My time with MIA, Mujeres Iniciando en las Américas, is coming to a close, but the past two weeks have been the most exciting weeks yet.
Just yesterday, I went to the office of the Myrna Mack Foundation to conduct an interview with Helen Mack, the founder and director of the organization that is currently working with the Commission on the National Police Reform to reorganize the current system. She is the link between MIA and the Police Academy and plans to help MIA put its programs into the curriculum at the Academy. This step is essential in the fight against gender-based violence and justice of such crimes because an educated police force that will have participated in MIA’s courses will understand the importance of properly collecting evidence and dealing with the affected families after a violent, gender-based crime.
The courses in USAC, USAC-Chiquimula, and Pedro Pablo Valdez are coming along really well; in fact, last Tuesday in Chiquimula the participants were asked to change the lyrics of two popular Latin American songs; instead of simply reading the lyrics, they decided to sing them! The activity in the all-boys school consisted of self-preservation, the idea that all human beings have the right to live without violence and without threats. In the USAC, students were asked to conduct and interview with a person that has influenced their lives, so I am looking forward to listening to the analysis of these interviews next Thursday.
I currently find myself in Chiquimula getting ready for a trip with the group to the Sweet River and Saint Phillip’s Castle. Both are local historical sites. I will continue with my investigation on Monday with visits to some local organizations that work with gender-related topics, and I will say goodbye to the Chiquimula group on Tuesday after their second-to-last course with MIA.
It is sad that I will have to end my stay here with MIA next Sunday, but the organization and its work have had a huge impact on my life.