The Meaning of Religious Freedom

The roots of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993) were a surprisingly bipartisan effort to offer protection for Native American religious traditions in particular. The purpose of that was to prevent government from burdening individuals ability to practice their religion even if that burden resulted from a generally applicable rule.

President Obama's Cynical Declaration

Last week President Obama declared Venezuela a threat to United States national security, going so far as to characterize the country (operating under a duly elected President and legislature) a national emergency. He did so with the full knowledge that the statement is untrue. Rather, the declaration was made to satisfy United States legal requirements for issuing sanctions against individual Venezuelan leaders. What does this behavior say about the state of affairs in Washington as regards Venezuela? Nothing good.

President Obama's Cynical Declaration

Last week President Obama declared Venezuela a threat to United States national security, going so far as to characterize the country (operating under a duly elected President and legislature) a national emergency. He did so with the full knowledge that the statement is untrue. Rather, the declaration was made to satisfy United States legal requirements for issuing sanctions against individual Venezuelan leaders. What does this behavior say about the state of affairs in Washington as regards Venezuela? Nothing good.

Oil Prices and Regional Solidarity

Oil prices matter beyond the pump. The recent drop in the price of crude (from $100 to $30 per barrel) has been cause for celebration in oil-consuming countries like the United States. An understandable reaction since it sometimes seems as if our economy is based entirely on this liquified fossil fuel. The impacts beyond the gas tank are, however, more complex and diverse.

Speaking Out in the age of Pope Francis

The tone of the conversation about reforming the Catholic Church has shifted dramatically since the Benedict years. Pope Francis has managed to completely change the dynamic of the Church's relationship with its followers and the broader world community. Many folks who have been working for years to bring social justice issues to the front of the Vatican's agenda are inspired to hear messages from the Pontiff that affirm their efforts.

The politics of change

The current political crisis in Haiti is not making big news here in the US, with only brief updates being offered of significant events such as the last Sunday of the Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. Citizens have been protesting for months over the government's failure to organize elections, now three years overdue.

Community Production, Community Benefit: A New Approach

The Peasant Movement of Gros Morne provides essential resources and training to its more than 12,000 members. The training allows peasant farmers to cultivate their land more effectively and intensively. This cultivation is complemented by free seedlings from Quixote Center nurseries throughout the region, aiding our central mission of dispersed reforestation and ecological restoration in Haiti.

Small Steps Matter

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

-Lao-Tzu

The Quixote Center has been on the front lines of the social justice movement since 1976 working to improve the lives of communities in the United States and Latin America. The Center finds its strength in the power of many individual supporters. We do not accept government or corporate funding.

The legacy of the Quixote Center is that small steps matter.

Wishing for a peaceful and just holiday

This week we want to give thanks for all the people we work with at the Quixote Center – here at our offices in Maryland, our partners in Haiti and Nicaragua, and you our supporters across the country who give your time, money and prayers to make this important work happen. We are certainly grateful for all these people and the incredible impact they are having on their communities.

Practical Applications in El Regadio

In September I led a delegation to Nicaragua. I knew from the beginning of planning that El Regadio was a 'must visit' for our participants. The leaders and activists of El Regadio are some of the most committed and effective in Northern Nicaragua. They are led by Don Augusto, a founding member and the current President of the Federation of Campesinos (FEDICAMP).

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