Guatemalan women’s organizations to be featured in March 2018 learning delegation led by CoDev Canada

CoDevelopment Canada (CoDev), a BC-based non-governmental organization working for social change in the Americas, is inviting interested HSA members to travel with a learning delegation to Guatemala in March 2018 to meet with some of CoDev’s partner organizations supporting women in Guatemala, who face enormous economic and social challenges.

The ten-day delegation is scheduled for March 17 to 26. Participants are responsible for their own costs, estimated at $1300 to $1570, plus airfare. Applications are open until January 30, 2018.

During the visit, CoDev will be highlighting the work of three partner organizations: Artesana, Sector de Mujeres, and Campesino Committee of the Highlands – CCDA.

Artesana defends the rights of imprisoned women and their children. The organization provides training for the women, accompanies them to court, facilitates prison visits and other activities for their children, and provides support when women are released from prison. Artesana also provides training to penitentiary authorities about their obligations and responsibilities under various international conventions ratified by Guatemala. Artesana was active in 2017 in the tragic case of 421 girls who were burned to death March 8, after police locked them in a classroom in a state home for vulnerable children.

Sector de Mujeres is a coalition of 33 Guatemalan women’s organizations that work toward the elimination of discrimination, oppression, and subordination of women. Sector was created during the peace process to end Guatemala’s 36-year armed conflict as a space where women’s organizations could channel their demands into the peace negotiations. Following the end of the war in 1997, the Sector became the principal national women’s coalition. Among its objectives, the coalition seeks to combat discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, violence against women, and economic and social margianalization of women and girls. The CoDev delegation will meet with member organizations such as Women in Solidarity, which works on reproductive and sexual rights, as well as the labour rights of sweatshop workers.

Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA) is a social movement of approximately 800 Mayan communities across Guatemala. The movement is organized into various cooperatives and associations carrying out community development consistent with Mayan ways of interacting with the earth.

The CCDA participates politically with other social organizations seeking to transform the Guatemalan state into one that is free of corruption and violence, and which attends to the aspirations and needs of Guatemala’s diverse cultures and peoples.

The CoDev delegation will visit one of the CCDA’s coffee cooperatives, its coffee mill and organic research centre, meet the CCDA women’s commission and visit some of its integrated organic agriculture projects.

To register, see the registration form here, or for more information, please contact Steve Steward, Executive Director, CoDev at or call 604-708-1495, ext 114.

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