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Activists to Host Language Learning Expedition to Guatemala
This summer two Houston activists will host language learning expeditions to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala to raise funds for video investigative work on Plan Colombia. Loel and chickpea plan to take a group to the Proyecto Linguistico Quetzalteco de Espanol for a two week, one-on-one learning experience designed to give even the most linguistically challenged a base for mastery of the Spanish Language. Quetzaltenango, with its perpetual spring-like climate is nestled in the mountains of Central Guatemala. More commonly known by its Quiche Maya name of Xela, it is the perfect place to totally immerse in the most widely spoken language in the world.

The Proyecto is a language school that was started in 1988 as a way to raise money for the freedom fighters that opposed the CIA backed oppressive government that was continuing the U.S. corporate dominance of the native peoples of Guatemala. The school continues as a tool supporting progressive social programs like women's collectives, micro financing and assisting the transformation of the former guerrilla clandestine rebel radio into an above-ground means of disseminating unfiltered information to the populace in the native tongues of the indigenous of Guatemala.

Loel has traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central/ South America, even going into the "zone of conflict" in Chiapas, Mexico to investigate the NAFTA instigated uprising in that region. chickpea is a local activist involved with many causes. She is also one of the "Huntsville 8," the group of activists of conscience who braved arrest and criminal charges in order to bring international attention to death penalty practices in Texas, which now has the dubious distinction of being the death capital of the world. Both were in Xela in December and January, attending the same school that participants of this trip will attend.

There is room for 10 participants. The trip is planned for July 29th through August 10th.

Proceeds from the expedition will help fund a video expedition to Colombia to investigate and learn the real story behind the current U.S. policy known as Plan Colombia. Global Exchange, an international human rights organization describes Plan Colombia as "[a] tragedy [that] is in the making. With virtually no public discussion, the US Congress, at the urging of the Clinton Administration, has passed a two-year, $1.3 billion military 'aid' package for Colombia. Couched as part of our war on drugs, the plan will do nothing to reduce drug abuse here at home, but it will drag the US into another terrible civil war. The approved plan is expensive, ineffective and inhumane, and it will only serve to throw fuel on the fire already consuming Colombia." Basically, the plan supports natural resource exploitation by multi-national corporations at the expense of local peoples and the environment. It fosters oppression and environmental destruction while maintaining U.S. military dominance in South America.

For further information on this trip contact Loel at 713/294.1333 or chickpea at 281/725.1948 or by email at  xela@coolrio.com .

phone: phone: 713/294.1333