Invitation to the Guatemala project 2015: 4 Young Worker subsidies available!
The PSAC Social Justice Fund invites you to participate in the next Education In Action project in Guatemala for 2 weeks in spring, March 6 – 20, 2015. The Education In Action (EIA) organization is supported in part by the PSAC Social Justice Fund and engages Canadian volunteers to deepen their understanding of Guatemala, building solidarity by working closely with the Comité Campesino del Altiplano (CCDA) who are strengthening communities in Guatemala.
The PSAC Social Justice Fund (SJF) Sponsorship program will subsidize the costs of participation for 4 PSAC Youth members (aged 18-30). Each subsidy of up to $2500 covers the project participation fee and contributes to travel costs, food and accommodation while in Guatemala. This subsidy does not cover loss of salary.
In addition to the 4 youth subsidies, the project is open to all PSAC members who are able to cover their own airfare expenses plus $600 participation fee (covers travel, food and accommodation in Guatemala).
In March 2014, YEU President Steve Geick joined the EIA team and visited Guatemala. Steve’s story is here, if you wish to learn more.
Education in Action Inspires Members
EIA has inspired many PSAC members to get involved in meaningful solidarity with Guatemala. Twenty-seven PSAC members have participated in the program to build homes for impoverished families in the rural areas of the Guatemalan highlands. So far, 82 homes, 3 community centres and 3 schools have been built since 2006, when the program was founded by former PSAC member Roberto Miranda. Through EIA, members have an opportunity to work side-by-side with Indigenous families who are members of a Guatemalan farmers’ cooperative, the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA), a grassroots organization working with Mayan farmers to improve their livelihoods.
The CCDA has been defending the economic, social and cultural rights of the Mayan people since 1982, struggling for equitable land distribution, carrying out sustainable agricultural development, and encouraging the economic empowerment of women.
The CCDA also produces the organic and fairly traded coffee, Café Justicia, sold by volunteers across Canada. Café Justicia is made available to members through the Social Justice Fund office in Ottawa. All proceeds are designated for the housing program, paying the salary of a full-time school teacher, improving access to potable water and food security for the population.
Over the last few years, many rural families in Guatemala have faced a food crisis due to a serious drought and an aggressive blight that has destroyed the coffee harvest throughout Central America. Small producers have recorded major losses and many jobs have been lost.
Since 2006, 27 members of the PSAC have participated in the delegations to Guatemala organized by the SJF and Education in Action. Members from AGR, CEIU, NHU, UCTE, UEW,
UNDE, UNE, UNW, UPCE, UTE, and YEU.