U.S. Speaking Tours2021-03-31T20:21:40+00:00
A photograph of people gathering around a mural.

Indigenous artists, Saba and Guadalupe Vargas paint a mural grounded in the protection of water sources during the Indigenous Symposium in Las Cruces. The Symposium was part of our 2018 tour. Photo Credit: Chantelle Yazzie.

Connecting Guatemalan organizers with people in the U.S. who also struggle for self-determination, respect for the Earth, and the liberation of their communities

Every year, NISGUA organizes a U.S. speaking tour featuring one of our Guatemalan partner organizations. This is one way that we respond to calls from our partners to take action and increase awareness in the U.S. about the situation in Guatemala and the harmful consequences of U.S. foreign and economic policy in their territories. In coordination with volunteers across the U.S., the annual tour engages hundreds of people every year in timely action and horizontal exchange, connecting with movements in the U.S. who are organized against many of the same systems of oppression.

Previous tours

2020: Ancestral Movements: Indigenous Territory and Migration

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to cancel all in-person tour stops for our spring 2020 tour. We are incredibly grateful for all those in New Mexico, Arizona, and Los Angeles who had been organizing and planning events for months before. In April 2020, we held a webinar featuring our tour speaker, Silvia Raquec, Migration Program Coordinator of Asociación Pop No’j.

A photograph of Indigenous people sitting in a speaking panel.

Indigenous Water Protectors Panel from the Water Symposium. Featured in this picture are Edward Wemytewa of the Zuni Pueblo, Reyes Devore with Pueblo Action Alliance, José Gómez of ACODET, Kim Smith of the Indigenous Goddess Gang and New Energy Economy, Benjamin Gaviao Shendo with the Pueblo Camps at Standing Rock, and Crystal Moran with the Frontera Water Protection Alliance. Photo Credit: Chantelle Yazzie.

2018: How to Stop a Dam with Indigenous Resistance

Our tour in the Western and Southwestern U.S. lifted up lessons from successful organizing in Guatemala’s Ixcán region, where Indigenous communities have resisted the imposition of the Xalalá Dam for over a decade. The tour will featured Maya Mam organizer José Gómez, General Coordinator of the Association of Communities for Development and the Defense of Land and Natural Resources (ACODET).

José spoke about their long-term work to build community power in the face of corporate-led development. At the request of ACODET, events prioritized direct exchange with Indigenous communities fighting for social and environmental justice.

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2017: Guatemalan Youth in Defense of Land and Life

Representing Youth Organized in Defense of Life (JODVID), Alex Escobar met with Latine and environmental student activists groups that are fighting for migrant rights and against environmental racism. He shared stories and perspectives from the youth in his community and their struggle to defend their territory against the Escobal mine.


2016: Guatemalan Women Healing Towards Justice: The Case of Sepur Zarco

Community psychologist Maudi Tzay strengthened links between movements for gender justice, while she spoke about the Sepur Zarco case – an emblematic case that prosecuted, for the first time, sexual slavery as a crime against humanity in Guatemala.

NISGUA tour speaker Llan Carlos speaks into a megaphone at a protest in Reno, Nevada. Behind him are people holding signs, "This is stolen land," and "In solidarity with the people of Guatemala."

2015: Tahoe on Trial: Guatemalan Communities Defend Land and Life

Llan Carlos Dávila spoke about the work of the Diocesan Committee in Defense of Nature (CODIDENA), a religious group that is leading local efforts to educate and organize communities to protect the Earth and water against transnational mining activities in southern Guatemala – in particular, the Escobal mine.


Latest from our tours

19October, 2018

Maya Mam environmental activist José Gómez of ACODET to tour the U.S.

MEDIA ADVISORY Contact: David Imhoff, (510) 763-1403, david@nisgua.org Event Details: Maya Mam Indigenous Water Defender to visit Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico & Washington (Guatemala City/Oakland, CA): José Gómez, Maya Mam community leader and co-coordinator of the Association of Communities for Development and the Defense of Land and Natural Resources [...]

29July, 2018

2018 Speaking Tour: How to Stop a Dam with Indigenous Resistance

In these times of intensifying repression and political upheaval, our social movements urgently need to share concrete lessons and strategies for organizing to defend land and life. The Latin American solidarity movement has a powerful contribution to make in strengthening global justice struggles by facilitating direct exchange between leaders [...]

21November, 2017

NISGUA’s 2017 tour speaking tour brings together youth organizers in defense of life

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 [...]