Accompaniment and Cooperant Program2023-09-21T12:20:26-04:00

Accompaniment and Cooperant Program

Since 1990, Breaking the Silence has engaged Maritimers and people across Canada in solidarity work through on-the-ground accompaniment and presence with our partners in Guatemala. Ranging from short and long-term internships, cooperant placements, delegations, human rights accompaniment, and in-country presence of BTS staff, our solidarity efforts support the work of partners in Guatemala while increasing the capacity of Maritimers and other Canadians to become more conscientious and active organizers for social justice at home and abroad.

For several years after the end of our internship programs in 2013, our in-person support to partners in Guatemala took the form of in-country staffing and short-term delegations. In 2019, at the request of our partners, BTS recognized that a fundamental aspect of our solidarity needed to include a significant presence of Canadians in Guatemala. As a response, we launched a two-year pilot Cooperant Program to bring a cohort of highly qualified individuals from across the Maritimes (and across Canada) to Guatemala for short and long-term human rights and community development placements. Under the coordination of a full-time Lead Cooperant, the program brought several Cooperants to Guatemala to support our partners’ work on truth, justice, and impunity, defense of territory, and human security, including mining justice.

In 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, BTS was forced to suspend its Cooperant placements in Guatemala and shifted gears to strengthening virtual solidarity and accompaniment efforts. However, we were pleased to restart the in-person Cooperant Program in Guatemala in January 2023. We look forward to welcoming new cohorts of Cooperants to Guatemala, continuing to be led by the requests and interest of our partners.

Interested in becoming a Cooperant? Learn more and apply today!

Report-backs from previous accompaniers and cooperants

Cooperant Update: Getting Started at the New Hope Foundation

I am a cooperant at the New Hope Foundation, Rio Negro, located in Rabinal, Baja Verapaz. What an honour it is to be welcomed into the learning community of the Intercultural Bilingual Community Education Centre (CECBI, Centro Educativo Comunitario Bilingüe Intercultural). CECBI is the middle and high school [...]

March 1st, 2024|Categories: Cooperant Program|Tags: , , |

Cooperant Update: Elections and Land Defense in the Face of Evictions

By Raphael Freston Water is ubiquitous this time of year in San Lucas Tolimán. Streets become streams; fields become swamps. The sky, the silvery sky, feels ever closer and heavier. Fog creeps into every corner, burying San Lucas in one vast cloud. You can see no more than an arm’s [...]

Cooperant Update: The Struggle for Justice Continues in Rabinal Vecinos Case

The Rabinal Community Legal Clinic (ABJP). Photo credit: Sabrina Jeria By: Sabrina Jeria, a cooperant with the Rabinal Community Legal Clinic Ongoing Threats to the Struggle for Justice Almost every day, a new headline demonstrates the ongoing dismantling of the rule of law and the erosion of Guatemala’s [...]

May 16th, 2023|Categories: Cooperant Program, Truth, justice & impunity|

Cooperant Update: As Seasons Change, the CCDA Builds Soil, Power, and Land Defense Cases

Members of the CCDA and BTS travel to Macho Creek to learn community members' ties to the land. Photo credit: Raphael Freston By: Raphael Freston, a cooperant with the Highlands Small Farmers Committee (CCDA) Shifting Seasons Come April, fireflies flit through San Lucas Tolimán at dawn. Community members [...]

Annual Commemoration to Honour Victims of Rio Negro Massacre

Altar honouring the 177 victims of the March 13th, 1982 massacre at Pak’oxom in Rio Negro (photo credit: ADIVIMA) Sabrina Jeria, a cooperant at the Rabinal Community Legal Clinic, shares her reflections following the March 13th commemoration of the Río Negro massacre. On March 13, I accompanied a [...]

Popular education, social history: among the keys to defending Maya land

Third in a series by Jim HodgsonRead the second post here Many supporters of Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking The Silence Network (BTS) and other solidarity groups across Canada know Leocadio Juracán and the organization he has been part of since 1989: the Comité Campesino del Altiplano – CCDA (Highlands Committee of Small [...]

June 29th, 2022|Categories: Defense of Territory, Delegation, Report Backs|Tags: , , , |
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