NISGUA partnered with Jalapa-based youth organization, Youth Organized in Defense of Life (JODVID), for a 16-day U.S. speaking tour, “Guatemalan Youth in Defense of Land and Life.” Together we helped raise awareness about the community and youth forces that have organized in resistance to Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine in southeastern Guatemala and the human rights abuses that surround the project.
As a representative of the youth movement in resistance to mining in the Santa Rosa and Jalapa regions, Alex shared stories and perspectives from his community’s struggle to assert their self-determination and defend their territory against transnational corporate power. Read more about environmental defenders in NISGUA’s 2017 report.
In collaboration with volunteers and activists in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, California, and Washington, D.C., youth environmental activist Alex Escobar spoke at 28 events in 9 U.S. cities. Events included strategic meetings with state actors in the nation’s capital; exchanges with activists fighting against environmental racism in Chicago; residents of the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin fighting a proposed iron mine in their territory; young organizers engaged in environmental and queer activism in rural Wisconsin; and an art exchange with Latinx youth in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood, among others.
We hosted our first-ever virtual exchange using the Zoom teleconference app, gathering 26 participants in the U.S., Canada, and Guatemala for a conversation with Alex Escobar on youth activism, closing our 2017 speaking tour. You can watch the recording here.
Horizontal exchange with community and youth organizations
This year on tour, NISGUA and our partners organized several events in which Alex met with local Latinx and environmental student activist groups along with local community organizations fighting for migrant rights and against mining and environmental racism. Together, we were able to make cross-border connections in a global struggle against oppression.
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) gave Alex a tour of Chicago’s historic latinx community, La Villita. LVEJO has stood with community members in reclaiming cultural identity and recuperating healthy and pollution-free community spaces.