Fundraiser: Kickstarter and MIA

Hi all,

Finally after hurdle after hurdle with the Kickstarter people I have an Amazon account that is verified, a video, and a project description that they approve of!

We are attempting to raise $900 in 20 days so we need to start spreading the word to our networks ASAP. That means emails, facebook posts, website posts, text messages, whatever will get people to pledge. The link is below, please write back with any questions or concerns. Thanks!


Marina Wood

Coordinadora de Educación Preventiva

marina at miamericas dot info

MIA, Mujeres Iniciando en las Américas



Cada vez que liberan a una mujer, que liberar a un hombre. – Margaret Mead


Transmisión radial del Encuentro Mesoamericano de Estudios de Género y Feminismo

Esta es la información sobre la transmisión radial del Encuentro Mesoamericano de Estudios de Género y Feminismo que se llevara a cabo en Guatemala esta semana.

Estaran participando nuestras compañeras Ana Silvia Monzón, Walda Barrios, y también habra una ponencia de MIA. Apoyemos y eduquemonos juntos.

La cobertura en vivo al II Mesoamericano podrá seguirla los días 4, 5 y 6 de mayo, desde las 8.30 a.m. por medio de:

el sitio de Radio Internacional Feminista -FIRE o desde la web de Radio Internacional Feminista



Talleres de capacitación para la reducción de la violencia contra las mujeres y niñas/os.


Fecha de inicio: Jueves 10 de Marzo (duración de 10 sesiones)

Horarios: 10am a 12pm, 2 a 4 pm ó 5 a 7pm (escoger solo uno)



Se dará 1 crédito extracurricular al que

llene el 100% de participación.

lnformación: Lucía Muñoz,, tel: 4975-3310

Interesados enviar un email antes del 2 de marzo con los siguientes datos: Nombre, Unidad Académica, número de teléfono y la sesión a escoger.


Asociación Guatemalteca Morazanecos Ausentes en USA (AGMAUSA), Red por La Paz y el Desarrollo de Guatemala (RPDG), Mujeres Iniciando en las Américas, Mujeres Abriendo Caminos, Alianza de Organizaciones Guatemaltecas de Houston, Texas: Consejo Comunitario Guatemalteco, Comité Guatemalteco, Posadas Guatemaltecas, Unity Soccer League, Voces Unidas por los Inmigrantes, Congarigua, Juventud Garifuna, La Nueva Juventud con Fé, the Bronx, NY, América Calderón, Washington, DC, Leonor Hurtado, San Francisco, Dora Pimentel, Denver, CO, Lic. Marvin Pinto, Los Angeles, CA, Oscar Sandoval, Chicago, IL, Casa de los Migrantes, Las Vegas, NV, Alas de Justicia, Los Angeles, Fundación Sobrevivientes, Guatemala, UDEFEGUA, Guatemala.


Dear Friends of the people of Guatemala, Guatemalan immigrants need your support to request Temporary Protection Status (TPS) due to the devastation and state of emergency declared in Guatemala in the aftermath of the passage of tropical storm Agatha. Guatemalan immigrant organizations sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to consider the current state of emergency and recommend granting TPS to Guatemalans living in the United States. The Government of Guatemala has officially requested a Temporary Protected Status for Guatemalans.

Granting TPS to Guatemalans does not correct the underlying injustice in economic and immigration policies, but is an acknowledgement of the enormous humanitarian crisis caused by tropical storm Agatha.


• ENDORSE THE LETTER: You can sign online at: The Petition Site. If you or your organization would like to sing on to the letter please respond via e-mail to Erasmo Morales (631)786-7048 with the following information:

NAME OF ORGANIZATION:__________________________

CONTACT PERSON:_______________________________


Phone:____________ E-mail:________________________

This first letter will be sent on Monday, June 14th with copy to Attorney General Erick Holder. DEADLINE TO SUBMIT YOUR NAME TO SIGN INTO THE LETTER IS Sunday, June 13TH. If needed a second letter will be sent by Wednesday July 7th However if you or your organization do not want to sign into the letter, you can use the same format provided and send your own letter.


MUJERES INICIANDO EN LAS AMÉRICAS is collecting money donations. M.I.A. is a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation and all donations are tax deductible, where applicable.

