laurie levinger via Crowdrise
May 02, 2012
BENEFITING: UPAVIM COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION
I'm laurie levinger. I live in Vermont and have been a volunteer English teacher in Guatemala since 2004. During my first teaching experience, one of the young Maya students in the program described himself as a “survivor of the Guatemala civil war”. At that point I realized I didn’t know anything about the civil war and so in 2005 I returned to Guatemala and began collecting testimonies from young Maya men and women about their experiences during “la violencia” as the civil war is called. For many of them this was their first time talking about, or hearing other people talk about, these traumas.
One of their major concerns was that young people today are growing up during a time when this history is still not openly discussed. It is not taught in any detail in history books and it is often not talked about in their own families or communities. To ensure that these stories continue to be told, I have written a book, Cual Guerra? Testimonios de Sobrevivientes Mayas (What War? Testimonies of Maya Survivors) which was published in Guatemala in 2009. The first 1000 copies were sold out and a second run of 1000 copies was published in December 2011.
This Crowdrise project will make it possible to buy 500 copies of Cual Guerra? and pay to distribute them to schools and libraries throughout the country. It is essential that young Guatemalans hear the words of people like themselves to learn from the past, break the culture of silence, and preserve historical memory.
In addition, in an effort to make the testimonies available to the widest possible audience we have launched a website where survivors can post their testimonies and read those of others. Crowdrise donations will support the further development of the website.
At this time in Guatemalan history when the genocide against the Maya is being denied by those in power, it is of critical importance that the truth be told in as many ways as possible. Reading Cual Guerra? as well as the testimonies on the website, will help break the silence. Please help support the Cual Guerra project.
Funds will be used to:
--buy 500 copies of Cual Guerra? Testimonios de Sobrevivientes Mayas
--pay to distribute copies of Cual Guerra throughout Guatemala
--launch and update a website to include additional stories of survivors
There are a range of rewards. For example, I will send a copy of either "Cual Guerra" or "What War, Testimonies of Maya Survivors" to anyone who makes a donation over $50. I'll be happy to give a reading in your community (in the New England are) for a contribution of $1000 or more. Various other rewards are available.
JUST TO CLARIFY:
UPAVIM is an officially recognized non-profit located in Guatemala City and acts as the fiscal agent for the Cual Guerra? book project. Your donation is tax-deductible.
You can learn more about UPAVIM at: http://upavim.pursuantgroup.net/english/homeeng.htm.
ONE MORE THING:
For those who don't like to donate on-line: you can send a check directly to me at: l.levinger 28 McKenna Road, Norwich, VT 05055 USA. If you make the check out to UPAVIM Community Development Foundation you will be making a tax-deductible contribution.