Due to the increased militarization and systematic human rights violations of campesino communities in the Bajo Aguan region of Honduras, we are making a call for committed volunteers interested in long term accompaniment. The international accompaniment program is a product of the Observatorio de los Derechos Humanos en el Bajo Aguan. The Observatorio primarily consists of local and national community organizations, human rights defenders and labor unions. Accompaniers will be working closely alongside organizations with extensive knowledge of the region and strong relationships with local communities (La Fundacion Popol Nah Tun and La Coordinadora de Organizaciones Populares del Aguan).
Through these partnering organizations, volunteers will be able to develop relationships with communities directly affected by the increased militarization. Due to security reasons, accompaniers will not be housed in the conflict zone. Instead, they will be living and working in the nearby municipality of Tocoa, Colon. Volunteers will be utilizing the office space of the Observatorio located across the street from the local hospital and will be housed within walking distance to the office space. Transportation and guides will be available for regular trips to communities. Volunteers will be registered with the internationally recognized human rights organization (COFADEH) and their respective embassy. The program will allow for time to reflect upon experiences as well as allow for periodic excursions to nearby scenic areas of the country.
Roles and Responsibilities
Responding to communities
Accompaniers will serve as a response team to communities facing threats of violence and forceful evictions. Priorities will be placed on the immediate protection of peoples targeted by the police/military/paramilitary. Training and security protocols will be provided for volunteers on how to interact with the security forces. Volunteers will also help provide psychological support for family members of the disappeared and deceased.
As communities face direct threat and are in urgent need of assistance, accompaniers will help document the situation with provided cameras, computers, and voice recorders. Volunteers will document complaints, write alerts and emergency response requests to the international solidarity groups and the media.
Volunteers will research US military support and training of human rights abusers and other topics suggested by the partnering organizations and solidarity community. Volunteers will also work to help build the international support group by searching and reaching out to people and organizations working on related issues. Independent research on related topics that are applicable to the situation is also encouraged.
Fluency in Spanish – able to read, write and speak.
Commitment of at least 3 months
Experience in Human Rights work Knowledge in Central American history and politics Consciousness of North-South divide and privileges entailed to accompaniers Financial support by the volunteer, the volunteer’s family, or preferably a committed community which will also help get the word out and also provide non-material support for the volunteer.
Rights Action, La Voz de los de Abajo, Witness for Peace-Southwest, Alliance for Global Justice, El Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH), Organización Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH), El Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en (COFADEH), Complejo Agroindustrial de la Palma Africana (COAPALMA)
Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguán Margen Izquierda (MUCA-MI) Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguán Margen Derecha (MUCA-MD) Movimiento Campesino del Aguán (MCA), Movimiento Campesino de Rigores (MCR), Movimiento Campesino Recuperación Nacional (MCRN), Movimiento Auténtico Reivindicador Campesino del Aguán (MARCA), La Coordinadora de Organizaciones Populares del Aguan (COPA), Fundación Popol Nah Tun, Frente Nacional de la Resistencia Popular (FNRP)
Send an initial email to VickiCervantes@yahoo.com or firstname.lastname@example.org including your name, age, experience, Spanish proficiency, and dates available.
AFGJ Food Security Delegation to Honduras
Delegation Date: January 6-15, 2012
Registration Deadline: November 30, 2011
On this delegation, learn about the threats to democracy and food sovereignty in Honduras, including: the expansion of palm plantations for ‘agrofuels’; the displacement of coastal communities for ‘Cancun-style’ tourism; and plans for large hydroelectric, mining and timber projects. These projects are being carried out by an illegitimate government, with funding from international investors and widespread repression. Astoundingly, campesinos are not only resisting but building alternatives. The Unified Campesino Movement of Aguan (MUCA), for instance, has defied its aggressors by growing organic food on occupied palm lands—including a fruit orchard, fish farm and livestock—for local self-sufficiency.
Join AfGJ National Coordinator Chuck Kaufman, long-time Honduras human rights accompanier with Rights Action, Karen Spring, and food policy analyst Tanya Kerssen from Food First, Jan. 6-15, 2012.
Cost: $850 covers two meals a day, hotel (double occupancy), translation, and in-country transportation including pick-up from and delivery to the San Pedro Sula airport. The fee does not cover international airfare. For an application, send an email to AFGJ@AFGJ.org.
Again, registration closes on November 30th. Act now to secure your spot on this exciting and eye-opening delegation! For an application, send an email to AFGJ@AFGJ.org.