The bridge across all of our programs is the desire to change United States policies that impact the people we work with. Extreme poverty and vulnerability in Haiti and Nicaragua lead families to make the heartbreaking decision to migrate, to the United States or elsewhere. Our priority is addressing the root causes of migration in Haiti and Nicaragua. At the same time, we believe that we must insist on fair policies in the United States that promote the dignity of migrants. Current priorities:
End Title 42 and Remain in Mexico, and secure asylum once again at our borders
Work in solidarity with migrants traveling in Central America and Mexico
Bring a social justice framework to the United States’ policies that impact our partners in Haiti and Nicaragua, with an emphasis on non-intervention.
Many of us we were taught in elementary school that Christopher Columbus was a brave Italian explorer who first discovered the Americas. We remember him as a hero and for this reason honor him with his own day, Columbus Day. However, this provides a white washed, ethnocentric version of United States’ history. Upon examining the true root of the holiday and the factual history, we discover Columbus Day celebrates, and honors the colonization of the Americas, and the genocide and ethnocide of the indigenous peoples.
The Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act (NICA Act) is a congressional bill introduced in July 2016. The NICA Act focuses on limiting long term aid to Nicaragua from financial institutions such the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank due to the Nicaraguan government’s restrictions on transparent elections and limitations on political freedoms (i.e. political opposition parties).
On March 2, 2016, internationally recognized Indigenous and Honduran social movement leader Berta Caceres was murdered following an intense struggle against the Agua Zarca Dam in Honduras. Berta was the General Coordinator of the Indigenous Lenca organization COPINH and national Honduran social movement leader against the 2009 SOA-graduate led coup in Honduras and the resulting US-backed and financed repressive regimes. She received constant death threats, surveillance, and repression. Despite all the threats, Berta refused to be silent. Demand justice for her death today!
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 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.
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.