COURAGE TO LIVE THE DREAM
ASO-Ixil Farmers Association, Chajul, Guatemala
“We are happy to achieve the goal but the truth is that it is a new experience and takes a lot of courage to be living this dream.” “We are Maya Ixil. Our home and community is Chajul, el Quiche, Guatemala. We are childhood friends who started planning for a farmers’ co-op when we were 8 years old.”
“We are now 34. Our dream was born in the year that we sat by the river bank, in a high mountain jungle, and started our planning with how to survive the armed conflict raging in our home town, and for a way to get enough food for children and old people. Our childhood dreams for the farmers’ association for Maya Ixil are now a reality. ASO-Ixil Non-Profit Farmer’s Association
In 2011 Manuel Laynez Anay and Henry Caba Escobar, started the organizational work of forming a non-profit association for economic improvement, to eliminate malnutrition in the Ixil area of Guatemala, support well- being, and create job opportunities in the Maya Ixil region. They wanted to create opportunities that their parents did not have. As young people their parents were organized with a similar vision, but armed conflict prevented their achievement. They were afraid to follow their dream. They were forced from their lands where they had worked and harvested a variety of agricultural products by the fear of being beheaded, burned, hanged, shot or in every sense of the word, massacred. They fled to the jungle mountains to hide, all as a result of the internal armed conflict. One misfortune of all this is that there were many young orphans without schooling and no government support and nongovernmental organizations to support the people.
- Manuel Laynez Anay’s father was killed in the genocide massacres. During the armed conflict, Henry Caba’s father was forced by the Guatemalan army to collect bodies of the Ixil Mayans and bury them in mass pits.
DREAMS OF MEMORIES
Laurie Levinger, retired social worker living and writing in Vermont, between her travels to Guatemala and Spain. Laurie’s website has information about her other books, videos, and on-line testimonies. Laurie’s website
Guerra inconclusa: La voz de los sobrevivientes (Unfinished War: The Voice of the Survivors) by Laurie Levinger is a book of testimonies published in Guatemala in September 2015 (in Spanish). The book is a collection of 30 verbatim testimonies from 2005–2013. Guatemalans from many different parts of the country, from different language groups and of different ages contributed their personal stories. The book is in Spanish and is available by emailing the publisher Editorial Maya Na’oj:Sr Daniel Much, email@example.com In December 2015 books can be ordered by emailing laurie levinger: firstname.lastname@example.org
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