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Global Justice visit to Chiapas: An alternative vision

By Peter Weisberg

Before Occupy Wall Street, before the World Social Forums, before the Battle in Seattle, there was the Zapatista Uprising in Chiapas in 1994. Many people consider this event as the first popular uprising against corporate globalization.

Trip to Chiapas By the Center for Global Justice. May 2-May 12. US$1,150 Center member, US$1,200 non-members. Call for details on cost. Maximum group size: 20 people. 415-150-0025

In defiance of the signing of NAFTA, on January 1, 1994 the indigenous communities of Chiapas came down from the mountains to protest what they saw as a major threat to their way of life and autonomy. This movement continues today, although the media would like to hide it from sympathetic eyes.

Who are these people? What are they fighting against and of equal importance, what are they fighting for? What is their vision for preserving the integrity of their own lives?

Join The Center for Global Justice as we explore this incredibly important movement. Scores of communities in Mexico’s southernmost state of Chiapas are daily building and living in a sustainable and inclusive economy and society.

This thought-provoking trip will include: meetings and discussions with local leaders in the NGO and indigenous communities, visits to Mayan and Zapatista villages where we will find out firsthand how cooperatives and the “local solidarity economy” try to forge a viable alternative to the corporate model that threatens their culture and sense of place on the earth.

We will avoid what is called “zapaturismo,” the exploitative voyeurism of Zapatista fame. With our excellent contacts in San Cristobal, we will explore aspects of life rarely seen on other tours. As with all Center for Global Justice trips, your preconceptions will be challenged in a search for pathways that support ongoing struggles of indigenous cultures and promise sustainable economic solutions to the predominant unsustainable economic model. This will be a trip you will remember for a lifetime, one that will stimulate your intellect and your heart.

A two-day trip to Palenque, a major Mayan archeological site, is part of the tour. Also programmed is ample free time to explore the beautiful town of San Cristobal, its history, culture, and unique internationalism. Seats are limited, so we urge early booking.

Included in trip cost: round-trip airfare from Mexico City to Tuxtla; ground transportation in Chiapas; 10 nights hotel stay in San Cristobal and Palenque; entry fees to museums and sites; and English translators and guides.

A deposit of  US$200 is due at time of trip registration. Remainder of tour fees is due April 16. Registration deadline: April 16. Call 415-150-0025 for availability and any questions.

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