Given that this is a volunteer position, I need your help! While a stipend from my supporting communities (Congregational Church of Needham and TBD) will cover 2/3 of my expenses, the final $3000 from individual contributors will allow me to work and live for an entire year in Guatemala City. I have also been working in Duluth since August to save up for an emergency fund and all non-essential costs.
In just under a year of volunteering as an accompanier, I have learned much about grassroots organizing, community based resistance, and transnational solidarity. I am deeply indebted to the Mayan land defenders resisting the Xalalá Dam and the folks leading the Maya Ixil genocide case who have shared with me so profoundly. I am also grateful for my supporters from home for their financial and emotional generosity, for learning with me via my friends and family letters, and for responding to urgent actions when our partners faced threats on the ground in Guatemala. In my time in Duluth, MN from August-November, I have worked closely with water protectors who are defending Anishinaabe water and land against Enbridge's Line 3 Pipeline.
I believe that this communications fellowship gives me an opportunity put my lessons learned into action and continue developing skills that are important for any movement and many tactics. Thank you for your support.
About accompaniment: Many Guatemalan land defenders, activists, and organizations face intimidation and violence through their work fighting for justice in a country ravaged by colonialism, imperialism, and neoliberalism. International accompaniment is a way for individuals who recognize their complicity in these destructive forces due to their citizenship in the Global North to leverage their privilege in formalized accomplice/ally relationships. All the work done by international accompaniers is in response to specific invitations and requests by the Guatemalans who are most affected by forces of injustice, the people who are the most appropriate leaders of struggles for liberation.
The Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) links people in the U.S. and Guatemala in the global grassroots struggle for justice, human dignity, and respect for the Earth.
Photo: "Warning! No to the Xalalá Dam / Rivers for a dignified life / Without electricity people can live but without water we cannot"
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