On September 21st, participants from all nine Guatemalan communities gathered to celebrate Sister Parish’s 25 years of operation in the U.S. and Latin America. The 25th Anniversary Guatemala Solidarity Walk was blessed with cool breezes and smiles from all walks of life. The Bi- Annual Representatives Meeting commenced after the walk and representatives received a very informative workshop on the trafficking of minors. The workshop challenged and added to our existing knowledge on the topic and corresponding legislation. Participants were given materials that highlighted relatively new laws that can be used as tools for pursuing justice for the most vulnerable members of society. Throughout the representatives meeting laughter, stories of triumph and struggles, and memories of 25 years sounded throughout the Sister Parish Center. Sunday, was a day of rest and worship. The communities reflected on circumstances in the world and how they, as Christians, are obligated to respond.
Educational Topic: Child Trafficking
Presented by Mujeres Transformando el Mundo
Attendees were asked about their knowledge concerning the definition of trafficking and existing laws. Some were more informed about laws and definitions but everyone was aware that this occurs in Guatemala and affects some of their communities directly. After presenting the established laws, the speaker gave a chronology of when each law was passed. People were surprised to hear that the first law that directly addressed trafficking of minors was passed in 2009. After processing the information, community members shared stories of neighbors and friends who have been victims of child trafficking and the reactions by public officials who were less then proactive. Representatives used this informational session as a call to action. One representative stood up and commented:
“With this information that we have received we are now responsible for guiding other people to this information. To help people know what their rights are and avenues to search for help.”
If you would like to show your solidarity with organizations that are fighting to address this international humanitarian issue, please visit Women Transforming the World using the following link: http://www.mujerestransformandoelmundo.org/
Read our full report on the Guatemala Representatives Meeting (PDF) and our post on this year’s Guatemala Solidarity Walk.