Telling Stories-Rethreading Lives: Community Education, Women's Development and Social Change among the Maya Ixil

Citation:

Lykes, M. Brinton, Ana Caba Mateo, Jacinta Chavez Anay, Ana Laynez Caba, Ubaldo Ruiz, and Joan W. Williams. 1999. “Telling Stories-Rethreading Lives: Community Education, Women’s Development and Social Change among the Maya Ixil.” International Journal of Leadership in Education 2 (3): 207-27.

Authors: M. Brinton Lykes, Ana Caba Mateo, Jacinta Chavez Anay, Ana Laynez Caba, Ubaldo Ruiz, Joan W. Williams

Abstract:

Peace negotiations culminating in accords signed between the Guatemalan government and guerrilla forces (URNG) on 29 December 1996 have 'ended' nearly 36 years of war in Guatemala and afforded new spaces in which survivors testify to horrific violence including massacres, military occupation, internal displacement, extreme poverty and exile. In this paper we describe the development of a women's organization in rural Guatemala that was created to respond to some of the psychological, economic and educational consequences of this war. The Association's genesis and current work reflect collaborative processes of inter-ethnic and transnational non-formal education, community organizing and leadership development. While responding directly to social injustices-including centuries of discrimination and marginalization of indigenous peoples-and the multiple effects of war, the Association provides a context wherein rural Maya women are enhancing self- and community-confidence to act on their own behalf in the development of action plans for change within their local community. In this paper we discuss some of our experiences as insiders in a rural area deeply impacted by war, state violence and poverty, and as outsiders who seek to accompany them in constructing peace with justice at a local level. We document some of the challenges experienced in collaborations across multiple differences as well as their contributions to women's development and to their creation of more just and equitable educational programmes for themselves and children in their communities.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Education, Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Guatemala

Year: 1999

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