We’ve extended the deadline for the BTS Community Development and Human Rights Cooperant Program!

Draft Poster 2 - Extended deadline

Deadline:  April 4, 2019 @ midnight

We invite people of all ages and backgrounds to apply for the BTS Community Development & Human Rights Cooperant Program!

BTS seeks to create a team of 6-8 cooperants who will work in short-term human rights observation OR placements with our Guatemalan partners (6 months to 1 year). Training for these roles will take place in May. The departure date will be determined in conversation with BTS and the cooperant. Cooperants will commit to be available at least once over a two-year period (from summer 2019 to the end of 2020).

Through this program, we hope to strengthen our Canadian presence on the ground in Guatemala, which will increase our capacity to engage in solidarity with our partners by responding to their volunteer requests in a timely manner.

See below for more information about the costs covered. In the past, participants have been successful in fundraising a good portion of the cost of their placement. Please don’t stay away due to lack of funds. Let us know in your application if you would like to request more funding due to financial need.

Information and application package, available here.

Overview of roles:

1) Short-term human rights observation (ideally with previous accompaniment experience) 

While based in Canada, these cooperants agree to be available at least once over a two-year period to travel to Guatemala on short notice to respond quickly to urgent, immediate needs of partners, such as:

– Emergency human rights accompaniment of individuals and communities under threat
– Presence at court cases in Guatemala regarding genocide

Cooperants could serve for a period of a few weeks to three months, depending on the need.

2) Placements with BTS’ partners in Guatemala:

Cooperants to serve for 6 months to a year in projects identified by BTS partners within two years of the training.

Here’s a list of BTS partners and the backgrounds they are seeking:

Comite Campesino del Altiplano (Highland Small Farmers Committee or CCDA)
BTS has worked with the CCDA since 2000 in developing a fair-trade coffee exportation relationship, through Just Us! Today, the CCDA markets its coffee, Café Justicia throughout Canada, parts of the USA and Europe. In Guatemala, this translates into hundreds of families benefiting from higher prices that fair trade guarantees, organic compost for future crops and the development of a CCDA scholarship program from the proceeds of the coffee for children of small coffee producers. The CCDA works to promote land and labour rights for campesino (small farmer) families.

The CCDA is currently looking for a cooperant with a background in agricultural engineering, fundraising or law.

Mesoamerican Permaculture Institute (IMAP)
IMAP works to promote and foster biological and cultural diversity in Mesoamerica through permaculture design and practice. They work directly with communities and organizations in the region to integrate permaculture into community development for the benefit of families. IMAP’s vision is for Mesoamerican People to become the primary actors of the construction of autonomous sustainable development and to live in harmony with nature and to be a Permaculture model for the bioregion and world. Seed saving and seed sharing, health, nutrition and self reliance are important parts of their work. IMAP offers Permaculture Design Certificate programs, as well as other learning opportunities.

IMAP is currently looking for a cooperants with a background in permaculture, marketing, fundraising or sustainable community development.

Asociación Bufete Jurídico Popular (Community Legal Association or ABJP)
The Legal Clinic was established by survivors of the Rio Negro Massacre and its original legal objective was the fulfillment of the 1996 Peace Accords by facilitating access of victims of genocide and crimes against humanity to national and international legal systems and the National Restitution Commission. This work continues today through national and international channels. Because of the ABJP’s awareness of family violence and the lack of response to this issue in the legal system and the community, in late 2006 it opened the Achi Woman’s Office to educate women on their legal rights and to respond to issues of family violence, including education within the community and the legal system. Currently the ABJP works in three streams: legal certainty and security for ancestral land, justice for crimes during the Internal Armed Conflict and the genocide, and the Achi Woman’s Office.

The ABJP is looking for volunteers with experience in law, journalism or communications, social work or psychology.

Fundación Nueva Esperanza (New Hope Foundation), Rabinal
In 1996, Jesus Tecu Osorio, recipient of the 2010 Human Rights First  Baldwin Medal, along with other survivors of the Rio Negro massacre, founded the Fundación Nueva Esperanza. It originally offered educational support (scholarships, computer training and tutoring) to Maya-Achi youth whose parents were victims or survivors of the 1980s genocide, thus contributing to the construction of a just and democratic state. In 2003 the Fundacion opened the New Hope Secondary School to offer educational opportunities for youth affected by the violence and to facilitate occupational, personal, social, and cultural programs designed to overcome causes and effects of the violence. At the present time the Fundacion offers a culturally relevant bilingual education junior high school program for the youth, from throughout the municipality of Rabinal, many of whom board at the school.

The New Hope Foundation is looking for cooperants with a background in agriculture, education or fundraising.

Mandatory Training: May 16th – May 21st, 2019 at Tatamagouche Centre, Tatamagouche NS.

Costs: BTS will cover the costs of a return flight to Guatemala, health/repatriation insurance*, and half the costs of room and board (approximately $400). *All cooperants must have provincial medical insurance.

Next steps: Read over and complete the information and application package above. Please email the application, cover letter and CV as one attachment to breakingthesilencehiring [at] gmail.com by Thursday, April 4, 2019 at midnight (AST). You will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application. Please direct any questions to the above email.

Interviews with short-listed candidates will take place in person or by phone in early April with confirmation of acceptance into the Training Program by mid-April.

We wish to thank UNIFOR, the Sisters of Saint Martha of Antigonish and the Kingston Guatemala-Canada Solidarity Network for their financial support to develop this program.