Por La Vida
Solidarity with Women in Honduras
“Do I call them ‘Sister?’” My co-worker and I were settling our things into our assigned room at the convent. The air was hot and muggy, something I felt acutely as I was still in that heightened state of awareness that you feel your first moments in a new land. I had technically been to Honduras before, but everything felt new. “I dunno,” my colleague answered (she had been raised Catholic as well). “It’s kinda weird one way or the other.”
Join UUCSJ on an interfaith feminist delegation to Honduras! This journey will focus on the specific struggles, strategies, and resilience of women in Honduras who are fighting for their rights and to protect the Earth from the ravages of corporate mines and dams.
This journey is inspired by the unique way feminist groups in Honduras have come together to vision and fight for a more just future. This journey will deepen our understanding of feminist leadership and vision, strengthen solidarity with our Honduran partners, awaken participants to some of the root causes of migration, and prepare us for advocacy and accompaniment when we return home.
Dates: November 29 to December 6
This program is open to all adults, but we particularly invite religious leaders and feminist organizers to join us.
Why travel to Honduras?
The U.S. has a long history of intervention in Honduras, starting with US military support for land grabs by the United Fruit Company a century ago and continuing through the 2008 coup and US recognition of the military-supported governments that followed. US military support for the Honduras regime contributes to chronic human rights abuses and to the endemic violence that drives people from their homes to seek asylum.
Honduras is also home to women and men of extraordinary courage and determination, who speak out against the erosion of democracy, stand up for human rights, and resist the continued colonization of their land through mining, deforestation, and the construction of massive dams.
This program will deepen participants’ understanding of the root causes of migration; strengthen our sense of solidarity with feminist organizers who are leading the movements for women’s rights, climate justice and human rights; and empower us to new levels of advocacy and action on our return home.
Who are our partner organizations?
In addition to UUCSJ, this interfaith program is sponsored by the SHARE Foundation, and by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).
In Honduras, we will be hosted by two UUSC Honduran partner organizations:
- Foro de Mujeres por la Vida is a coalition of feminist groups engaged in some of the most important justice struggles in their country
- Radio Progreso and its affiliate ERIC are part of a Jesuit center for reflection, research, and communications and have become a leading advocate for human rights in Honduras.
We will also meet with representatives of other organized communities resisting the environmental ravages of extractive mining and agriculture, working against the forces that displace people from their homes, and organizing for the rights of all people to live peacefully and with full democratic and human rights.
How much does this program cost?
The cost is $950 per person. This includes all housing, food, translation, partner honoraria, and in-country transportation. It does NOT include round-trip airfare to San Pedro Sula. There is limited financial aid available on a needs basis.
Where will we stay?
Our program begins and ends in the northern town of San Pedro Sula. We will be based in the nearby town of El Progreso, where we will be hosted by the Sisters of Notre Dame in basic, comfortable rooms with two to four beds per room. Meals are simple and healthy, and we will have access to purified water at all times. Our itinerary will not be finalized until early November, but we are likely to also visit partner groups and programs in the region of Bajo Aguan, the Garifuna communities on the Atlantic coast, and the town of Santa Barbara.
Who should come on this program?
We especially invite feminist organizers, female-identified religious leaders, and male-identified leaders who are in solidarity with women’s struggles to join us. Young women and women of color are particularly encouraged to apply.
Are there concerns about safety?
Honduras is one of the most violent countries in the region. Our itinerary is developed in close collaboration with Honduran partners, who are aware of risks and mindful to reduce them in every possible way. We will be lodged in secure locations and will not be traveling at night nor into the most isolated areas; being part of a group in itself provides some safety. We will not participate in demonstrations or knowingly enter situations that would put us at risk.
Nevertheless, it is important to know that Honduras has high levels of crime, gang activity, and state-sanctioned repression. This is part of the daily reality lived by Hondurans, and contributes heavily to the continuous flow of people who can no longer live safely at home and who seek asylum elsewhere, including in the United States. This delegation is one of accompaniment, and we encourage participants to consider both the risks and the rewards of this form of activism.
What are the expectations for preparation and follow-up for this trip?
Some weeks before the program begins, you’ll be asked to engage with study materials that will help you understand the people and places we will visit, as well as the long history of US intervention in Honduras. On your return home, we hope you will find many ways to share your experience and all that you’ve learned with your community! We will support you with ideas and resources for action and advocacy.