Despite a wealth of natural resources, culture, minerals and biodiversity, Mesoamerica remains one of the most impoverished regions in the world, with Indigenous Peoples, small farmers and women among the poorest. Yet peasant farmers and Indigenous Peoples constitute the two most significant social and economic justice movements in Mesoamerica today. On one front, these movements are challenging the mounting inequality and injustice that have been spurred by free trade agreements, deregulation and massive privatization schemes – the main thrust of neoliberalism in the region. And on the other front, peasant farmers and Indigenous Peoples are putting forward powerful alternatives that start with rights to water, land and territory; protection of native seeds and biodiversity; food sovereignty; women’s rights; and promoting climate justice.
Small farmers and Indigenous Peoples increasingly face violence and criminalization as they organize to assert their full human rights. Transnational corporations seeking to control more land and limit opposition have relied on increased military might, border control and land grabs. For this reason, human rights defense plays an important role along with movements for resource rights.
Grassroots International supports projects in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, as well as region-wide throughout Mesoamerica. All of our partners in the region work to defend the human rights to land and water, food sovereignty, and to promote climate justice, often by developing successful local, sustainable agricultural and livelihood alternatives in harmony with the earth. Our partners are at the forefront of vibrant movements making transformative changes to challenge the systems oppressing Indigenous Peoples and peasants in the region.
Grassroots International is currently providing support to the following organizations in Mesoamerica:
- Association of Rural Workers (ATC)
- Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH)
- Council for the Integral Development of the Peasant Woman (CODIMCA)
- Enlace Civil
- Mixe Peoples’ Services (SER Mixe)
- National Union of Autonomous Regional Peasant Organizations (UNORCA)
- Peasant Unity Committee (CUC)
- Union of Organizations of the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca (UNOSJO)