You can mail your contribution to: MUJERES INICIANDO EN LAS AMÉRICAS, 1256 Conway Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626 — U.S.A.


Send them a letter requesting they support the petition of a Temporary Protected Status for Guatemalans.

Contacting the Congress in English?

¿Quiere ponerse en contacto con miembros del Congreso en Español?

Letter proposal to the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

July 7, 2010

Ms. Janet Napolitano

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Washington, DC 20528

Dear Ms. Napolitano:

We are writing to you to fully support the request by Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry, presented to the United States Government on June 4, 2010, that in the wake of tropical storm Agatha, Guatemalans in the United States be granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS). We urge you to positively respond to this petition as early as possible.

As portrayed in the media, on the last week of past May, extremely heavy rainfall caused by tropical storm Agatha fell over Central America and southern Mexico. Guatemala was most affected by this disaster, with loss of life, widespread damage to infrastructure, and agricultural losses.

In Guatemala, there are more than one hundreds confirmed deaths, and many other persons are missing, with entire communities buried. We have been informed that more than 120,000 people have been displaced, and that some 700 communities have been affected. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, and tens of thousands have been damaged.

According to the Washington Post article on June 2, 2010, Guatemala suffered“… huge losses in the agriculture sector. The country’s association of exporters reported a 75 percent drop in production in the vegetable and shrimp industries, while the National Coffee Association forecast a loss of 122,000 bags this season.”

The government statistics so far of the damage caused by Agatha are: 88, 971 homeless people; 142,959 persons were evacuated, and 152,488 affected; 497 schools and 107 towns were damaged, and damage to 400 bridges has made communications difficult. The Pan American Health Organization has issued a health alert due to different illnesses that can affect the population from diarrhea to dengue. Last year, because of a drought 136,000 families were affected with malnourishment. The Pan American Health Organization reports that Agatha just increased the risk of this population due to the loss of crops, and that famine will affect the area.

As you are well aware, Guatemalan communities and citizens here in the United States send more than $4 billion a year in remittances that help maintain social stability and provide basic needs to relatives in Guatemala. These remittances take on added importance while Guatemala recovers from the storm. We recall that when TPS has been granted in the past to nationals of other countries, remittances immediately increased by not less than 25%. This would amount to the most significant aid to recovery and reconstruction, and it would be provided by our own nationals.

Therefore, until the country can get back on its feet, we believe that granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Guatemalans in the United States will help to ameliorate the desperate situation of those victims that may benefit from funds sent by relatives in the United States. We also believe that it is in the interest of this country not to return people so soon after this natural disaster, because that action may generate further instability in a country where poverty was already very high before the storm. Such a grant would certainly not be without precedent, as Nicaraguans and Hondurans were granted Temporary Protected Status after suffering widespread destruction from Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

We believe that the conditions that justify this request for TPS –a significant calamity in a country, high risks for nationals of that country if they are forced to return, and an official appeal from the government of the affected country—have been satisfied. Therefore, we strongly support granting TPS to Guatemalans, and we ask that you give this request your most serious consideration.


Signatures of sponsors and endorsers

CC: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,  Attorney General Erick Holder


Dear Friends of MIA,

Reports from my own family and friends In Guatemala City say that they are well (thank goodness) following the Pacaya volcano and quakes caused by the volcanic explosion four days ago. However, the down pours by tropical storm Agatha has made the clean up efforts almost impossible. News reports on independent networks say the devastation has hit those marginalized by poverty the most.

Also see:

On my trip to Guatemala last December I saw thousands of makeshift homes on the side of cliffs just below the foothill of the Pacaya volcano. Most of these people are probably now homeless and/or unaccounted for.

I am writing to you in an effort to raise relief funds for the victims in Guatemala City. You are welcome to make a donation here or go directly to or our Causes page on Facebook.

Other places you can also go to donate are AmeriCares.

I truly hope you find it in your heart and wallets to send a few dollars to help those communities affected the most by these natural disasters.

In Solidarity,

Shirley Aldana-Schwarz

Representative for Mujeres Iniciando en las Americas

Please do not forget the women, the victims and survivors of the Feminicide still going on in our beloved Guatemala.

Aspiring Film Directors on Violence Against Women

Action for Women is the YouTube channel for a film competition for aspiring directors on Violence against Women.

