(Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo - ATC)
(Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo [ATC])
History of the ATC
ATC, 43 years of defending worker and peasant rights in the countryside
Hands that Construct: 40 Years of the Rural Workers’ Association
Friends of ATC solidarity network
Exchanges & Political Education
Campaigns & Solidarity Markets
Solidarity with Nicaragua
From July 11–21, 2019, the Friends of the ATC and the ATC hosted their “Solidarity with Nicaragua” delegation. A central purpose of this trip was the collection of testimonies to clarify for international audiences and solidarity activists the current state of revolutionary struggle in Nicaragua. Over the course of our time in Nicaragua, delegates conducted more than 20 interviews with ATC organizers, students, and members, whom described today’s political situation in Nicaragua as well as efforts to build agroecology, food sovereignty, socialism, and anti-imperialism in the region. These testimonies have been transcribed, translated, and condensed by Friends of the ATC and will be released in series. Design of the packets was done in collaboration with WhyHunger.
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ATC Estelí: Three Times Heroic
Estelí, located in the mountainous northwest of Nicaragua, is home to both the production of tobacco leaves and the manufacture of cigars. The department has over 60 worldclass cigar factories whose owners proft greatly from US and European markets. Employing over 30,000 workers, the industry is rife with both abuse and resistance. For this reason, ATC-Estelí organizes and trains about 2,500 workers to defend their rights and negotiates with cigar companies to improve working conditions. The role of ATCEstelí, however, extends beyond organizing unions. As these testimonies detail, a landmark achievement of ATCEstelí was the opening in 2014 of the School of Tobacco where youth can go to learn the trade of rolling cigars in free month-long courses.
Finally, these leaders also describe ATC-Estelí’s promotion of smallfarmer cooperatives, a mission shared with other ATC federations across Nicaragua.
PDF Doc Here
Agroecological Institute of Latin America (IALA), Nicaragua
The Latin American Agroecological Institute (IALA) is an initiative of the international movement La Via Campesina to train young people from peasant organizations in agroecology. The agroecological model based on ancestral knowledge, collective action, sustainable practices, and with the leadership of peasants, youth, women and indigenous peoples offers an alternative to the agribusiness model, a corporate, industrial model, and full of the use of agrochemicals. La Via Campesina promotes agroecology as a fundamental pillar for the construction of food sovereignty and the transformation of society. The first IALA (IALA Paulo Freire) was founded in 2006 in Barinas, Venezuela through an agreement between La Via Campesina and Commander Hugo Chávez. Since then, La Via Campesina has created a whole network of IALAs that includes schools in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Paraguay. Each IALA has its own dynamics and context, but all use La Via Campesina’s methodology of popular and peasant-to-peasant education and combine technical, political and ideological training.
PDF Docs Here
Marlon Alvarado Community: We Eat What We Grow
First organized by the ATC in the 1980s, Marlon Alvarado named their community in honor of a young Sandinista combatant who was killed by Somoza’s National Guard during the insurrection, leading up to the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution. Following the triumph, the Sandinistas prioritized feeding Nicaragua and implemented a comprehensive agrarian reform; the ATC was part of this massive program that redistributed about half of the country’s arable land into the hands of 120,000 peasant families (a very significant number for a country that had a population of 3 million people at the time). Upon returning to state power in 2007, the Sandinistas took up again this historic mission through a series of programs, including
the bono productivo, which gives peasants seeds and livestock.
PDF Docs Here
Santa Julia Women’s Cooperative: The Earth Is Our Mother
The Gloria Quintanilla Women’s Coffee Cooperative, founded in 2008 through the ATC, is located just outside of the capital city Managua in Santa Julia, a rural community tucked down in the valleys of El Crucero. The following testimonies shed light on several eras of Nicaraguan history: the Somoza dictatorship from 1936-1979, the Sandinista Revolution in 1979-1990, the era of neoliberalism from 1990-2006, and the current second stage of the Revolution, marked by the FSLN’s return to state power in 2007. In the first part of the 20th century, Santa Julia was a German-owned coffee farm, which later fell into the hands of Somoza around World War II. During the Somoza period, workers in Santa Julia suffered inhumane living conditions: around 500 people worked 12 hours a day, lived in shacks owned by the farm, and went hungry. There was no school or hospitals.
PDF Docs Here