Help me fundraise for the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA)! Together, we have a special opportunity to double our impact in May and raise $70,000 to sustain a decades-long project in cross-border solidarity! Can you help me reach my goal?
I first learned about NISGUA in freshman year of college, when I joined a delegation to a returned refugee indigenous community called Copal Aa. I learned about the struggles the community was facing to protect their land from transnational megaprojects-- land on which they had chosen to rebuild their community after being violently displaced in the 1980s. I learned about NISGUA's strategy of Human Rights Accompaniment, a strategy in which human rights defenders in Guatemala can take advantage of international people's presence to make space for their own organizing. Knowing that there are international communities and networks paying attention to what happens to these movements and defenders ideally forces those who might wish to harm these defenders to think twice. And it makes the defenders themselves feel more comfortable and safe organizing, which I heard from numerous people I had the opportunity to accompany when I joined NISGUA's accompaniment program in 2017.
I had the opportunity to accompany powerful and dedicated human rights defenders, including current and former political prisoners criminalized for defending the land from megaprojects, the spouse of a defender who was murdered during a protest against a dam that would pollute the largest lake in Guatemala, and survivors of sexual violence during the internal armed conflict who are fighting to bring the people responsible to justice.
In this time of urgency and attacks on human rights from all sides, it is crucial that we remember that the United States empire has its tenticles all over the world, wreaking havoc and causing instability that leads to forced migration and climate change. We must draw connections between domestic and international movements and support each and all possible. Please join me in supporting NISGUA and organizing wherever we are!
About NISGUA: The Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) works in the U.S. and Guatemala to strengthen the global movement for justice, human dignity, and respect for the Earth. Formed in 1981, at the height of Guatemala’s Internal Armed Conflict, NISGUA’s network today is comprised of thousands of people across the U.S. who demand justice, challenge corporate-led development, and push to change current U.S. policies. Using strategies that include international human rights accompaniment, digital organizing and communications, horizontal exchange, rapid response activism and advocacy, and campaigns, NISGUA builds mutually beneficial, cross-border networks to support social and environmental activists in Guatemala. For more information visit www.nisgua.org.
Photo: One of my first delegations from Oberlin to the community of Copal Aa, a returned refugee community that receives accompaniment and other political support from NISGUA.