: The Fight for Reparations” just returned from a nearly two week long Black and Brown exchange with Garifuna communities located along the North-east coast and organized by OFRANEH, the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras. Throughout the delegation, the Garifuna spoke about their legal victories demanding the return of their ancestral lands from the Honduran state and transnational corporations as well as their communities’ struggles against the ongoing coup.

“The Garifuna are descendants of the African Diaspora as well as Indigenous peoples across the Caribbean and the continental Americas. They have historically fought to repair the colonial and imperial wrongs perpetrated against their nations for centuries. In Honduras, the Garifuna have won two unprecedented cases at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in defense of their ancestral rights to land, inherent rights to cultural preservation and their livelihood. These landmark cases have resulted in clear demands for the Honduran state to guarantee the return of all the Garinagu ancestral territories and financial restitution.” (WFP’s website)

Currently, the Garifuna people are under fierce attack from the government, narco-traffickers, and transnational corporations. Honduras is “Open for Business”, as a banner in English proclaims in the San Pedro Sula airport, and its politicians are taking the lead in new varieties of colonialism that intend to sell off resources, rivers and even cities to foreign bidders who would establish sovereignty with no fetters in those chunks of territory.

Garífuna and also Lenca people stand at the forefront of building justice from the ashes of the 2009 coup, that was backed by the U.S. government. The coup halted a vast people’s movement headed toward changes in their constitution that would allow genuine rule by and for the people. Due to a current wave of repression led by the state and other conservative forces, Honduras has statistics of murder among the general population, murders of journalists, murders of trans people, murders of organizers at some of the most alarming rates of any country in the world not officially at war.

Delegates came from Belize, Peru, Ecuador and represented different migrations and Diaspora including: El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Mali and Tanzania.

Keep posted for more information!

In solidarity,

The Honduras Fight for Reparations Delegation

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Conversatorio sobre Cuba, Venezuela y México, 15 de enero de 2017 (+ volante en español)

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Más de 200 Zapatistas participaron en el Encuentro Internacional (Con)ciencias en San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas para interrogar y retar a la comunidad científica y también buscaron cómo infundir a sus tradiciones ancestrales con estrategias científicas para vencer los efectos negativos del cambio climático en sus comunidades y el mundo (Radio Zapatista).

Procesos revolucionarias por las Américas – volante oficial

Evento bilingüe

DOMINGO 15 de enero de 2017

4:00 a 6:00pm, las puertas abren a las  3:30pm

La Casa Roja, 1251 S St. Andrews Place Los Ángeles, CA 90019

*Donación sugerida de $5 a 20, nadie será rechazadx por falta de fondos *

*Libros, artesanía & más a la venta* & *Refrigerio* 

Bienvenidxs a nuestro primer evento de 2017 con charlas sobre los procesos revolucionarios en Cuba, Venezuela y Chiapas, México. Aracely Barboza Cabral es una mujer de color y queer de Los Ángeles del Este con raíces mexicanas y 14 años de experiencia de organización. El noviembre pasado, Aracely participó en una delegación de personas de color a Cuba con WFP. Aracely y otrxs delegadxs aprendieron sobre los logros de la isla y su movimiento en los contextos de justicia social, educación, salud y su transición del capitalismo a otra economía más justa basada en el pueblo. También, lxs delegadxs asistieron eventos con el pueblo cubano de luto después del fallecimiento físico del líder revolucionario Fidel Castro. Este evento celebra el espíritu revolucionario de Cuba.

Jeanette Charles, organizadora regional de WFP, volvió recientemente de Venezuela y Chiapas, México donde los movimientos están combatiendo al capitalismo e intervención estadounidense. El pueblo venezolano sigue definiendo la Revolución Bolivariana y Socialismo del Siglo XXI en sus propios términos a pesar de los ataques de la oposición derechista apoyada históricamente por los EEUU. Las comunas, cooperativas y colectivos trabajando a nombre de la soberanía alimentaria, iniciativas dirigidas por trabajadorxs y en pro de prácticas populares y no capitalistas siguen creciendo en todo el país.

