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There is a fundraiser each year at Nova High School for the annual trip to Guatemala when students work with people in the community on job training and providing Guatemalan students in the Nuevo Amanecer (New Dawn) Community with scholarships.
As Jose Szwaja, the teacher who has led this program for the last 9 years states:
The goal of Nova’s Social Justice Program is to educate US students about Spanish, about Guatemalan history and culture, and to provide positive links between our people and those of Guatemala and to help repair a little of the massive damage done by our government and corporations.
Here are the details:
Sugar Skulls Music
Food Pie/Frisbee throwing
Prize Giveaways Tarot Readings
Games for Kids Costume Context
Friday, October 26
4:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Nova High School
300 20th Avenue East
Entry Fee: $2 Minimum
$2.00 Prize Giveaway tickets
Concert from 7:30-9:30: $ 5.00
If you are unable to attend but would like to donate, please send a check to:
c/o Nova 300 20th Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98112.
For more information contact Joe Szwaja
or call (206)-523-3278
Here is additional information about the program:
Solidarity of Seattle High School Students Begins to Help
A high school trip to the New Dawn Community from US high school students was the event that began to provide US funded reparations rather than repression for the residents of Nuevo Amanecer. The goal of Nova’s Social Justice Program is to educate US students about Spanish, about Guatemalan history and culture, and to provide positive links between our people and those of Guatemala and to help repair a little of the massive damage done by our government and corporations. We feel a particular responsibility to do so in Nuevo Amanecer since so many of their family members lost loved ones and had their lives torn apart as a result of actions aided by our own government.
Since 1999 students and teachers from Nova High School, a small democratically run Seattle public high school, have traveled to Guatemala eight times. Over 80 students have completed the social justice trip, which features two weeks of intensive, individualized Spanish training five hours per day with Guatemalan instructors, a home stay with both urban and rural low-income families, and lots of instruction in Guatemalan history and culture. (Check www.hermandad.org for more info on this remarkable social justice school.) Nova also requires students participating in the trip to do extensive fundraising in order to provide financial resources to fund projects which promote social justice, particularly for communities such as Nuevo Amanecer that were directly harmed and made refugees by US intervention in their country.
Seattle Students Benefit Also Benefit from the Social Justice Travel Program
It has been eye opening for our students to participate in foreign travel organized specifically around social justice, solidarity, and reparations. They have seen first hand the damage done by our government and corporations but also have been fortunate to link up with those determined to forge a different and more path. Participants in our social justice travel program have also learned how that a few dozen hours of fundraising on their part can make a world of difference in a country such as Guatemala, especially if their efforts are channeled on behalf of a community that is organized to use resources to help those who need it most as is the case in Nuevo Amanecer.
According to Angela Neice, who participated in Nova’s 2010 Guatemala trip, “The trip totally changed the lens through which I view the world. It ignited a passion in me for exploring the world outside the limits of my own country, getting to know unfamiliar places and cultures, and furthering my human connections with people who are completely different from me.”
Ona Kroesen, who participated in social justice trips to Guatemala in 2010 and 2011, also described her experience: “I was already interested in Latin American and social justice, but my trips to Guatemala with Nova the past two years have solidified my commitment to making the world a more equitable place, and in particular to helping to repair a little of the tremendous damage done by our government in Guatemala, starting with Nuevo Amanecer. Their community is a brave and beautiful example of people taking care of each other though thick and thin, no matter what. We are honored that our solidarity has been able to help some of their young people to be able to study and earn something of a decent living. I salute the people of the New Dawn Community on their important anniversary and look forward to traveling back next year again in the spirit of solidarity, not charity. Their hospitality and generosity has inspired me to return for a third time. and I hope others in Seattle will support our program with anything that they can give.”
