Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Caravan to Cuba

IFCO/Pastors for Peace Caravan to Honduras & Nicaragua
November/December 2009

In December of 2008 the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO)/Pastors for Peace announced plans to organize an historic solidarity and humanitarian aid caravan to Honduras and Nicaragua. Today we are announcing that this caravan is now scheduled for the fall of 2009. It will be in support of communities and non-governmental organizations that are working for social and economic justice. We will stand with these organizations as they work to create social and economic alternatives based on the principle of peace with justice and dignity for all human beings.

By pushing our dates till Fall of 2009 we will seek to incorporate even more communities across the US into networks of solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Central America opening new channels of education and cooperation.

En route to delivering urgently needed material aid, the caravan will travel through cities throughout the US and Canada to raise awareness about the effects of US foreign policy and the internal policies on the poor, indigenous and afro descendant peoples of Central America. This aid will include educational and medical materials.

The caravan demonstrates a people-to-people foreign policy which aims to support self-determination and sustainable development. This policy serves as an example to our own government, which historically has supported policies that discourage or actively suppress grassroots movements for progressive social change in the region. We believe that with this act of solidarity we can challenge the new administration to revise and change our foreign policy towards the people of Central America into one of mutual respect and cooperation on equal terms.

In November of 2009 the IFCO/Pastors for Peace Caravan will travel on 4 different routes to visit more than 30 US and Canadian cities. We will travel in school buses, trucks and cars loaded with medical and educational supplies donated by groups across the US and Canada as a collective challenge to the foreign policy of our government which continues to negatively affect the social and economic conditions in the region.
We will spend 8 days in Central America in fellowship with our brothers and sisters, visiting different communities and non-governmental social projects such as organic farms, health centers, youth and women’s collectives. We will seek to understand their realities in light of their different perspectives about the problems caused by U.S. foreign policy and the ways they have creatively responded. We will also learn of the severe impacts of the Central American Free Trade Agreements (CAFTA-DR) and the successes of a new model of inclusive and sustainable development within the framework of the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (ALBA). We will see the effects of the new wave of transition and cooperation led by Cuba and Venezuela that have assisted these countries with initiatives such as Operation Miracle and other social missions.

We will also meet with different communities of faith that have stood side by side with the poor and all the excluded in the people’s struggle. In these exchanges with progressive church leaders and activists we will learn about the historical and prophetic role many churches have played in providing a safe haven and a springboard for popular struggle and dissent.

Being in Honduras & Nicaragua will permit us to see first hand the medical missions Cuba has sent to these countries in response to various natural disasters and how they have come to the aid of millions of people who otherwise would not have access to healthcare. In this experience we will be able to see firsthand the effects of Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine whose graduates have returned to work in their home countries.

IFCO/Pastors for Peace Caravan schedule

Nov 12 – 22 Caravan routes - educational events and aid collections in the US and Canada.

Nov 23 – 24 Orientation

Nov 25 – Dec 1 Border crossing and travel to Central America

Dec 2 – 9 Educational and cultural program in Honduras & Nicaragua.


You can join the caravan as we pass through your community. Many past caravanistas say the time traveling through the US, meeting and staying with local community activists across the US, is as important a part of the experience as the time in Central America.

Ways you can get involved

• Come as a caravanista - contact us for an application

• Recruit other caravanistas - get them to request an application form

• Get involved locally - host a caravan event in your community – email us at
p4p@igc.org for a local contact - and if there isn't one, you or your group can
take the initiative to host the caravan!

• Collect material aid - let us know so we can send you the aid information packet

• Help out as a volunteer in the IFCO office in New York, or in your community.

Manolo E. De Los Santos
Project Coordinator
IFCO/Pastors for Peace
Tel. 212.926.5757
Fax. 212.926.5842
e-mail: p4p@igc.org

418 West 145th Street, 3-FL.
New York NY 10031
tel: 212.926.5757 - fax 212.926.5842 - e-mail ifco@igc.org


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