“Hurricane María was a natural phenomenon, but the disaster was purely human. The crisis was long before the hurricanes in Puerto Rico. It has been present for centuries, because our crisis is due to colonialism in our country … Puerto Rico does not need help, does not need assistance, or in any way pity. Help and assistance is what the oppressor does.
"We need solidarity. " ~ Justo Méndez Arámburu, VAMOS
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Puerto Rico has been a colony for centuries, first under the control of Spain for 400 years and now a colony of the United States for 120 years. Puerto Ricans cannot vote for President and their sole representative to Congress has no voting power. The United Nations’ Special Committee on Decolonization approves a resolution every year calling on the United States to “expedite a process that would allow the people of Puerto Rico to fully exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.” Yet the colonial status remains.
Meanwhile the revolutionary spirit has been strong in Puerto Rico for as long as it has been a colony, beginning with rebellions of the native Taínos and continuing through revolts in the 1800s against Spanish rule and ongoing campaigns against U.S. colonialism. Now after Hurricane María, the impact of long-lasting colonialism is being exposed while communities in Puerto Rico are coming together to support one another and building the conditions on the ground for sovereignty and sustainability.
Decolonize: A Learning and Solidary Experience in Puerto Rico, is bringing a team of U.S. based people to learn from Puerto Ricans about the history and impact of colonization, engage with communities on the ground, and work on plans to act in solidarity with Puerto Ricans in the fight to end colonization. We will return home with the commitment to join a growing community of people in the U.S. engaging in educational efforts supporting the end of colonization in Puerto Rico.
Decolonize is an ongoing project with multiple learning and solidarity experiences planned in the coming months and years. We need your support to kickstart this project. Our initial team of education justice organizers is set to go on the first decolonize experience planned for February 25-March 1, 2020.
Help us raise funds to get this important decolonization work off the ground!
Your donation will ensure this experience is locally rooted, with funds going towards compensation for the Puerto Rican activists and organizers we will be learning from, material costs for projects we will be engaged in, as well as helping to cover our team's basic travel expenses. Donations in any amount would be greatly appreciated.
We will communicate with all donors following the initial experience of Feb-March 2020, including sharing our learning, pictures, and plans for how to continue growing this crucial work for decolonization going forwards.