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Members invited to visit and support maquila workers

Codevelopment Canada, a BC-based non-governmental organization working for social change in the Americas, is inviting interested HSA members to travel to Nicaragua and Honduras to meet with and celebrate the accomplishment of women's groups supporting maquila workers.

The ten-day visit is scheduled for February 28 to March 9. Members are responsible for their own costs, estimated as $3500 to $4000.

During the visit, CoDev will be highlighting the work of MEC, the Movement of Working and Unemployed Women in Nicaragua and CODEMUH (Honduran Women's Collective) in Honduras. In the early 90s when this work was beginning, conditions in the maquila factories were appalling and the risks that organizers took were extreme. MEC founder Sandra Ramos was hospitalized with severe injuries at one point after speaking with workers about their rights. CoDev heard about MEC and decided that solidarity between workers here and in Nicaragua could make a difference. MEC became one of CoDev's first non-teacher partners and they have worked with them ever since.

A few years later, CoDev began a partnership with CODEMUH, who were then working with women in similarly dreadful conditions and slowly making headway towards respect for labour rights and human rights. HSA began as a Canadian Partner with CODEMUH in 2002.

CoDev is also inviting members of BCGEU and CUPE BC as Canadian Partners of MEC and CODEMUH. Two key events on the trip will be MEC's 20th Anniversary Forum taking place on Sunday, March 2 in Managua and International Women's Day in San Pedro Sula with CODEMUH. The trip will be an invaluable opportunity for HSA members to get a first-hand experience of the impressive work of these two organizations.

For more information, please contact CoDev at codev@codev.org or call 604-708-1495.

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