Located in southern Mexico, Oaxaca is the second poorest state in the nation. It also has one of the largest and most diverse indigenous populations in the country. Oaxaca’s rural population has been devastated by corn imports from the United States as a result of NAFTA. Many small farmers have few economic options besides migration. Delegates come to Oaxaca to learn about the state’s complexities and the movements being formed here to make a better world possible.
of the largest cities in the world and the capital of the republic,
Mexico City has everything: world class museums, Aztec ruins, art
galleries, food vendors and a vibrant street life. It is a hub for
hundreds of NGOs and a center for political and grassroots activity. Here delegates meet with activists,
lawyers, NGOs, and political analysts focused on issues of migration,
human rights, alternatives to neo-liberal economics,
anti-militarization, drug policy, and more.
Chiapas is the southernmost state in Mexico, bordering Guatemala. While beautiful and bountiful in resources, it is also one of the poorest regions in Mexico. Social conflicts in this area date back to the arrival of the Spanish. Chiapas serves as the first point of entry for thousands of Central American migrants on their journey northward. Delegates learn how Chiapas has become a center of regional, national and international activism in the past decades.
Puebla has become central Mexico's hub for export-oriented
factories, known as maquiladoras. The apparel and auto parts industries
employ thousands of people in the state. Delegates traveling to Puebla
meet with labor leaders working to strengthen worker’s rights in a
In this small
central Mexican state, communities are working for sustainable
agricultural, the preservation of native corns that originated in this
part of MesoAmerica, and alternative economic models - all of which are
an important part of resistance to neoliberalism. In Tlaxcala delegates
hear directly about these models from the people creating them.
Currently incidents of violence related to drug cartels center on the U.S.-Mexico border and in the northern states, not in areas where Witness for Peace delegations regularly travel. While there is always some risk associated with travel, the Witness for Peace Mexico Team takes security precautions seriously in order to keep delegates safe. You can read the full Witness for Peace statement on security situation in Mexico here.
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