Understanding the past builds peace for the future

by Instituto Internacional de Aprendizaje para la Reconciliacion Social
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Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future
Understanding the past builds peace for the future

Dear friends of the Exhibition Why are we the way we are?

With mixed feelings, we want to share with you that the Exhibition Why are we like we are?, Fulfilled its purpose of promoting intercultural encounters and learning about the current situation and the history of Guatemalan society for 11 years and a month. On March 13, we attended our last group of visitors. Due to the COVID-19 health emergency we had to close our doors. In the course of the pandemic, we were informed that the usufruct of Warehouse No. 1 of FEGUA, where the Exhibition operated since February 2009, would not be renewed, so we have already done its dismantling.

Throughout these 11 years, the Exhibition attended more than 275 thousand visitors, mainly school children and university students, as well as a significant number of public officials, social organizations and the general public. In each guided tour, the visitors had the opportunity to reflect on the challenges that we as a society face for a respectful coexistence in the diversity of peoples and the challenges that, as citizens, we face to transform ideas, attitudes and exclusive and violent practices in our social and intercultural relations.

The Exhibition contributed to the educational programs of the Ministry of Education to support teachers with issues related to cultural diversity and historical memory, established in the national curriculum. Partnerships were also built with a large number of university professors who used the tours as an educational innovation to address issues that should not be neglected in the training of future professionals.

We were recognized with the third place, in Category I, of the VII Ibero-American Prize for Education in Museums of Ibermuseums in 2016, and in 2019 we obtained the First Place of the Prize for Human Rights Education of the Organization of Ibero-American States, OEI, in the Category of Civil Society Projects. In 2020, we received recognition as a Peace Messaging Organization by the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Ministry of Education, within the framework of the activities to commemorate the National Day for the Dignity of the Victims of the Armed Conflict, for the contribution that in all these years he has carried out education for historical memory and the construction of peace in Guatemala.

We have worked with innumerable educational, university and state institutions, as well as with social organizations, whom we thank for their trust throughout all these years. Like IIARS, for the moment we are left without a house, and we will have to recondition ourselves to continue with the work that we have been promoting.

We close this stage, with the aspiration of a relaunch of the Exhibition, considering that Guatemala must continue to address inherited social and inter-ethnic relations, which require spaces for learning and construction for a respectful and peaceful coexistence. To this end, a rapprochement has been initiated with the Indigenous Peoples Thematic Table of the Specific Cabinet for Social Development GEDS, with the possibility of establishing inter-institutional coordination for the sustainability of the Expo. We hope to bring you good news in the near future.

To all the people who have accompanied us in all these years, we can only offer our gratitude, for joining this trip for our stories and promoting that more Guatemalans talk about why we are as we are?

IIARS Team / Exhibition Why are we the way we are?

 

Amigas y amigos de la Exposición ¿Por qué estamos como estamos?

Con sentimientos encontrados queremos compartirles que la Exposición ¿Por qué estamos como estamos?, cumplió con su propósito de promover encuentros interculturales y aprendizaje de la actualidad y la historia de la sociedad guatemalteca durante 11 años y un mes. El pasado 13 de marzo atendimos a nuestro último grupo de visitantes, pues por la emergencia sanitaria COVID-19 debimos cerrar nuestras puertas. En el transcurso de la pandemia, nos comunicaron que el usufructo de la Bodega No. 1 de FEGUA, donde la Exposición funcionó desde febrero del 2009 no nos sería renovado, por lo que hemos iniciado ya su desmontaje.

A lo largo de estos 11 años, la Exposición atendió a más de 275 mil visitantes, principalmente niños y jóvenes escolares y universitarios, así como un importante número de funcionarios públicos, de organizaciones sociales y público en general. En cada recorrido guiado las y los visitantes tuvieron la oportunidad de reflexionar sobre los desafíos que como sociedad enfrentamos para una convivencia respetuosa en la diversidad de pueblos y los retos que, como ciudadanos,enfrentamos para transformar ideas, actitudes y prácticas excluyentes y violentas en nuestras relaciones sociales e interculturales.

La Exposición contribuyó con los programas educativos del Ministerio de Educación para apoyar a los docentes con los temas relacionados con la diversidad cultural y la memoria histórica, establecidos en el currículo nacional. También se construyeronalianzas con un gran número de profesores universitarios que utilizaron los recorridos en la Exposición como una innovación educativa para abordar temas que no se deberían dejar de abordar en la formación de futuros profesionales.

La Exposición fue reconocida con el tercer lugar, en la Categoría I, del VII Premio Iberoamericano de Educación en Museos de Ibermuseos en 2016 y en 2019 obtuvo el Primer Lugar del Premio de Educación en Derechos Humanos de la Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos, OEI, en la Categoría de Proyectos de Sociedad Civil. En 2020, el IIARS recibió un reconocimiento como Organización Mensajera de Paz por parte del Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes y el Ministerio de Educación en el marco de las actividades de conmemoración del Día Nacional de la Dignidad de las Víctimas del Conflicto Armado, por el aporte que en todos estos años ha realizado a la educación para la memoria histórica y la construcción de la paz en Guatemala.

Hemos trabajado con innumerables instituciones educativas, universitarias y estatales, así como con organizaciones sociales, a quienes damos las gracias por su confianza a lo largo de todos estos años. Como IIARS, por el momento nos quedamos sin casa, y deberemos reacondicionarnos para seguir con el trabajo que venimos impulsando.

Cerramos esta etapa, con la aspiración de un relanzamiento de la Exposición, considerando que en Guatemala debe continuarse con el abordaje de las relaciones sociales e interétnicas heredadas, las cuales requieren de espacios de aprendizaje y construcción para una convivencia respetuosa y en paz. Para ello, se ha iniciado el acercamiento con la Mesa temática de Pueblos Indígenas del Gabinete Específico de Desarrollo Social GEDS, con la posibilidad de establecer una coordinación interinstitucional para la sostenibilidad de la Expo. Esperamos comunicarles buenas noticias en un futuro cercano.

A todas las personas que nos han acompañado en todos estos años, no nos queda más que ofrecerles nuestro agradecimiento, por sumarse en este viaje por nuestras historias y promover que más guatemaltecas y guatemaltecos dialoguemos sobre ¿por qué estamos como estamos?

 

Equipo IIARS / Exposición ¿Por qué estamos como estamos?

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On February, we were called "Peace Embassadors"
On February, we were called "Peace Embassadors"

Times have been hard for everyone around the world on this 2020, due to the pandemic of Covid-19, and Guatemala hasn't been an exception.

We are on a semi lockdown since the middle of March, which means all non esential work should be done from home. This is a very difficult goal to achieve in a country with 70% of the jobs in the non formal economy and with 59% of the population living under the line of poverty.

Being in the field of education, our project has been hit hard. We couldn'r receive any more visitors since March 17th, and even if the Government decides that going back to schools is safe enough, it is too difficult to imaging ¿Por qué estamos como estamos? receiving more visitors in the rest of the year.

So that we switch all our experience to try to support teachers and schools to bring citizenship education to their students through distance education, something which is also a new challenge, due to the huge digital gap of our society (a recent report says that the population without access to internet is also around 70%).

Our offer is now reoriented on virtual visits to our exhibition, the development of special guides for students to continue their education on citizenship through WhatsApp, and we are currently working on the creation of an online Campus to offer training for teachers in the months to come. 

One of the resources designed to send by WhatsApp
One of the resources designed to send by WhatsApp
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The 25th of february is a special day in Guatemala. It's the day when we remember the tragic human rights violations happened during the armed conflict, lived between 1960 and 1996.

The Guatemalan Congress created this conmemoration, to honor the publication of the Truth Comission, on February 25th, 1999. Since 2008, this legislative decree order to the ministries of Education and Culture to conmemorate the date in the national level, and specifically to the Ministry of Education, to teach about the causes and consequences of the armed conflict and the contents of the Peace Agreements.  That's why our exhibition has received thoussands of students in the months of February and March, during the past years and the current.

The Ministry of Culture, itself, offered an oficial conmemoration in which invited our institute and the Museum of the Community of Rabinal (one of the towns which suffered the worst human rights violations during the onflict), to change the "Rose of the Peace" into the main hall of the National Palace.

This commemorative act was an opportunity to reiterate our willingness to add to the educational efforts that different actors make to ensure spaces for the understanding and reflection of the serious human rights violations that the armed conflict that we lived as a society for 36 years entailed.

Understanding the causes of the problems that we live in the present, must be one of the pillars that support the education of citizens committed to peace, and in learning about that past it is vital to learn to listen, understand injustices, identify how the grievances and violations of the rights of the people were committed, and especially, have solidarity with the victims and their struggles to know about their missing relatives or the search for justice for the grievances they suffered.

          ______________________________________________________________________

El 25 de febrero se conmemora en Guatemala como Día de la Dignidad de las Víctimas del Conflicto Armado, pr ser la fecha en que fue entregado el Informe de la Comisión para el Esclarecimiento Histórico.

La conmemoración surge por un decreto legislativo del Congreso de Guatemala, que ordena a los ministerios de educación y cultura a conmemorar la fecha a nivel nacional, pero específicamente, al Ministerio de Educación, a enseñar sobre las causas y consecuencias del conflicto armado y el contenido de los acuerdos de paz, razón por la cual miles de jóvenes han visitado nuestra exposición durante los pasados años y el actual.

Como partede la conmemoración oficial del Día de la Dignidad de las Víctimas del Conflicto Armado, este año el Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes de Guatemala, junto al Museo Comunitario de la Memoria Histórica de Rabinal, a realizar el cambio de la Rosa de la Paz, en el Patio de la Paz, del Palacio Nacional de la Culura.

Este acto conmemorativo fue una oportunidad para reiterar nuestra disposición de sumamos a los esfuerzos educativos que diferentes actores hacen por asegurar espacios para la comprensión y la reflexión de las graves violaciones a los derechos humanos que conllevó el conflicto armado que vivimos como sociedad durante 36 años.

