Latin America and the Caribbean EAD Track Workshop Descriptions

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We hope you will join us April 5, 2013 – April 8, 2013 for Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2013 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Crystal City. Please click here to register for Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2013! Don’t forget to stop by our LAWG Table in the Main Ballroom and say hello to your favorite LAWG Program Assistants.

Haiti Reconstruction Efforts and Challenges for Sustainable Agriculture

It has been three years since Haiti experienced the most devastating natural disaster in the country’s history. Promises to “Build Back Better” have ignored the voices of Haitian civil society, especially hundreds of thousands of peasant farmers who constitute the country’s backbone and still produce nearly 40 percent of the country’s food. As Haiti’s leaders promote a business-led model of development in Haiti, the country’s capacity to feed itself is further endangered. Throughout Haiti, peasant organizations and their allies are demonstrating that reconstruction and sustainable agriculture centered on food sovereignty and food security are not mutually incompatible. This workshop will discuss the challenges and possibilities of sustainable agriculture in Haiti through discussions with representatives of Haitian peasant organizations and their allies.

Speakers: Louisiane Nazaire is the Coordinator of the National Coordination of Women Farmers (KONAFAP). KONAFAP was founded in 2008 by women from the 56 member organizations of the Haitian National Network for Food Sovereignty and Security (RENHASSA). Chavannes Jean-Baptiste is an agronomist, and founder of the Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP).  Chavannes founded MPP in 1973 to help promote the principles of sustainable agriculture in Haiti. Herode Guillomet is the Director of Christian Center for Integrated Development (SKDE), a Church World Service Partner. Rosnel Jean-Baptiste is the Coordinator of the National Executive Committee of Heads Together Small Peasant Producers of Haiti.

Sponsored by: Organizations part of the Haiti Advocacy Working Group

Time: Saturday, April 6, 2013 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Location: Monroe Room in DoubleTree Hotel Crystal City


Faith Food and Justice: Lessons from Mexico on International and Local Strategies to a Sustainable Future

Mexico is known as the birthplace of corn and is known for its rich culinary heritage.  But sustaining food supply and food security has not been easy, especially with the impacts of global decisions on the livelihoods and food supplies of Mexico’s most marginalized communities. In this session, hear from a leading Mexican researcher on the importance of corn in Mexico and what the current national struggles are. Then hear what one local Christian organization is doing at a grass-roots level to transform lives and lower malnutrition through healthy eating and sustainable farming.

Speakers: Eugenio Arriza is the Director of AMEXTRA (The Mexican Association for Rural and Urban Transformation) and Antonio Turrent Fernández, National Researcher Emeritus of INIFAP (National Institute of Forest, Agriculture and Livestock Research)

Sponsored by: ELCA Global Mission and World Hunger

Time: Saturday, April 6, 2013 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Location: Madison Room in DoubleTree Hotel Crystal City


Building a Transnational Movement to Respond to the Challenges of the Mining Industry in El Salvador and Central America

Salvadoran civil society, faith-based groups and authorities have strongly expressed their opposition to the development of an open pit metallic mining industry in their country. The rejection results from an increased awareness of the serious social, environmental and economic risks this industry could imply for the country. Two mining corporations, Pacific Rim and Commerce Group, have sued El Salvador under CAFTA provisions, which have increased the pressure on the Salvadoran government and its population. The unbalanced power of extractive industries is not only a matter of El Salvador, but extends throughout all the Americas, including the United States. Communities across the continent are looking at further working together to raise their voice and defend their rights to be consulted on policies and practices that affect their lives.

In this workshop, a representative from the National Roundtable on Mining in El Salvador –La Mesa- together with a representative from the US grassroots movement, Manuel Perez- Rocha, from IPS and Sofia Vergara, from Oxfam America will share experiences and discuss with the audiences ways to further advance an already emerging continental grassroots movement that could bring further balance to the forces of power at play.

Speakers: Alexa Smith (PCUSA), Carolina Ascencio (La Mesa), Manuel Perez-Rocha (IPS)

Moderator/translator: Sofia Vergara (OXFAM America)

Co-sponsored by: Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam America, Presbyterian Church USA

Time: Saturday, April 6, 2013 2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Location: Van Buren Room in DoubleTree Hotel Crystal City

Land and Food Justice: Monoculture and Conflict in Central America

Conflicts over land are deeply embedded in Central America’s history, but are not only a thing of the past.  As countries have sought investment to expand agriculture and exports, concentration of land in African palm and sugar production, in particular, has displaced communities and undermined rural livelihoods.  This workshop will discuss experiences in Guatemala and Honduras that illustrate how loss of land to such monocultures has violated rights, harmed the environment and exacerbated food insecurity.

Speakers: Laura Hurtado (Oxfam, based in Guatemala), Annie Bird (Rights Action)

Moderator: Kelsey Alford-Jones (Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA)

Co-sponsored by: Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA, Oxfam America, and Rights Action.

Time: Saturaday, April 6, 2013 2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Location: Madison Room in DoubleTree Hotel Crystal City

An Ecology of Liberation: Communities Practicing Sustainable Agriculture Right Now

Sustainable communities must produce sustainable food, and they have to do it surrounded by unsustainable practices. The workshop will address the need for locally controlled governance in project development, the challenges faced by organizers and farmers as they implement sustainable practices, and will share some of the lessons already learned in implementation. This workshop features two representatives from successful projects in Nicaragua and Haiti that work on issues of sustainable agriculture and food security.

Speakers: Father Claude Cine (Jean Marie Vincent Formation Center) from Gros Morne, Haiti, and Miguel Marin (President of FEDICAMP). FEDICAMP is a federation of rural campesinos in northern Nicaragua.

Moderator: Andrew Hochhalter (Quixote Center)

Sponsored by: Quixote Center

Time: Sunday, April 7, 2013 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Van Buren Room in DoubleTree Hotel Crystal City