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
Aug 7, 2013

Thanks to your support we have reached our funding goal

Community Promoters Graduation 2013
Community Promoters Graduation 2013

We would like to express our most sincere thanks to each and every one of our 104 supporters over the past year. Without all your contributions, words of encouragement, benefit parties, and donations as well as your visits to our School of Community Organizers, this work would not have been possible.  

The School of Community Organizers, as you know, is part of a small organization working to break structural inequalities. Our purpose is to build a just society, where the Mayan people will no longer have to face the politics of exclusion.  In turn, the true brilliance of Mayan culture and practices in communities across Guatemala can become the basis for integral development.   

We especially would like to thank our recent Social Work Intern from the University of Connecticut Master’s Program, Shannon Bali; the educational delegations from the University of Loyola and the University of Minnesota; conference participants from the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN); and the Chicago-Guatemala Partnership.  We are sending out a belated thank you to all the amazing organizers who held benefit parties for us, including Colectiv@ Maiz y Viento, especially Wendy Mironov, Daisy Ventura, and Ervin Lopez from Chicago (October 2012), and Murphy Woodhouse/Tucson Community (January 2013).  Your donation has gone to meaningful work!   

Once again we want to thank you for your time and effort, and we hope you continue to support similar projects that are close to your hearts.

Please enjoy our recent photos from the School of Community Organizers.

We hope to hear from you and to welcome you on a future trip to Guatemala.  

Un fuerte abrazo

The DESGUA team

Youth at 2013 Theatre of Oppressed Festival
Youth at 2013 Theatre of Oppressed Festival
Forum Theatre at 2013 TO Festival
Forum Theatre at 2013 TO Festival
Youth Exchange with Luces Kaji Batz
Youth Exchange with Luces Kaji Batz'
Shannon Bali Master
Shannon Bali Master's Social Work Intern
SCO Meeting in Finca Comunitaria La Florida
SCO Meeting in Finca Comunitaria La Florida
Apr 9, 2013

New Year, New Website and other important DESGUA updates

Young women hard at work on their photo essays
Young women hard at work on their photo essays

This year at DESGUA our work in The School of Community Organizers is well underway with projects coming to completion and many others on the horizon.

2013 came to a strong start with vigorous work on our nine-year strategic plan.  Thanks to a generous grant from Global Fund for Children, DESGUA has been able to hire an external consultant to guide us in the process of organizational development.  As the consultancy progresses we will be posting updates on our new website. 

In February, DESGUA celebrated the Mayan New Year with Mayan ceremonies and meditations, reflecting on the past year and the opportunities to strengthen our work in the communities the year ahead.  In March, we had the pleasure of hosting the annual delegation of students from the Earlham College Border Studies Program.  Students from this university program came on a 9-day coordinated trip in order to learn about the structural causes of migration and local economic initiatives from DESGUA and the DESGUA community network.  This particular group of students left us incredibly inspired, as their commitment to working together with community members was evident in their participation in the various conferences, community visits and workshops.  The visit to the eco-tourism project of La Florida was an important educational exchange for both the students and the community members.  The students learned about the struggle of this campesino community to win the rights to their land, and were able to participate in the community’s harvest season.  As one student wrote in their evaluation:  ¨Great opportunity. The people in La Florida were welcoming and great teachers. Plus, food = A+.¨  The DESGUA team looks forward to working with La Florida this year providing continuous support through classes and visits to their eco-tourism project.

The young women from the towns of San Martín Sacatepéquez, Cajolá and San Andrés Xecul will be celebrating their graduation this month from the Technology and Participation course where they will present photo essays promoting the cultural wealth and knowledge of their communities.   We look forward to sharing their work next month.   

Finally, are very excited to share that we have launched the new DESGUA website.  To learn more about our program areas and networks please go to www.desgua.org.

Thank you so much for supporting DESGUA’s work.  Please take a moment to make a donation to help continue this important work.

With Love and Solidarity

The DESGUA team

Mayan New Year Ceremony
Mayan New Year Ceremony
2013 Border Studies Program in La Florida
2013 Border Studies Program in La Florida

Links:

Dec 31, 2012

Sharing our joys from 2012 - Compartiendo nuestras alegrias del 2012

- Traducción al español abajo --

Friends

It’s hard to believe that December is here and that 2012 is almost over. This year at DESGUA we have carried out a lot of new and inspiring work which we hope to continue in 2013. We want to take this time to share a few photos that reflect some of our joyous work in 2012 and to remind you that you can make a tax-deductible donation to help continue our work in the upcoming year.

The photos are from our third year of classes of Technology and Participation.  This section of the School of Community Organizers is specifically designed for young Mayan women from rural areas. This semester we are at full capacity with 21 participants and we have many additional young women on the waiting list.  During the five-month class, the young women learn significant community organizing and computer skills free-of-charge.  Most of the young women have never touched a keyboard before they enter our School.  By the time the class ends they have a working e-mail account and have learned important research functions of the internet.  For DESGUA, teaching computer skills goes hand-in-hand with community organizing.  Therefore the young women also participate in a “social promoters” class where they learn important communicative skills and develop their capacity to teach others.  We will be sharing their work with you in April as the semester comes to an end.     

DESGUA continues to build networks and works to create economic and educational opportunities for returned immigrants and local communities in Guatemala.  This work would not be possible without your support. Please take a moment to make a donation in support of DESGUA’s on-going work through our Globalgiving page.

To see more photos of DESGUA’s work please click on the links below.

With love and in Solidarity

The DESGUA team

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Compañer@s

Es difícil creer que diciembre ya está aquí y que el año 2012 también está por terminar. Este año en DESGUA hemos visto muchas cosas nuevas e inspiradoras que nos gustaría que continuaran en el 2013. Tomamos este momento para compartir unas fotos, las cuales reflejan nuestra alegría en el 2012 y también para recordarles que pueden hacer una donación y ayudarnos a continuar nuestro trabajo en el próximo año.

Las fotos son del tercer año de clases de Tecnología y Participación.  Esta sección de la Escuela de Organizadores Comunitarios esta diseñada para mujeres jóvenes Mayas del área rural.  Este semestre estamos a nuestra capacidad límite con 21 participantes con muchas mujeres en la lista de espera.  En las clases gratuitas que duran cinco meses las mujeres aprenden sobre la organización comunitaria y la computación.  Cuando entran a nuestra Escuela la mayoría de las mujeres se están acercando a un teclado por primera vez en sus vidas.  Al terminar el semestre ellas cuentan con un correo electrónico propio y han aprendido a hacer investigación por internet.  Para DESGUA enseñar computación  va mano a mano con enseñar organización comunitaria.   Por consiguiente, las mujeres también participan en una clase de “promotores sociales” y desarrollan su capacidad de comunicar se y de enseñar a los demás. Estaremos compartiendo sus trabajos en abril al terminar la clase. 

DESGUA continúa estableciendo redes y trabaja creando oportunidades económicas y educativas para migrantes retornados y comunidades locales en Guatemala. Este trabajo no seria posible sin su apoyo. Por favor tome un momento para hacer una donación en apoyo hacia el trabajo de DESGUA a través de nuestra página web de GlobalGiving.

Para ver más fotos del trabajo de DESGUA haga clic en el link a continuación.

Con amor y en solidaridad

El equipo DESGUA

Links: