Laura Aucoin is a young worker from BC who travelled to Guatemala in February 2016 as part of the PSAC Social Justice Fund's Education In Action delegation. Along with ten other PSAC members from across the country, Laura was there to learn more about the culture and some of the struggles Mayan people face daily and build solidarity between Canada and indigenous communities in Guatemala.
More about the Education in Action program
EIA has inspired many people to get involved in meaningful solidarity with Guatemala. One hundred and three people have participated in the program to build homes for impoverished families in the rural areas of the Guatemalan highlands since 2007. Since the program was founded by former PSAC member Roberto Miranda, 86 homes, 3 community centres and 3 schools have been built. Through EIA, members have an opportunity to work side-by-side with Indigenous families who are members of a Guatemalan farmers’ cooperative, the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA), a grassroots organization working with Mayan farmers to improve their livelihoods.
The CCDA has been defending the economic, social and cultural rights of the Mayan people since 1982, struggling for equitable land distribution, carrying out sustainable agricultural development, and encouraging the economic empowerment of women. The CCDA also produces the organic and fairly traded coffee, Café Justicia, sold by volunteers across Canada. Café Justicia is made available in Canada through Education In Action Ottawa.
Over the last few years, many rural families in Guatemala have faced a food crisis due to a serious drought and an aggressive blight that has destroyed the coffee harvest throughout Central America. Small producers have recorded major losses and many jobs have been lost. Since 2006, over 40 members of the PSAC have participated in the delegations to Guatemala organized by the Social Justice Fund and Education In Action.
For more information this project and PSAC's Social Justice Fund, visit psac-sjf.org