Activism On the streets of La Antigua

Mujeres Artesanas de Paz is an organization that is not afraid to deal head on with difficult issues in Guatemalan society. It is an organization that believes that activism breeds progress that we must unite as citizens and talk openly about the things that need to change.

Over the course of the last 2 years perhaps you will have seen a group of people in La Antigua with posters, signs, music, megaphones and a lot of energy? This group of people are the members and supporters of Mujeres Artesanas de Paz, who – once every 2 months – organize an activity known as ´´Laboratorio en las Calles’’ (´street laboratory’). The idea behind this activity is to propose a certain issue or theme and to raise awareness about it in public – to question people´s preconceived ideas, to talk about difficult subjects and to shed light on issues that are often invisible in the public eye. These monthly activities take the form of talks, forums, discussion groups and peaceful protests in the Parque Central, in schools, in the streets, on the local buses, on the radio….and through social networks.

The issues discussed and challenged through these activities have included street harassment, verbal and sexual abuse, machismo (chauvinism), autonomy of one’s body, the different types of violence, people trafficking and much more. They also carried out a special protest in the Parque Central of La Antigua (with the participation of many other organizations who support Women’s Rights) to mark the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women in November of this year.

Mujeres Artesanas de Paz is a group of enthusiastic men and women who seek to empower young people, women, men and children through building their knowledge of their human rights and of themselves. An NGO and a not-for-profit, MAP leads activities and development workshops focused on the prevention of violence, the struggle for the vindication of human rights, a fair and thorough sexual education, and creativity as a source of self-knowledge.

Mujeres Artesanas de Paz also runs a program of workshops with young people in several local schools around La Antigua, in which they discuss issues ranging from sexuality to healthy relationships and gender violence – to help create a generation of responsible and thoughtful young people. MAP also provides a service of legal and financial support and accompaniment for women involved in legal cases and who have been victims of violence and human rights abuses.

Through these Laboratorios en las Calles this organization seeks to open a dialogue with the general public, make people question their beliefs and inspire them to inform themselves on important issues. It also aims to contribute to the creation of a just and peaceful society and to inspire every man, woman, teenager and child to find their own voice and to use it to demand fair treatment.

Para participar en el próximo Laboratorio en las Calles o para saber más sobre los proyectos de Mujeres Artesanas de Paz / To participate in the next Laboratorio en las Calles o to find out more information about the projects of Mujeres Artesanas de Paz:
FB: Mujeres Artesanas de Paz

Translated by: Jessica Hoult
Photos by: Mujeres Artesanas de Paz

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