El 1 de enero, 2017, el Congreso Nacional Indígena (CNI) y el Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional (EZLN) anunciaron su nueva campaña para crear un gobierno paralelo y lanzar una campaña presidencial independiente para el 2018 con una mujer indígena como su vocera. Estas noticias llegan 23 años después del levantamiento del EZLN y marca un capítulo nuevo en su proceso autónomo y en su construcción del poder popular. El EZLN organizó también un encuentro internacional, (Con)Ciencias lo cual retó directamente a científicxs a nivel global a buscar soluciones para resolver los efectos del cambio climático y cambiar la ciencia y tecnología actualmente sometida al sistema capitalista y militarizado.  

Para más información: Jeanette Charles, 805.669.8482, jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.comwfpsw@witnessforpeace.org

2017 Delegations Announcement, Part 1 (+ flyers)

Join Witness for Peace Southwest on two delegations in 2017 to Honduras! Look out soon for additional announcements for delegations to Cuba and other locations across Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Radical Organizing Across Difference: Alternative Spring Break in Honduras

March 17th -26th 2017, Delegation Flyer

The Honduran resistance movement makes up a wide variety of grassroots organizations that are committed to creating alternatives in their country. African descendants, indigenous, women, students, union workers, alternative media outlets and other sectors of Honduran society have taken a courageous stand against the 2009 coup, corruption, impunity and injustice. Their organizing spans generations and their determination to build a more just and equitable society is inspiring.

Across movements and difference, Hondurans have come together to defend their country from state violence and corporate exploitation, their right to life and their right to sovereignty. Join Witness for Peace on an alternative spring break delegation to learn more about grassroots struggles as well as strengthen the links between U.S. organizing and Central American realities.

This delegation will:

● Meet with representatives of grassroots delegations across a variety of organizing sectors.

● Learn about the ways different groups have built coalitions across movements and the country to defend their livelihood and to build their people’s power.

● Develop a better understanding and strategize based on first-hand narratives how our communities can stand in solidarity with the Honduran people in their fight against state repression and corporate exploitation.

Cost: $1000 plus airfare from U.S. (Deposit $150 due by January 15th, 2017) Payment due February 20th, 2017). Delegation fee covers all meals, lodging, interpreters, and transportation within Honduras, along with extensive reading and activist tools. Fundraising support and scholarships may be available.

Contact: WFP Southwest Regional Organizer, Jeanette Charles at jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or 805-669-VIVA with questions

To apply visit: http://www.witnessforpeace.org/delegations

 

The Fight for Reparations in Honduras

June 25-July 5, 2017, Delegation Flyer

Descendants of the African Diaspora as well as Indigenous peoples across the Caribbean and the continental Americas have historically fought to repair the colonial and imperial wrongs perpetrated against their nations for centuries. In Honduras, the Garifuna, an Afro-indigenous people, have won two unprecedented cases at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in defense of their ancestral rights to land, inherent rights to cultural preservation and their livelihood. These landmark cases have resulted in clear demands for the Honduran state to guarantee the return of all the Garinagu ancestral territories and financial restitution. As Black and Indigenous movements in the US give rise to a new era of organizing, it is a critical time to reflect on shared resistance histories and exchange strategies.

The delegation will:

● Meet with representatives of Honduran Garifuna and Indigenous organizations such as the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH)

● Learn about the inspiring organizing and power that Honduran Garifuna and other indigenous movements have generated through their struggles, amidst oppression by state and economic forces

● Develop a better understanding, from first-hand experience on the ground, of how our communities and organizations stateside can be in solidarity with Honduran grassroots movements and build our own campaigns for reparations

Cost: $1000 plus airfare from U.S. (Deposit $150 due by April 30th, 2016). Full payment due May 20th, 2016. Delegation fee covers all meals, lodging, interpreters, and transportation within Honduras, along with extensive reading and activist tools. Fundraising support and scholarships may be available.

Contact: WFP Southwest Regional Organizer, Jeanette Charles at jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or 805-669-VIVA with questions

To apply visit: http://www.witnessforpeace.org/delegations

Witness for Peace (WFP) is a politically independent, grassroots organization. We are people committed to nonviolence and led by faith and conscience. Our mission is to support peace, justice, and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies and corporate practices that contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

Seeds of Solidarity, Venezuela Delegation: Oct. 24-Nov 1, 2016

Sponsored by the Task Force on the Americas and SOA WATCH Organized and led by Lisa Sullivan, 30 year resident of Venezuela. 