Entender las causas de los problemas que vivimos en el presente, debe ser uno de los pilares en los que se apoye la educación de ciudadanos comprometidos con la paz, y en el aprendizaje sobre ese pasado es vital aprender a escuchar, entender la injusticias, identificar como se cometieron los agravios y las violaciones a los derechos de las personas, y sobre todo solidarizarse con las víctimas y con sus luchas por la conocer sobre sus familiares desaparecidos o la búsqueda de justicia por los vejámenes que sufrieron.

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Cesar Garcia receives the award by OEI
Cesar Garcia receives the award by OEI

On November 27th, the Ibero-American Human Rights Education Award "Óscar Arnulfo Romero" from the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) was awarded in Mexico City, Mexico, with the support of the SM Foundation, an educational institution that is responsible for improving education in all Latin American countries.

This year, more than 300 projects from 20 Ibero-American countries participated. The award has two categories, one for educational centers and schools, and other for efforts and actions of civil society organizations in favor of human rights.

In the category of efforts and actions of civil society organizations in favor of human rights, the first prize was won by our project "Young people talking about the challenges to build peace in Guatemala".

Created in 2015 by the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), through the Ibero-American Institute of Human Rights Education (IDEDH) and the SM Foundation, the award recognizes the work of educational institutions, NGOs, and members of civil society that have acted in an exemplary manner in the defense and promotion of human rights through education.

For IIARS, receving this award means recognizing our effort and inspires us to continue working for a Guatemalan youth tat knows its recent history, fights against racism and participates democratically in the construction of a better world.

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OEI Award
OEI Award

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The Guatemalan Ombudsman presented the award
The Guatemalan Ombudsman presented the award

We want to thank you once more for your support during the past month. We raised a total of $11,276 thanks to 95 unique donors!  We really appreciate everyone's contributions to "Understanding past brings peace for the future" our fundraising campaign in GlobalGiving to keep our ongoing exhibition "Why are we the way we are?" on track. Your support is very much appreciated!

And now we want to share great news with you all!

In the past month of July, we decided to applicate to receive the Award on Education and Human Rights "Óscar Arnulfo Romero", organized by The Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI). The award has two phases, one national and one international, and we are very proud to share with you that our project just recevided the National Award the past October 02th, in the category of projects leaded by nonprofit organizations that promotes Education on Human Rights.

The award is named "Óscar Arnulfo Romero", in honor of the Salvadorian Bishop murdered during the armed conflict in El Salvador. In Guatemala, OEI co-organized the award with the office of the Human Rights Ombudsman andt the Ministry of Education.

It means, we will travel in November to Mexico representing Guatemala to participate in the International Seminary on Education and Human Rights, in which the international winners will be announced. We are very excited to have the possibility, not only of winning an international prize, but also to share our work with a broader community of people who are leading great projects on Education and Human Rights all over the Iberoamerican region. In the reports to come we will tell you further of our experience in that Seminary, and the actions which we are taking at our exhibition and IIARS.

 

Les queremos agradecer una vez más por el apoyo que nos dieron el mes pasado. Recaudamos un total de 11276 dólares de 95 donantes individuales durante el acelerador de GlobalGiving, que nos ayudarán a llevar los mensajes de la la Exposición ¿Por qué estamos como estamos? a muchos más niños y jóvenes.

¡Además, tenemos buenas noticias que compartir con todos ustedes!

El pasado mes de julio, decidimos postularnos para recibir el Premio Iberoamericano de Educación en Derechos Humanos, organizado por la Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos, OEI. Este premio tiene dos fases, una nacional y otra internacional, y hoy estamos muy orgullosos de compartir con ustedes que el pasado 2 de octubre recibimos el premio a nivel nacional, en la categoría de organizaciones sociales.

El premio lleva el nombre de Óscar Arnulfo Romero, en honor del obismo salvadoreño asesinado durante el conflicto armado en El Salvador. En Guatemala, la entrega del premio la organizó OEI, en coordinación con la oficina del Procurador de los Derechos Humanos y el Ministerio de Educación.

Eso significa que viajaremos a México representando a Guatemala, para participar en el Seminario Internacional de Educación en Derechos Humanos, en el que los acreedores del premio internacional serán anunciados. Estamos muy emocionados de tener la posibilidad, no solo de ganar un premio internacional, sino de poder compartir nuestro trabajo con una amplia comunidad de personas que lideran proyectos de Educación en Derechos Humanos en toda la región iberoamericana.

En los reportes siguientes les contaremos más sobre nuestra experiencia en ese seminario y las acciones que estamos impulsando desde la EXPO y el IIARS.

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Organization Information

Instituto Internacional de Aprendizaje para la Reconciliacion Social

Location: Guatemala - Guatemala
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @IIARSgt
Instituto Internacional de Aprendizaje para la Reconciliacion Social
Vivian Salazar
Project Leader:
Vivian Salazar
Guatemala, Guatemala

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