Every day, many women around the world are victims of various types of violence, ranging from sexual abuse to mobbing, from domestic violence to stalking to socio-cultural discrimination. Most of this violence is never reported due to shame or fear but it is a social evil.

The Council of Europe and the Italian Chamber of Deputies are involved in an awareness campaign about this problem, a problem that knows no geographic border and leaves no socio-cultural group untouched. The Action for Women competition is part of this campaign.

The winning short film will be awarded with a special screening at the 67th Venice International Film Festival 2010.

Combating Human Trafficking in Los Angeles and Beyond

Today, January 11th, is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Earlier this month President Obama issued a proclamation declaring January National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month where he acknowledged that “forms of slavery still exist in the modern era, and we recommit ourselves to stopping the human traffickers who ply this horrific trade.” Soon after, the local organization Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking or CAST, based here in LA, launched their “From Slavery to Freedom” campaign. More than 20 events will be taking place now through February 12th to draw attention to the issue of slavery. Each year about 17,000 people are estimated to be trafficked into the US. Los Angeles is considered among the top three points of entry into the United States for trafficked people. As part of their campaign CAST is working with local organizations like CARECEN, the Central American Resource Center, KIWA, the Korea-town Immigrant Workers Alliance, and PAC, the Pilipino Workers Center, as well as local and national law enforcement agencies.

GUESTS: Lisette Arsuaga, Director of Development and Communications at CAST, and Ima Matul, a member of CAST’s Caucus of Survivors

Find out about CAST’s calendar of events at

RECLAIM THE NIGHT – London report

By Daniel Velásquez / M.I.A. / GPDN

While in London, U.K  visitng a friend, I had the luck to bump into the beginning of a march to celebrate the International Day to End Violence Against Women, with an emphasis on rape and male violence against women. The event was organized by the London Feminist Network.

Reclaim the Night 2009 from Daniel Velasquez on Vimeo.

Why the March

According to the British Crime Survey (2001) there are an estimated 47,000 rapes every year, around 40,000 attempted rapes and over 300,000 sexual assaults. Yet our conviction rate is the lowest it has ever been, one of the lowest in Europe, at only 5.3%. This means that more rapists were convicted in the 1970s when Reclaim The Night marches first started than they are now. Did you know that the maximum sentence possible for rape is life imprisonment? Probably not, because rarely are rapists even reported or convicted, let alone with a realistic sentence. This situation has to change.

We march to demand justice for rape survivors.

A recent survey by the young women’s magazine More in 2005 found that 95% of women don’t feel safe on the streets at night, and 65% don’t even feel safe during the day. 73% worry about being raped and almost half say they sometimes don’t want to go out because they fear for their own safety.

In every sphere of life we negotiate the threat or reality of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. We cannot claim equal citizenship while this threat restricts our lives as it does. We demand the right to use public space without fear. We demand this right as a civil liberty, we demand this as a human right.

The Reclaim The Night march gives women a voice and a chance to reclaim the streets at night on a safe and empowering event. We aim to put the issue of our safety on the agenda for this night and every day.

The Reclaim The Night marches started in the UK in the 1970s. In America they are known as ‘Take Back The Night’ and the first one was held in West Germany on April 30th 1977. In Britain they first began on 12th November 1977 when marches took place in Leeds, Manchester, Bristol, London and many other cities. The Reclaim the Night marches became even more significant when, in following years, a man called Peter Sutcliffe began murdering prostitute women in and around Leeds. Feminists in the area were angry that the police response to these murders was slow and that the press barely reported on them. It seemed that it was only when young student women began to fall victim to this serial killer that the police started to take the situation seriously. Their response was to warn all women not to go out at night. This was not a helpful suggestion for any woman, let alone for those women involved in prostitution who often had no choice about whether they went out at night or not. Feminists and a variety of women’s and student groups were angered by this response. So they organised a resistance of torch-lit marches and demonstrations — they walked in their hundreds through the city streets at night to highlight that they should be able to walk anywhere and that they should not be blamed or restricted because of male violence.

Over the years the marches evolved to focus on rape and male violence generally, giving women one night when they could feel safe to walk the streets of their own towns and cities.

You may read more about LFN and Reclaim the Night 2009 at