Tangible Results for the New Dawn community
Nova’s Guatemala Social Justice Program has raised over $25,000 for programs to help impoverished Guatemalans. More than half of this has gone to provide scholarships for 20 students in Nuevo Amanecer to finish high school and technical training and a similar number of kindergartners to go to school. Without this support unfortunately none of these students would be able to afford to go to school at all. Nova’s solidarity has also helped six of the technical college graduates to get jobs. Those who have obtained employment as a result of the technical training funded by Nova have been able to earn much better wages than is possible working the community land, as they have found employment as nurses, auto and motorcycle mechanics, and commercial secretaries.
Perhaps even more important than the education and jobs themselves is the more hopeful attitude that some of the community’s youth have taken on as a result of the positive links established with Nova’s program. Amaro Cifuentes (Pedro’s son), who lived over 10 years in Mexican refugee camps after having to flee the government’s violence against his family, and who serves as community’s international representative, commented on the effects of Seattle’s student to student solidarity: “A few years back our young people had few prospects except for working all day in the sun harvesting coffee or bananas for meager wages. We had no money for education or job training and the honey project, though it certainly helps, doesn’t provide enough for us to sustain our economy. Now, young folks from our community see that if they work hard they have a chance to get an education and get a job that pays a much more decent income. So the money and job training have helped a lot. But I think an even bigger thing that the connection with our sisters and brothers from the US has provided is hope for the future and a sense that we are not alone, that others are walking along with us in our struggle for a better life, a new dawn. I invite people to link up with the Nova Guatemala Social Justice Program in whatever they can as it has been of vital importance for us in trying to build a new life. On this the anniversary of our return to Guatemala I want to express how much the solidarity of Seattle students and teachers has meant for us and how I hope we can deepen our connections in the years to come.”
*government by the wealthy.
*a country or society governed by the wealthy.
Plural noun: plutocracies
*an elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth.
Dollarocracy: How the money and media election complex is destroying America
By John Nichols and Robert McChesney
From the Preface:
Carter declared-as the planet's most famous election observer- that '“We have one of the worst election processes in the world right here in the United States of America, and it’s almost entirely because of the excessive influx of money."
Click the image to see their interview with Bill Moyers.
More than 1.2 million students are homeless, and nearly 76,000 are living on their own without parents.
Click the image for a link to the article.
"There is something grotesque about the fact that education reform is being led not by educators but by financiers and speculators and billionaires."
This process -- a handful of the wealthiest people in our country controlling the political process -- is called "oligarchy."
The great political struggle we now face is whether the United States retains its democratic heritage or whether we move toward an oligarchic form of society where the real political power rests with a handful of billionaires, not ordinary Americans.
"I believe in standardizing automobiles. I do not believe in standardizing human beings. Standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture."
ALEC Exposed-The Privatization of Public Schools:
And more about the Koch brothers and their dad: kochexposed.org
Charter School Scandals
Charter School Scams and Scamsters
Class Size Matters:
Common Core Standards:
Democrats for Education Reform
Teach for America:
"Any time hedge fund managers...when they walk into the inner city areas and start talking about poor children's education, it's not because they want kids to read and write, it's because they know that the federal government spends $600B on education and they want it and they're going to get it."
Jesse has collected stories from students, educators and parents around the country and formed a picture of what is happening in public education and why:
More Than A Score edited by Jesse Hagopian
This book is a must read to understand what teachers are going through with the corporate takeover of our public school system:
Confessions of a Bad Teacher by John Owens
Need I say more? It's a book by Chris Hedges:
Death of the Liberal Class: Chris Hedges
Dollarocracy: Robert Waterman McChesney
Ravitch lays it out in this book and its no holds barred:
Reign of Error: Diane Ravitch
Want to know where over 50% of each tax dollar is going? Read this book:
The Operators by Michael Hastings
Why is it is hard to tell the difference between the Dems and Repubs? Read this book and find out:
The Party is Over: Mike Lofgren
This is a must read. Naomi Klein breaks it down in this book about how oligarchs are manipulating us and running our world:
The Shock Doctrine: Naomi Klein
If you want to know about the financial collapse of 2008, why the rest of us are no better off now and yet the stock market and banks have rebounded, making huge profits and why another collapse is inevitable, check out this book by Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics:
Freefall: America, Free Markets and the Sinking of the World Economy