Most have read about the brutal economic war that has engulfed Venezuela and caused a grave food shortage. Fewer have heard about the creative efforts of many Venezuelans to provide food for their families and communities by growing it.  In balconies, backyards, median strips, old tires, vacant lots and more.

Come to Venezuela in October this fall to bring solidarity to local Venezuelan communities who are stepping out of food lines and into the soil to grow healthy local food. They are forging an alternative economy to the half-century-old model of fossil fuel exports for food imports that was a key cause of this crisis. This incipient economy is based on local production, barter, solidarity and sustainability.

The delegation will participate in celebrations of Venezuela’s National Seed Day, on October 29th, in the Andean village of Monte Carmelo. Venezuela has the world’s most progressive seed law, prohibiting GMO seeds and encouraging community seed banks.

The delegation will visit urban and rural conucos (Venezuela’s traditional food garden)They will also meet with leaders of the new Urban Agriculture Ministry and agronomists and campesino leaders involved in this local food-growing movement.

An optional add-on trip to the Afro Venezuelan communities of Ocumare and Cata is offered from November 1-4. This group will spend a day visiting the tropical small farming and fishing initiatives on the coast, and enjoy 2 relaxing days at one of Venezuela’s most pristine and peaceful beaches on the Caribbean, Bahia de Cata.

The delegation fee of $1150 covers all meals, lodging, in-country transportation, translation, materials and visa application free. It  does not cover international travel to and from Caracas. The fee for add-on trip to the Afro-Venezuelan coast is $300. A visitor’s visa is required for U.S. citizens. TFA will streamline the visa application process, for an additional $50 to cover visa fee and mailing.

 Interested? Contact  Lisa: lisavenezuela@gmail.com

Want to lead a WfPSW Delegation?

 

Do you want to lead a delegation with WfPSW? We are currently looking for delegation coordinators for some of our delegations next year and in 2017.

If you have experience with popular education pedagogy, solidarity with Latin America and organizing group travel please consider working with us!

Contact Jeanette Charles at jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or at 805-669-VIVA for more information.

WfPSW Announces 2016 Delegations

Consider joining Witness for Peace Southwest on one of our international and national delegations in 2016!

Delegation fees cover all set-up preparation, 2 meals per day, housing accommodations, interpreters, transportation within the country and a trained delegation coordinator. The feel also covers extensive reading and activist tools before and after the delegation. Limited space is available—Apply early!

For more information and an application please contact: Witness for Peace Southwest Regional Organizer Jeanette Charles at 805-669-VIVA or jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or Malia Everette at 415-735-5407 or malia@altruvistas.com. For additional information about scholarship opportunities and fundraising assistance contact Jeanette Charle or Tanya Hartley at southwestwfp@gmail.com.

WfPSW has experience organizing delegations to countries throughout the region including Honduras, Colombia and Mexico. If you would like to organize a delegation for your organization, school or community group through Witness for Peace Southwest, please contact Jeanette Charles, Tanya Hartley or Malia Everette (information provided above).

 

MEXICO-U.S. BORDER March 19-26, 2016: Impacts of US War on Drugs on the Mexico/US Border

Learn more about the Impacts of the US War on Drugs in Southern California and along the Mexico-U.S. border. We will meet with organizations challenging the prison industrial complex, fighting against massive deportations and creating alternatives to free trade. Contact Jeanette Charles for more information regarding this delegation’s overall cost.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by January 18, 2016

 

CUBA April 24- May 3,  2016: Celebrate May Day in Cuba:  Labor and Community Organizing from the Ground Up

Join the Cuban people on International Worker’s Day in Havana, Cuba! Join us for what promises to be a remarkable time to celebrate Cuba’s revolutionary spirit, past and present!

Cost: $2350 without international airfare and $2950 with airfare included from Miami.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $200 is due by February 28, 2016.

 

VENEZUELA  May 21-30, 2016: Afro-Venezuelan History and Culture    

May is Afro-Venezuelan history month and is full of events marking the significant political, cultural and social contributions of the African Diaspora and the specific struggles of Afro-descendants in Venezuela. Learn how Afro-Venezuelans have secured significant rights with the Bolivarian Revolution and continue to build an anti-racist Venezuelan society today.

Cost: $1950 excluding international airfare.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by March 14, 2016.

