The first 100 days of the Trump administration ended on April 29, 2017.During the hundred days there were marches and protests almost daily in communities in the Untied States and around the world protesting the new administration’s policies that are designed to roll back 80 years of progress of human and economic rights in this country. Some protests like the Womens’ March, the opposition to Trump’s attempts to curtail immigration into the country by Muslim’s from certain countries,the march in support of Muslims in New York City,the march in Washington D.C. in support of existing policies seeking to end human made climate change drew hundreds of thousands of people.
There were almost daily smaller demonstrations and town halls around the country that drew many ordinary citizens, some of whom never before were involved in the political process, who wanted to make their views publicly known to their congress people and other government officials. It was democracy at its finest.
For more signs see the slideshow below:
This is the informal border crossing between Mexico and Guatemala near Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico. People cross from Guatemala to Mexico to buy inexpensive products because of favorable exchange rates They then return to Guatemala. This trade is condoned by both countries and even though there are checkpoints nearby neither country has an interest in stopping this traffic.
It is only when people fleeing from Guatemala to Mexico move inland that they are stopped at Mexico checkpoints and detained or sent back home. This process of inland checkpoints and detention is known as the “vertical border.” It is designed to prevent migration to the United States long before the migrants reach the northern border of Mexico.
Since 2006 between 28,000 and 45,000 people have been disappeared in Mexico. Called “Desaparicidos,” they are people who have been caught in the crossfire in Mexico’s war between organized crime, most notably the drug cartels, the police and the military. They have been abducted and murdered by persons unknown, but probably by the police or the cartels using weapons that most often originate from the United States. Oftentimes their bodies are dumped into mass graves. Sometimes when a family member asks too many questions other family members become desaparicido as a warning.
Recently families have begun coming together in informal groups to search for their loved ones. They have learned to identify the signs of mass graves. Within the past few months a mass grave with 106 bodies was discovered in Morelos State. Families have begun the long process of carefully exhuming the remains and trying to identify the bodies. Not trusting the state forensic anthropologist they have hired their own. So far they have identified two of the remains. Since Mexico does not have a functioning DNA data base to identify the disappeared people the families must identify the bodies by the clothing or shoes that the person is wearing. Sometimes the local and state governments delay giving permission for the families to dig for the remains. On at least one occasion the mass grave was destroyed while the families were waiting for permission to exhume
In January 2016 I went to Nicaragua as part of a delegation of PeaceWorks, a non-profit organization that works with communities throughout Nicaragua. Visit the website at http://peaceworks.org/ We visited Cusmapa where PeaceWorks works with a women’s collective that makes crafts from pine needles and with various agricultural projects dedicated to organic and natural farming; Palacagúina where we work with local farming communities, and where we climbed a mountain; Las Peñitas where we relaxed on the beach after a week in the mountains, and where we help fund a project that harvests eggs of sea turtles and returns them to the sea as they hatch; El Porvenir, a coffee growing cooperative on a remote mountain, (best coffee I’ve ever had) where we funded a medical clinic; Las Pipitas which works with developmentally disabled children; Inhijambia, which works with street children in Managua, the capital and Axayactl, a women’s empowerment group fighting violence against women and promoting women’s economic development and social justice. Theses are some of the people we met along the way.
For more pictures see slideshow below:
In January 2014 I went to Nicaragua as part of a delegation of PeaceWorks, a non-profit organization that works with communities throughout Nicaragua. We visited Cusmapa where PeaceWorks is helping to develop an ecotourism site, and works with a women’s collective that makes crafts from pine needles; Regádio where we helped a project that brings water from a spring outside the village directly to people’s houses; Palacagúina where we work with local farming communities, Las Peñitas where we help fund a project that harvests eggs of sea turtles and returns them to the sea as they hatch; El Porvenir, a coffee growing cooperative on a remote mountain, (best coffee I’ve ever had) where we funded a medical clinic, Inhijambia, which works with street children in Managua, the capital and Axayactl, a women’s empowerment group fighting violence against women and promoting women’s economic development including an innovative pig raising project. .
These are some of the people and things that I saw.
From California to the New York islands,
from the Redwood forests to the Gulf Coast waters (with homage to Woody Guthrie)
they came to New York City.
More than 300,000 people
ages 6 months to 80+ years,
man and woman,
immigrant and indigenous,
student and worker,
labor and industry,
scientist and musician,
Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Jew,
a rainbow of humanity;
paraded, danced, sang, shouted and made their voices heard;
world leaders, protect the planet,
adopt earth friendly energy policies.