1) Human Rights observation cooperants (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) Community Development cooperants:

Cooperants to serve for 6 months to a year in projects identified by BTS partners.

BTS Partners & Cooperant Placements

BTS partnerships reflect decades of relationship building and cooperation. The work of our partners is wide in scope and all placements require great flexibility and adaptability, understanding that placement descriptions may evolve and change.

Comité Campesino del Altiplano (Highlands Committee of Small Farmers 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 small farmer families.

Strong interest and/or backgrounds in agricultural engineering, fundraising, communications or law would be strong assets for the CCDA.

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, 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.

Strong interest and/or backgrounds in permaculture, marketing, fundraising or sustainable community development would be strong assets for IMAP.

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. They work, for instance, on the case of the 36 women seeking justice for sexual violence committed during the internal armed conflict (see photo above).

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.

Strong interest and/or backgrounds in law, journalism, communications, social work or psychology would be strong assets for the ABJP.

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 Fundación 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 Fundación 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. In the photo above, they are engaged in a traditional Achi dance.

Strong interest and/or backgrounds in agriculture, education or fundraising would be strong assets for FNE.

BTS Solidarity Training (Mandatory): May 30-June 3rd at the 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: You’ll find an information and application package here. Please email the application, cover letter and CV as one attachment to breakingthesilencehiring@gmail.com by Monday, March 23, 2020 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 late March / early April with confirmation of acceptance into the Training Program in 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.