 

VENEZUELA  July 21-31, 2016: The Bolivarian Revolution: From Simon to Hugo  

From Simon Bolivar to Hugo Chavez, the Bolivarian Revolution has evolved into building an inclusive society where all Venezuelans participate. Delegates will learn first-hand the ways and means of Venezuelan democracy, providing a unique opportunity to witness how public policies and grassroots organizing come together.

Cost: $1950 excluding international airfare.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by May 16, 2016.
PUERTO RICO  Nov. 4-12, 2016:  Boricua: The Hidden Colony $1850 

Their status as a U.S. commonwealth leaves them without a vote and voice in their nation’s political future. Stand in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico as they continue their fight for their independence against US occupation and militarization.

Cost: $1850 excluding airfare.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by August 15, 2016.

 

CUBA  Dec. 27, 2016-Jan 4, 2017: New Years in Havana:  Cuban Socialism and Cultural Resilience  

Learn about the Cuban people’s revolutionary history and cultural resilience while also celebrating the New Year! Expect to learn about the importance of arts and culture in Cuban society and its revolutionary development.

Cost: $2850 without international airfare and $3450 with airfare included from Miami.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $200 is due by  September 26, 2016.

Cuba: New Year’s in Havana

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Cuba: New Year’s in Havana

December 27, 2014- January 4th, 2015

Deadline to apply Friday Nov 7, 2014

Community Engagement and Sustainable Development in Cuba For more information and an application please contact Tanya at tanya@wfpsw.org or Malia@altruvistas.com. Malia Phone: 415-735-5407 or Tanya 805-669-VIVA Greetings to you! We wanted to extend a special invitation to you to join us in Cuba to learn about the Cuban reality today while celebrating New Years with your social justice community. This special journey explores the the innovation Cuba has demonstrated in all fields of sustainable human and environmental development. Learn about the “fruits of the Revolution” as you visit social institutions like schools and hospitals. Engage with organic farmers, community organizers, architects, social workers, educators and more. Explore what the US embargo has meant to the Cuban people and what US/Cuban relations might look like in the future. Examine how Cuba organizes its social, political and economic system. Develop a deeper understanding of social and economic changes in Cuba today as you hear from the Cubans what there hopes and aspirations are for the future as you travel from Havana to outside provinces, and explore both urban and rural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And, yes, celebrate New Years in Havana from a rooftop with live salsa band! The delegation cost starts from $2475-2675 (for a group of 15-18 and 10-14) and includes Cuba Visa, Compulsory Cuban Health Insurance, Double Room Accommodations in 3 star hotels, Two Meals a day, Transport by AC motor coach, a Full Time Cuban guide and translator, Full Program, Entrance and Program Fees, Honoraria, Donations and a rooftop New Years Eve party with live salsa band!. The price does NOT include airfare, one meal a day, gratuities, travel insurance or personal expenses related to travel. Airfare from Miami to Havana roundtrip including the $65 Cuban visa is available for $550. Single rooms are available for an additional $350. Contact us for a tentative itinerary or for a list of FAQ’s. This is a legally licensed people to peole travel delegation to Cuba. This journey is powered by Altruvistas and organized by Obtenga World, a licensed Travel Service Provider. Witness for Peace Southwest is an advocacy organization that is actively working to end the US embargo and travel ban against Cuba. Anyone interested in learning about Cuba is welcome! Draft Itinerary: Dec 27 Arrival into Havana We will be staying at the Hotel Capri, it has a great location. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147271-d6353319-Reviews-NH_Capri_La_Habana-Havana_Cuba.html It just was renovated. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/havana-mob-hotel-capri-reopens-after-renovation Orientation meeting and welcome cocktail. Welcome dinner and Evening meeting at the home of the renown photographer, Robert Salas for a pictorial overview of the Cuban Revolution. Dec. 28th. AM Briefing and exchange with architect, Miguel Coyula. Here you will learn about the history, development and future trajectory of Cuba’s Capital, Havana. Am Guided walking tour of old Havana and many of its beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You will journey through history and visit the four main colonial plazas and meet with Cubans from artists to entrepreneurs that inhabit these bustling streets. Lunch la imprenta Visit to community project benefiting from tourism like Convento de Belen (social, education and health care development project serving elders and children). Here we will learn about community development and meet with locals. City tour continues. PM Exchange with the Muraleando community at a special development arts project, and learn