In January 2011 I took Peace and Justice: Latin American Perspectives at Semilla, an Anabaptist Seminary in Guatemala City. Here is a description of the class from the syllabus and following are links I compiled throughout the experience.
This course is an approach to the Anabaptist-Mennonite understanding and practice of peace from a Latin American perspective. It explores the main conflicts, situations, and challenges of Central America. It examines the basic theological and spiritual convictions related to peace and justice that sustain the Church mission and testimony in these lands. It also provides an overview of how the Anabaptists have spent trying to follow Jesus Christ and to preach and live his message of peace in the midst of the challenging situations and struggles of this context. This course is offered at the Latin American Anabaptist Seminary (SEMILLA) in Guatemala.
- Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation (FAFG)
- Guatemalan League of Mental Hygiene -- Reunions & adoptions
- Survivors -- Domestic abuse
- UPAVIM -- Women’s co-op connected to 10,000 Villages (Montessori school, crafts, bakery, soy milk, etc.)
- Ruth and Naomi Co-op -- http://www.guatemalaproject.org/36201.html
- Bezaleel & Fundameno -- Mennonite school and health care. http://bezaleel.mennonite.net/Bezlweb%20Donations.htm &
- CASAS & SEMILLA (Facebook)
- Justicia Restaurativa
- Mission Year & CCDA. Some of us ate dinner with a couple that was connected to both of these. Like them, I first heard of both from Shane Claiborne.
- Orphan Resources Intl -- Mike took us hiking on Pacaya for our last adventure. His story and the story of ORI was really encouraging. Mike's blog.
- Recycled Life -- Documentary about the city dump in Guatemala City that we visited.
- Return to El Salvador -- The website has the trailer and the first 7 minutes, along with a short film (Marcelo) on a related topic. It’s by the same director (Jamie Moffett) who made The Ordinary Radicals.
- El Norte -- “Two indigenous youths…flee Guatemala in the early 1980s due to ethnic and political persecution. They head north and travel through Mexico to the United States, arriving in Los Angeles, California, after an arduous journey.” Trailer
- Sin Nombre -- Trailer
- The Corporation -- Companies behaving badly.
- 180° South -- Less related to our studies than the other films. It’s more for those interested in adventure sports and ecological conservation.
- The Future of Food -- http://www.thefutureoffood.com/
- Bad Seed -- http://www.badseed.info/. I’ve only seen a small part of this. It reminded me of The Future of Food, though the quality seemed lower.
- Earthlings -- http://www.earthlings.com/. Gruesome.
- Food, Inc. -- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1286537/
- The Garden -- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1252486/
- King Corn -- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1112115/
- Peaceable Kingdom -- A documentary about farms and humans relationship to the rest of the world.
- Ballad of the Little Soldier -- Documentary about child soldiers in Nicaragua by Werner Herzog. He happens to be one of my favorite directors, and if you like his style I would also recommend: The White Diamond, The Wheel of Time, and Little Dieter Needs to Fly.
- Peacemaking Power of Prayer -- As with any book, it can’t be read uncritically, but I think it has an element of wisdom to speak to our studies here.
- Confessions of an Economic Hitman
- Game as Old as Empire
- The Arrival -- Comic book/graphic novel sans words about immigration. Emotional but not violent. Beautiful.
- Jim and Casper Go to Church -- I thought of this book after visiting La Casa de Dios. See also http://churchrater.com/.
- The End of Days
- The Fullness of Time in a Flat World (Waalkes)
- Three Cups of Tea (Mortenson)
- Stones to Schools (Mortenson)
- Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh (Norberg-Hodge)
- Bus bomb in Guatemala City -- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12109840 & http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110113/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/lt_guatemala_bus_fire_1
- Infant Mortality Rate (country comparison) -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate
- Homicide Rates (regional comparison) -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate
- Per capita income (regional comparison) -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita
- WHO Multi-country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence against Women -- http://www.who.int/gender/violence/who_multicountry_study/en/
- enditnow (Adventist say no to violence against women) -- http://www.enditnow.org/ & http://www.atoday.com/viewpoints-vol-4-heatherdawn-small.
- Smedley Buttler -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smedley_Butler. Wrote War is a Racket (http://www.amazon.com/War-Racket-Antiwar-Americas-Decorated/dp/0922915865 & http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html ). Two quotes I’ve posted on my blog (http://justicelives.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-posted-following-item-on-my-ethics.html ):
o "War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."
o "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."