DESGUA Sustainable Development for Guatemala

DESGUA is a grassroots organization and network of community groups in Guatemala and the United States working towards economic and educational development for a sustainable Guatemala. The DESGUA objective is to develop a participatory process with the diverse communities in the Guatemalan Highlands to promote: cultural policy, historical memory of our people, critical consciousness, local economic initiatives and autonomous education to create: a space where the complexity and entirety of our identities can coexist. to challenge: power relationships between women and men, structural racism and economic disempowerment

DESGUA Sustainable Development for Guatemala
8 ave 5-19
Zona 1
Quetzaltenango, Quetzaltenango 9000
Guatemala
50243728130
http://www.desgua.org

Board of Directors

Oscar Guillermo Barreno Minera, Maria Eliza Orozco Perez de Estrada, Alvino Vasquez Castro, Wilfredo Abimael Jimenez Escobar, Carlos Escalante Villagran, Cristina Escalante Morales, Edgar Yovani Jimenez Huinil, Jose Walfre Molina Vail, Anna Aziza Grewe

Project Leaders

Anna Grewe

Mission

DESGUA is a grassroots organization and network of community groups in Guatemala and the United States working towards economic and educational development for a sustainable Guatemala. The DESGUA objective is to develop a participatory process with the diverse communities in the Guatemalan Highlands to promote: cultural policy, historical memory of our people, critical consciousness, local economic initiatives and autonomous education to create: a space where the complexity and entirety of our identities can coexist. to challenge: power relationships between women and men, structural racism and economic disempowerment

Programs

Since its founding in 2009, DESGUA has focused on providing technical assistance, workshops and other supports in Guatemalan communities to promote political awareness and empowerment, economic development, and awareness of and respect for local history and culture. In particular, it has created links between fair trade communities in Guatemala and immigrant communities in the United States to share best practices and open up markets for Guatemalan products, producing new economic opportunities for a generation of Guatemalans who won't have to leave home to find work. DESGUA has also focused on raising awareness of migration issues through documentaries, articles, by organizing university-student delegations, and various speaking tours in the US. These efforts are also the organization's income generating mechanisms and are a vital part of its long term self-sustainability plan. Now entering its third year, DESGUA is turning its focus to two new initiatives: the Dignified Life initiative and the School of Community Organizers. The Dignified Life initiative addresses sustainable development by analyzing the conditions causing community marginalization, designing sustainable development programs, and capacity building. A core component of this program is the cultural/resource center in Quetzaltenango/Xela, where DESGUA shares offices with several community organizations. At the center we receive youth and adults who have been deported from the United States who are trying to rebuild their lives in Guatemala. DESGUA has been able to support ex migrants with employment opportunities and skill building workshops. The School of Community Organizers is how DESGUA undertakes critical analysis of the social, political, economic, and cultural factors causing the marginalization of Guatemalan citizens. It is also the vehicle for designing community projects and capacity building. The School of Community Organizers is independent of formal educational structures, and deploys popular education models. The educational program is designed to provide a critical and popular education to children, youth and adults so that they can become advocates, leaders and educators in their communities. The five sections A) Technology & Participation, B) Mayan Cosmovision & Cultural Empowerment, C) Educational & Cultural Exchanges between Organized groups, D) Social Enterprise Management & Administration and E) Art & Social Change, provide much needed educator capacities and skill building knowledge to indigenous community members living in rural areas.

Statistics on DESGUA Sustainable Development for Guatemala