about how art and social enterprise have transformed a neighborhood. Eve -Free for cultural activities ( Casa de Musica in Miramar for salsa dancing). Dec. 29th. Am Meeting with the FMC the Federation of Cuban Women to learn about the advancements of gender equity in Cuba today. AM Travel to the community of Alamar-exchange with Miguel, the founder of a wonderful urban agriculture farm at Vivero and meet with other local farmers. Learn about urban agriculture, organics and modern food security issues and how local food production benefited the urban population. PM Visit to the Forteleza, Che’s command center and then the Museum of the Revolution. Dinner EVE Free for Cultural options ( Palacio de la Rumba traditional cuban music) Dec. 30th. AM Visit with FANJ-Fundacion de Antionio Nunez a wonderful NGO in Cuba dedicated to sustainable development and environmental protection. Here will will learn about sustainable community development in Cuba. Optional visit to learn about contemporary Cuban Artes at the Bellas Artes Musuem Lunch at the Casa de Amistad PM Briefing by ICAP, the Cuban Institute for the People for a discussion of current US/Cuban international relations. Discuss the impacts of the US embargo and travel restrictions on Cuban society and its national development. PM Enjoy a private rooftop concert as we enjoy a musical overview (Grupo MEZCLA reserved ) Dinner at a local paladar and Eve free for cultural activities Dec. 31st AM Literacy Museum and meeting with a representative from CENEXEX to discuss literacy advances, gender rights, LGBYT community rights, and the future of Civil Rights in the Cuban revolution. City Tour of Havana continues by bus to important sites like the Revolution Square, the University of Havana, and other sites. Free time in Old Havana or to rest for the evening. Eve NYRS Dinner and Celebration! Rooftop party with live salsa band and lots of Cuban friends! Jan. 1st AM check out of hotel to leave for the Zapata Peninsula a UNESCO bioreserve, located in Matanzas. Depart for Playa Girón. We will visit an environmental reserve, Bermejas Preserve, which took the brunt of Hurricane Michelle in November 2001. Local conservationists have been assisting the natural recovery process here under park supervision. PM We will check in to a local hotel on Playa Larga. We will receive a lecture outlining the history of the reserve and current projects and after they will have an opportunity to share in small group discussion with volunteers working on the reserve. Jan. 2nd Am Optional morning biodiversity hike for birdwatching. Perhaps you might see the smallest bird in the world, the bee humming bird. Exchange with local naturalists from CITMA. Am Visit to the Play Giron Bay of Pigs Museum and learn about this important historic event from the Cuban perspective. PM Visit to the Caleta Buena and enjoy the marine ecology. EVE Meeting with a local CDR-the Commites for the Defense of the Revolution Jan. 3rd. AM Visit to “Central Australia” and the Memorial Library “50th Anniversary of the Carbonera Dinner with Fidel”, in Batey Soplillar, with an exact replica of the huts where the President of Cuba, Fidel Castro Ruz, shared the dinner (on Christmas Evening ) December 24th Day 1959, with the Charcoal cookers area. AM Return to La Havana. Check back into the hotel. PM Meeting with a specialist on Climate Change in Cuba. Dialogue about sustainable trends, resource conservation and the impacts of climate changes in Cuba with The National Centre for Protected Areas and how this will impact Cuba’s economic future and coastal populations. Farewell Dinner at La Torre with invited speakers on Youth in Cuba. EVE Free for optional cultural activities . Jan. 4th AM Breakfast. Wrap up meeting For more information and an application please contact Tanya at tanya@wfpsw.org or Malia@altruvistas.com. Malia Phone: 415-735-5407 or Tanya 805-669-VIVA

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1440830556180863/

FAQS: https://wfpsw.org/faqs-about-travel-to-cuba/

Venezuela: Witness Participatory Democracy in Action

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Venezuela: Witness Participatory Democracy in Action

November 9th to 17th, 2014

In the past 15 years, the people of Venezuela have participated in 19 free, fair, and democratic elections. After the untimely 2013 passing of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelans elected Nicolas Maduro to replace him and ratified the ruling socialist party in nationwide municipal elections. But Venezuela’s experiment with participatory democracy isn’t just about voting often. This year, with no election in sight, thousands upon thousands of organized communities decided it was time to form Communes, consolidating their grassroots Communal Councils into larger, more complex, democratic spaces. 795 Communes are now registered with the National Government, and the goal is to build 3,000 by 2019. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan opposition openly rejects the growing “Communal State” and blames the Bolivarian Government for inflation, the scarcity of basic goods, and violence. Deadly protests earlier this year demonstrate that a better understanding of Venezuela’s social, economic, and political transformations is urgently needed.

