The violence in Haiti is untenable. Gang violence in Haiti has killed over 1,230 people between July and September of this year alone. In response, the United Nations, with U.S. leadership, has authorized Kenya to deploy troops on the ground. This U.S.-backed police intervention will only escalate the violence, and more violence is never the solution. Click HERE to tell your members of Congress to take these five, concrete steps for peace.
The bridge across all of our programs is the desire to change United States policies that impact the people we work with. We work to influence US policies that exacerbate extreme poverty and vulnerability in Haiti and Nicaragua. We also know that extreme poverty and vulnerability 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 advocate for fair policies in the United States that promote the dignity of migrants. Current priorities:
- Ensure full and safe access to asylum for those seeking safety in the United States.
- Divest from broken systems of immigration detention & deportation, and invest in humane solutions and community-welcoming.
- Bring a social justice framework to U.S. policies that impact our partners in Haiti and Nicaragua, with an emphasis on non-intervention.
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.
You are invited to join the Quixote Center as we visit our partner organizations in Nicaragua. participants will see first hand our projects of human development, undertaken in partnership with the Institute of John XXIII and the Federation of Campesinos (FEDICAMP).
Perhaps I am an incurable optimist, but it never occurred to me that the Supreme Court might side with Hobby Lobby. I didn't believe that their argument stood a chance, but the Court has taken the side of those who would deny a woman her agency and control of her own body. Now we have been given a ruling which will have far-reaching implications and a host of unpredictable consequences.
Construction is underway once again in the village of Chaguitillo! This is the second year that the Homes of Hope program has been active in this community, and the new construction will serve some of the more than fifty families currently waiting for a new home. The Institute of John XXIII reports that the first seven families have been selected and approved by the community housing association.
Earlier this week explorers announced that they had located the wreckage of Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria, off the northern coast of Haiti. For more than 500 years the ship has been sitting beneath the Caribbean Sea mostly ignored by researchers. It was only after retracing Columbus' steps from his original encampment in Haiti that anyone realized the identity of the vessel.
The United States is one of the world’s largest food aid providers, yet its practices are inefficient, in part because of the transportation restrictions. Currently, 50% of all aid given must be sent on U.S.-flagged ships, a rule known as Cargo Preference. The argument for this rule is to maintain a reserve of vessels for times of war, and to support the maritime industry. At the start of 2014 Congress passed some modest food aid reforms in what is known as the Food for Peace Act. These reforms included ways we could more quickly reach the hungry at a lower cost to U.S.
Nicaragua has experienced a string of earthquakes that emanated from the fault lines directly under Managua during the last week, ranging from 5.1 to 6.7 on the Richter scale. There have also been aftershocks. The temblors have caused serious concern among seismologists and other experts, and reminded many in Nicaragua of the devastating 1972 earthquake that left 10,000 dead and over 250,000 homeless.