Bay Area & Northern California, February 1 – 9, 2018



The Nicaraguan Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (ATC) of the international movement La Via Campesina and Friends of the ATC are pleased to announce their  “Small Farmers Cool the Planet!” speaking tour to the greater San Francisco Bay Area, February 1-9, 2018.

On this tour, the ATC’s Marlen Sanchez and Dionys Melgara will be meeting with allies in academia, grassroots organizations, and solidarity groups. They will be speaking and exchanging on the importance of La Via Campesina and other social movements pushing for food sovereignty in response to neoliberal capitalist policies that destroy Mother Earth and communities of peasants, indigenous peoples, and people of color around the world. Agroecology, grounded in ancestral knowledge, native seeds, and horizontal learning exchanges, is what can achieve food sovereignty and cool the planet. This is exactly why one of La Via Campesina’s slogans is “Small Farmers Cool the Planet!

In addition to promoting social movements like La Via Campesina, on this tour Friends of the ATC will be mobilizing to put a stop to the horribly unjust Nicaragua Investment Conditionality (NICA) Act just introduced into the US Senate, and building awareness about the recent stolen elections in Honduras. Internationalist solidarity is the foundation of our movement.



Marlen Sánchez has been the National Coordinator of Agroecology for the ATC since 2013. She has also been a member of the ATC since 2005, attending the ATC’s workshops with her mother from a young age. Marlen was one of the first graduates of the Paulo Freire Latin American Institute of Agroecology (IALA Paolo Freire), located in Venezuela, the first university to train youth of social movements in the technical and political components of agroecology. She now directs IALA Mesoamerica in Nicaragua.

Dionys Melgara has been a part of the ATC since 2006 when he joined a tobacco workers union in his hometown of Estelí, Nicaragua. He went on to study agroecology in Venezuela, returning to Nicaragua in 2014. Today Dionys is a coordinator of the ATC’s youth movement, part of the network of youth communicators, and is also a member of La Via Campesina’s national Political-Pedagogical Committee for its schools of formación.

If you have questions or are interested in setting up an interview, meeting, or event during this tour, please contact Erika of Friends of the ATC at


Friends of the ATC is a solidarity network with the Nicaraguan Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (ATC, or Rural Workers Association) and the international movement La Vía Campesina. In the spirit of internationalism, Friends of the ATC believes in the necessity of supporting ongoing struggles for justice in our own communities and around the world.

The Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (ATC) is a Nicaraguan-based organization of agrarian workers and peasants dedicated to defending rural peoples and the countryside. It is a founding member of the international social movement La Via Campesina, which struggles for food sovereignty, agrarian reform, popular peasant feminism, and human rights. The ATC will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018.



February 1, 2018 (Thursday): Berkeley


February 2, 2018 (Friday): Davis

  • Public Talk: Friday 2/2, 1:30pm-4:30pm, Dialogues for Ground-Up Development: Indigenous Farmworker Organizing in California and Grassroots Agroecology in Nicaragua, International House, 10 College Park, Davis


February 3, 2018 (Saturday): Sacramento


February 5, 2018 (Monday): TBA


February 6 (Tuesday): Santa Cruz

  • Potluck with apprentices and students, Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems student farm
  • Class Presentation (open to the public): Tuesday 2/6, 3:20pm-4:55pm, Land Dispossession and Grassroots Movements with Estelí Jimenez Soto, UC Santa Cruz campus Stevenson Academy Room 175


February 7, 2018 (Wednesday): East Bay

  • Interviews and meetings with allies (To set up a meeting, please email


February 8, 2018 (Thursday): San Francisco

  • Public Talk: Thursday 2/8, 12:20pm-2pm, SF State campus HUM 281 – IR Briefing Room (Organized by SF State and Task Force on the Americas)
  • Class Presentation (open to the public): Thursday 2/8, 5pm-6:30pm, Latina/o Community Organizing with Felix Kury,  SF State campus Burke Hall Room 210 (Organized by SF State and Task Force on the Americas)


February 9, 2018 (Friday – AM only): San Francisco

  • Interviews and meetings with allies (To set up a meeting, please email


If you need additional information about this tour, or would like to set up a meeting or interview, please email




PAST SPEAKING TOURS: archived information here