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This trip will familiarize participants with the ways and means of Venezuelan democracy, providing a unique opportunity to witness the coming together of popular public policies and grassroots organization. Delegates will learn about, and visit, a range of social programs known as the Misiones or Missions – the National Government’s way of implementing the universal right to food, housing, health, education, gainful employment, information, and leisure. Participants will also meet with members of the country’s opposition, including students and journalists, allowing for an integral understanding of Venezuela’s ongoing struggle to heal wounds of the past.

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Cost: $1,150 which includes full program in Venezuela, airport pick up and drop off, in country transportation, bi-lingual trip leaders and interpretation, 2 meals a day, background reading materials, donations to Venezuelan organizations, and lodging. $150 deposit due by October 12th, 2014. Airfare to Caracas NOT INCLUDED.

 

Contact: Witness for Peace Southwest |  tanya@wfpsw.org |  805-669-VIVA | www.wfpsw.org |

Honduras Delegation August 11-20, 2014 “Accompanying Communities in Resistance”

 

Honduras Delegation August 11-20, 2014

Accompanying Communities in Resistance”

Caribbean coast

Caribbean coast

Witness for Peace Southwest, US-El Salvador Sister Cities and School of the Americas Watch will be hosting a trip to Honduras, from August 11th to the 20th.

This delegation aims to continue the spirit of international solidarity between Honduras and the United States, and in this case with several Salvadorans that will be on the delegation as well. This triangular model of solidarity allows us all to learn from each other and support each other in the struggle against injustice in Honduras.

Since the 2009 coup d’etat in Honduras that ousted elected President Mel Zelaya, communities and movements seeking democracy and human rights in Honduras have come under attack. Hundreds have been assassinated, received death threats, evicted from their communities and beaten by Honduran military and police. Yet during this time a massive movement of resistance has grown from the Indigenous communities of Intibuca, to students movements in Tegucipalpa, to LBGQT movements in San Pedro Sula and campesinos movements in the Aguan Valley. The resistances movements formed the first ever popular leftist political party in Honduras and in only 2 years managed to gain 28 seats in congress and dozens of local level posts in the November 2013 elections. Since the contested November Presidential elections in 2013, right wing National Party leader Juan Orlando Hernandez has taken up the new Presidency, which has continued to see assassinations of journalists and the May 2014 beatings of opposition congress members inside the National Honduras Congress. Continued international solidarity is critical at this time to maintain pressure on the Honduran state to respect human rights and communities fighting for dignity and the right to live. International observers are needed to document human rights abuses, to accompany communities in resistance and to pressure the US and Honduran governments to respect and adhere to international human rights law.

This delegation program will include:

  • Qualified on the ground trip leaders experienced in leading delegations in Honduras.

  • A visit to the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa to meet with youth resistance organizations, the LBGQT movement, members of the Honduran congress and to advocate with the new US Ambassador to Honduras.

  • Travel to the beautiful mountainous region of Intibuca where the Lenca indigenous peoples have existed for centuries. We will stay 1-2 nights with the Lenca community of Rio Blanco where the community has been actively defending their river from being privatized and sold off to a private hydroelectric damn company.

  • We will visit the Northern cities of San Pedro Sula and El Progreso to learn about the plight of journalists in Honduras, where more journalists have been assassinated than any other country of the world.

  • Witness the beautiful northern Caribbean coast to hear from the Afro-Honduran Garifuna peoples as they fight to keep their lands from international tourism developers.

  • Spend 3-4 nights staying with campesino communities of the Aguan Valley where campesino organizations are fighting for land rights. Hear testimonies of resistance from campesino leaders and families as they go up against multi-million dollar agro-business companies dominating the landscape with African Palm oil production.

Deadline to apply: July 11th

Delegation Price: $950 not including airfare (includes all in-country transport, most meals, lodging, preparation materials and translation services). **Some scholarships available**

Apply online here.

