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 resignation 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.
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.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
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.
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.
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).
During the past fifteen years, Marcel Garcon has emerged as a champion for the sustainability ethic in Gros-Morne, Haiti. Year after year he demonstrates his commitment to restoring ecological balance to the region which has been his life-long home. Whenever I travel with him he is greeted by a near-continuous stream of friends among the rural peasant population. All of them know him as a collaborator, as one who has inspired them to continue working this depleted land with the dream of restoring its productivity.
The following reflection was submitted by Marie Keefe. Thank you, Marie!
Doña Maria is waiting for us at the gate along with other campesinas and a gaggle of kids. It’s day 4 of our trip to Nicaragua to see the work that the Quixote Center supports. We’re in rural Palacaguina, where FEDICAMP has been working with community associations in eco-agriculture to improve the wellbeing of families against a background of harsh terrain, deep drought and a limited diet for families.
The following blog post was submitted by Nancy Sulfridge, Quixote Center Board Member and participant in our September 2014 delegation to Nicaragua. Thanks, Nancy!
Last summer we began a partnership with the Green Schools Network in northern Haiti. The organizers of the network have worked with school administrators and teachers to develop innovative ways for students to learn and practice ecological restoration throughout their education. We asked for your help and support to build a permanent nursery at the school in Gran Plenn as our first project together.
Last Friday the Quixote Center joined several other local organizations at a rally in front of the White House. I was honored to be joined by several people from the Quixote Center network. Thank you!
We chose the time and location because of a high level meeting between President Obama and the Presidents of the three Central American countries from which most of the recent wave of migrants originated: Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Our message was clear: children fleeing violence in Central America deserve the rights and protections given to refugees.
On Friday, July 25 at 3 p.m. there will be a rally in front of the White House. Please join us to add your voice as we call on President Obama to uphold and defend the legal rights of the migrant children, ensure that families can be reunited and protected here in the United States, and to change the policies of militarization that have helped fuel the crisis. Please let us know if you will be able to attend.