Peacebuilding en Las Américas

Happy New Year from Peacebuilding en Las Américas

 Peace Basket / PAN PAV in Cotacachi, Ecuador

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! We fervently hope that 2021 is a year of greater peace and justice worldwide.

In 2020 we were able to enlarge and extend the work of Peacebuilding en las Americas (PLA), despite the restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic. Our partners reached out to neighbors in need, Alternatives to Violence Project facilitators and participants, refugees, youth forced to work to provide basic essentials for their families instead of continuing in school, indigenous women’s groups, and inmates at a local prison with “Peace Baskets” containing food and hygiene products. 

Facing fears of ongoing food shortages, our partners have begun working on promoting home and community gardens, including seeds in some of the Peace Baskets, and funding an indigenous women’s cooperative garden project. After the destructive hurricanes Eta and Iota in Honduras and Central America, a further round of Peace Baskets were distributed—offering resources to families in communities that were not reached by any other NGO or government services. 

 Alternative to Violence Project (AVP) Basic workshop in Spanish online.
Photo taken by Salomón Medina, AVP El Salvador. 

In addition to taking the initiative to expand our work in these ways, our partners also have worked to develop online Alternatives to Violence Project workshops – with participants from many Spanish Speaking countries, providing social and psychological support across the region.  PLA facilitators have very active roles in our Working Group, participating in our monthly meetings and a second meeting where they share ideas and successes. 

The upcoming planting seasons in these regions will be an opportunity to expand the food security program and community garden ideas. This year, we, along with others, are learning additional practices to help people heal from trauma as part of our ongoing trauma resiliency programs. We are also looking for innovative ways of reaching people during the pandemic, and finding more local partners with whom to collaborate. 

We have been working in Latin America for 18 years and are very grateful for your support. We hope that as this year goes on, we can count on your ongoing prayers, donations and volunteer activity to help our many friends and partners in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia and Ecuador.

Wishing Paz y Justicia,

Val Liveoak, Coordinator Emerita Val Liveoak, PLA Coordinator Emerita and Cece Yocum, Past Clerk, PLA Working Group

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