For more information and for applications, please contact Tanya at southwestwfp@gmail.com or Cori at cori.sistercities@gmail.com or brigitte@soaw.org

see our list of Frequently Asked Questions about Travel to Honduras

Aguan Valley documenting testimonies

Aguan Valley documenting testimonies

San Pedro Sula speaking with the media

San Pedro Sula speaking with the media

Rio Blanco

Rio Blanco

 

Upcoming Venezuela Delegations May, June and July 2014

Witness for Peace Southwest and Chiapas Support Committee presents:

Venezuela Delegation celebrating Afro-Venezuelan History Month

May 20–29, 2014

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Venezuela is at the forefront of revolutionary movements in the Americas. Along with worker´s rights, May also celebrates Afro-Venezuelan history month and is full of events marking the significant political, cultural and social contributions of the African Diaspora and the specific struggles of afro-descendents in Venezuela. This delegation comes one year after the passing of revolutionary leader and former President Hugo Chávez. More than ever the Venezuelan people and countries across the Americas continue to support the Bolivarian and socialist project that he and the people championed. And more recently, this delegation comes as an act of resistance and solidarity following the right wing opposition´s violent attempts to overthrow the democratically elected Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro and garner international support for foreign, namely US, intervention. Please join us for what promises to be a remarkable time to celebrate Venezuela’s revolutionary spirit, past and present.

Themes: African Diaspora, Current political relationship with African nations, African Descent in the Americas, Cumbes/Comunes, Black organizing exchanges, US policy towards Venezuela, Venezuela’s involvement in political and economic alternatives like ALBA and CELAC and learn about government social programs in education, health and worker cooperatives. Geographical regions: Caracas, Barlovento e Higuerota, Edo. Miranda, Coro, Falcón, Edo. Yaracuy.

Dates: May 17 to May 26

May 25 is the Day of the Marronage, Día de cimarronaje

The term marronage, maroon when referencing an individual, historically speaks to to African resistance to slavery in the America. Enslaved Africans and their descendants escaped slavery to create autonomous communities and cultures in regions away from plantations in forests, jungles, mountaintops and valleys across the corners of the American continent. Often times they also organized with the indigenous first nation peoples of their region and collaboratively led rebellions and offenses against European colonizers, settlers in the Americas and their empires. In Venezuela prior to the independence movement led by Simón Bolívar, rebellions led by Negro Miguel, José Leonardo Chirinos and Guaicaipuro made great strides to challenge colonial empire. In contemporary Venezuelan vernacular, the term cimarronear or cimarroneando, is commonly used in Afro-Venezuelan communities to reference someone who organizes in the name of revolution.

Cost: The price of the 10-day delegation is approx $900 USD. This delegation fee covers all set-up, preparation, 2 meals a day, lodging, interpreters, and transportation within Venezuela. The fee also covers extensive reading and activist tools both before and after the delegation. Airfare to Caracas is not included. Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 due by April 28, 2014. Partial scholarships are available. For a scholarship application and fundraising assistance email tanya@wfpsw.org.

About our Trip Leaders in Venezuela:

Jeanette Charles is a grassroots educator, writer and youth organizer from Los Angeles, California. Member of the Chiapas Support Committee and board member for Witness for Peace Southwest. Jeanette has spent considerable time in and across the continental Americas with Afro and indigenous communities as well as popular media collectives. Jeanette is currently located in Caracas, Venezuela and recently became a writer for Telesur-English.

Tanya Cole is Director of Witness for Peace Southwest an organization dedicated to advocating for a more just and humane US Foreign policy towards Latin America. Tanya has led over 2 dozen delegations to 6 countries in Latin America including Venezuela.

For more info and an application Contact: Tanya Cole, Witness for Peace Southwest 805-669-VIVA or tanya@wfpsw.org or Jeanette Charles jcharles913@gmail.com.

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Summer Study Delegation to Venezuela . You are invited!

 

Health, Social Policy, and Poder Popular in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

June 22-July 1, 2014

 

The UN declaration of human rights articulates a right to health that is inseparable from rights to other basic human needs, such as food, housing, education, gainful employment, social security when an individual is unable to work, political participation, and leisure. The premise is that the promotion and protection of health requires living conditions that assure human dignity. At the turn of the 21st century several governments in Latin America assumed the responsibility to guarantee a life of dignity for all their citizens. One such country was Venezuela under the revolutionary leadership of the late Commander Hugo Chavez Frias. The challenge required a commitment to appropriate the power of the state to turn it into an instrument of the power of the people, i.e., the Poder Popular suppressed in Venezuela despite decades of liberal democracy which granted a right to vote yet in practice suppressed the voice and actual political, economic, cultural and social participation of the majority of Venezuelans in their own society.

