Guatemala: Fair Trade, Indigenous Rights & Cultural Expressions

June 19, 2013June 27, 2013

Join Global Exchange for a Reality Tour exploring how U.S. fair trade activists and women's cooperatives in Guatemala are working together to use fair trade to advance local development efforts in Latin America's most impoverished communities. We invite you to travel to Guatemala to meet with artisan cooperatives and affiliated grassroots NGOs.

Visit and work with these cooperatives that are providing fair wage employment and a support network to women, many of whom survived violent repression during Guatemala's civil war. Participants will learn about each community's history and the local development projects funded through their fair trade sales in the U.S. In contrast, participants will witness the negative impacts of the free trade model in the region, predominantly within the framework of the mining industry.

Global Exchange delegates will travel to Mayan-Qeqchi communities in eastern Guatemala to examine human rights violations due to Canada-based Hudbay Minerals' nickel mining operations. In addition, we will visit the Mayan-Mam and Sipakapan communities in western Guatemala to assess the social and environmental injustices stemming from Canadian giant Goldcorp's gold and silver mining interests.

Fair Trade vs. Free Trade will allow participants to explore how they, as consumers, can support development efforts abroad. The tour is intended to motivate participation in fair trade initiatives upon return to the U.S. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with cooperative members, representatives of leading indigenous and human rights organizations, and local government officials about issues related to women's rights, racism, economic justice, and community health in both the U.S. and Guatemala.

Please email Corina if you would like to recieve a sample itinerary for this delegation.

Program Highlights may include: 
  • Learn about popular resistance to the Central American Free Trade Agreement
  • Learn about the opposition to mining ventures in San Marcos
  • Meet and work with jewelry and weaving cooperatives formed by widows from Guatemala's civil war period
  • Visit small producers of organic, fair trade coffee and their processing center
  • Visit a community of workers on a traditional coffee plantation who have organized to defend their labor rights in the hope of one day gaining land to produce under fair conditions
  • Meet with the Alternative Network for Solidarity Trade, a network of cooperatives and small producers who have come together to access and create alternative markets
  • Meet with representatives of indigenous organizations fighting for their cultural and political rights
  • Learn about the history of U.S.-Guatemala relations and learn how the U.S. is impacting policy in Guatemala today
  • All highlights and activities subject to change, as conditions permit
  • Click hear to visit Global Exchange\'s Chevron Program and learn more about the true cost of oil

Price Includes: 
  • Double-room accommodations; on-ground transportation including airport pick-up and drop-off; Global Exchange bilingual trip leader; preparatory reading and orientation materials; admission and fees to all program activities; two meals a day (breakfast and dinner)
  • NOT INCLUDED: airfare, airport departure taxes, lunches, tips, travel insurance, and personal expenses. Single rooms are available for an additional $200
  • Please note: All Global Exchange participants who arrive and depart on scheduled trip dates are guaranteed airport transportation. Please notify Program Coordinator of any special travel arrangements

How to Register: 

To register, please send in your application form and a deposit of $400. Payments by Mastercard, Visa and Discover are welcome. Deposits are non-refundable unless the trip is canceled by Global Exchange as explained below.

Please note: We must meet a minimum number of trip participants on every trip, so please register early!

To ensure that all participants can plan accordingly, the minimum number of participants must be reached within 30 days before departure, or the trip will be canceled. If the trip cancels registered participants can choose to receive a full refund or transfer to a future group. Once a trip is confirmed (reaches the minimum # of participants) registrations may be accepted up to 30 days before the departure date.

This trip will be as diverse as possible in terms of race, age and life experiences. In some cases, a limited number of partial scholarships are available for low-income applicants.

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