January 2020 is off to a great start with the beginning of Laura Robinson’s Community Development Cooperant placement at both the Rabinal Legal Clinic and the New Hope Foundation in Rabinal.  Over the next six months, Laura will support the Legal Clinic in the areas of research, communications and fundraising while also providing accompaniment to important case developments that may arise.  It is everyone’s hope that this year will bring positive advancements to the Achi’ women’s case against sexual violence as well as the llegal proceedings to denouce racism and descrimination against the former judge on the case.  At the New Hope Foundation, Laura will provide general support and help advance fundraising efforts for the school and the various projects they are engaged in. This year, the Foundation is developing a training program to promote gender justice and awareness of sexual health.

In addition to Laura, two more cooperants will arrive in mid-February to provide short-term human rights accompaniment to BTS partners.

The Cooperant Program is also gearing up for its soon-to-come call for applicants to a solidarity & human rights training taking place from May 30th to June 3rd which will serve as the initial training for future cooperants.  Through the work of the BTS Cooperant Committee we are moving into a very exciting second year of the Cooperant Program where we hope to train more Maritimers to become cooperants in Guatemala and return as stronger community leaders to their communities in Canada.  We look forward to providing more direct updates from cooperants in Guatemala in the months to come and continue fostering strong relations with our partners through their placements.