 

Since 1999, the voice, and concomitantly the power of the Venezuelan people have found new and powerful ways of expression through a revolutionary Constitution and an increasing number of people-centered social, economic, and public health policies. This trip will familiarize participants with these policies by bringing to life the historical development of the struggle of the Venezuelan people for a life of dignity. We will learn about, and visit a range of programs that are the expression of the ‘Misiones’ or Missions. The Missions are the Bolivarian Government’s way to implement a universal right to food, housing, health, education, gainful employment, information, and leisure. Our focus will be health, and we will spend a fair amount of time learning about Barrio Adentro, the Mission born from a cooperative agreement between the Venezuelan and Cuban governments to bring health services to every corner of the country. But because health is inseparable from other basic human needs, we will also visit and learn about Mercal (producer-to-consumer distribution cooperatives), Mision AgroVenezuela (resource development for food sovereignty), Mision Vivienda (building of dignified housing), Mision Vacaciones (guaranteed leisure for children), and many other Missions that underpin Venezuela’s contribution to a life of health and dignity.

 

This delegation is sponsored by the human rights organization Witness for Peace Southwest. Our hosts will be doctors and nurses at primary care centers, community clinics and hospitals, peasants (‘campesinos’) at agro-ecological cooperatives, workers at workers-run factories, agricultural engineers, educators and government officials.

 

Dates: June 22nd (arrival date) to July 1st (departure date)

Cost: $900 which include full program in Venezuela, airport pick up and drop off, in country transportation, bi-lingual trip leaders and interpretation, 1-2 meals a day, background reading materials, donations to Venezuelan organizations, and lodging. Airfare to Caracas is not included. $150 deposit due by May 20, 2014.

 

For further information contact: Claudia Chaufan, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Sociology-University of California San Francisco, Claudia.Chaufan@UCSF.edu . Also Tanya Cole-Witness for Peace Southwest, tanya@wfpsw.org or 805-669-VIVA. www.wfpsw.org, www.facebook.com/wfpsw

 


 

Participatory Democracy in Venezuela: Celebrating the Anniversary and Spirit of Simon Bolivar.

July 19-27, 2014

 An Altruvistas and Witness for Peace Southwest Delegation

CHAVEZ-supporters-_2504378kWe read about Venezuela in the news but the media most often provides a distorted and biased perspective on this country that is at the forefront of revolutionary movements in the Americas. Come to Venezuela and see the reality first-hand. This is a historic time to bear witness to the dramatic changes taking place in our hemisphere. Please join us for what promises to be a remarkable time to celebrate Venezuela’s revolutionary spirit, past and present.

This delegation offers opportunities to:

  • Understand U.S. policies toward Venezuela and their potential impact on the people of Venezuela.

  • Gain insight into innovative social programs of the Chavez and Maduro governments such as health care, education and cooperatives.

  • Celebrate with millions of Venezuelans the birth of Simon Bolivar, known as the Liberator of South America on July 24th.

  • Meet with labor organizers, scholars, professionals, business people, representatives of the media and activists to understand the economic, social and political issues confronting Venezuelan society.

  • Learn about Venezuela’s involvement regional alternatives models like ALBA and CELAC.

  • Travel outside of the capital to learn about rural and afro-indigenous communities.

Cost: $1700. This delegation fee covers all set-up, preparation, 2 meals a day, 3-Star Hotel, interpreters, and transportation within Venezuela. The fee also covers extensive reading and activist tools both before and after the delegation. Airfare to Caracas is not included. Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 due by June 19, 2014. Limited space available–Apply early!

 Contact: Tanya Cole, Witness for Peace Southwest 805-669-VIVA or tanya@wfpsw.org or Malia Everette at 415-735-5407 or Malia@altruvistas.com

To learn more about socially responsible travel opportunities around the world go to www.altruvistas.com

 For a scholarship application and fundraising assistance email tanya@wfpsw.org.