Congratulations to IALA Ixim Ulew’s first cohort! Read students’ testimonies about their experiences.

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Photo credit: IALA Ixim Ulew

On Saturday, November 23rd, the first cohort of students will graduate from the Instituto Agroécologico Latinoamericano (IALA) Ixim Ulew in Nicaragua. The students, who belong to La Via Campesina organizations in their home countries of Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, the Dominican Republi,c and Guatemala, will each graduate with a technical degree in agroecology. The Friends of the ATC are extremely grateful to have participated in the construction of IALA Ixim Ulew, and many of us have had the wonderful opportunity to meet these incredible young people.

Photo credit: IALA Ixim Ulew

In their two years at IALA Ixim Ulew, the cohort studied agroecology and the struggle for food sovereignty as methods of transforming society. The students participated in a process of political training, which used popular education methodologies and focused on class struggle and social movements in Latin America. Their classes and discussions paid particular attention to the current contexts in students’ home countries. Now, they are tasked with returning to their home organizations and communities to share and implement all that they have learned at IALA Ixim Ulew.

Photo credit: IALA Ixim Ulew

As a part of the Friends of the ATC July delegation to Nicaragua, delegates had the opportunity to visit IALA Ixim Ulew. During their visit, delegates interviewed an IALA Ixim Ulew teacher and five students from each of the represented countries. The testimonies gathered are part of an ongoing project to highlight different sectors of the ATC. After the IALA visit, the Friends of the ATC transcribed, translated, and put together a packet of the testimonies with photos and drawings.

“The vision that I see for us as peasants that we are, that we have to be more conscious, to know our realities that we live and know that at the level of Latin America, we are living the same realities. We have to contribute our grain of sand to help other people so that our struggle has the strength to move forward because it is necessary for us to organize as a people. If we organize as peoples in different countries, we can have a future. If we don’t organize, we are always going to be living in the situation we are going through today.”

IALA student Fabiana Lainez Mendez, from Coordinadora Nacional de Viudas de Guatemala

In celebration of the students’ graduation, the Friends of the ATC are releasing the testimonies packet on IALA Ixim Ulew. The students and their teacher share political analyses of their respective countries, their experiences at IALA Ixim Ulew, the importance of agroecology, and the knowledge they will take back to their home organizations in the following weeks. We believe that these interviews offer rich perspectives on efforts to build agroecology, food sovereignty, and anti-imperialism and can be very useful for activists organizing in solidarity with Latin America. At their graduation, each student will receive a printed copy of the testimonies project as a gift from the Friends of the ATC.

Check out the testimonies packet in English and in Spanish!

Friends of the ATC is a solidarity network with the Rural Workers’ Association (Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo [ATC]), an organization of struggle that defends the rural workers and peoples of Nicaragua. We organize at local and international levels to spread awareness, build solidarity, and facilitate support for the struggles and initiatives of the ATC and the international movement La Vía Campesina. In the spirit of internationalism, we believe in the necessity of supporting ongoing struggles for justice in our own communities and around the world.


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