Announcing Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera’s January 7-9, 2011 trip to MEXICO in solidarity with the CFO or Comité Fronterizo de Obreras/os (Border Committee of Working Women and Men). Main destination: Piedras Negras
Starting our 12th year in partnership with the CFO, this intense 3-day trip takes you into the homes and communities of women and men who work in the maquiladoras or foreign-owned factories that produce in Mexico for export to US consumers. Meet the people and hear their stories. See for yourself the impact of NAFTA, the difference between “free trade” and “fair trade” and what author Charles Bowden called “the laboratory of our future.” This is a listening expedition, an opportunity to learn how the CFO, which is a 30-year old Mexican non-profit, has used collective action to negotiate for and defend human and labor rights.
A special focus on women’s fair trade production collectives will take the delegation to Fuerza Unida (United Strength) in San Antonio and their Hilo de Justicia (Thread of Justice) project. In Piedras Negras the delegation will visit the worker-owned Dignity and Justice Maquiladora.
What connection does the piñata have with the Seven Deadly Sins? What is a Rosca bread? Find out as, never forgetting the cultural context, the delegation will celebrate The Day of the Three Kings, more exciting for Mexican children than even Christmas!
Fee: $225 includes transportation from Austin, translation, food and lodging, orientation and background information. Passport required. For more info and a registration form, please email JRosenberg@atcf.org or call Judith at 512 494-8377. $100 deposit deadline is December 18. If the cost is prohibitive, please write, since some partial scholarships are available.
(More info: Austin Tan Cerca and click here to see video clip.)
Meet maquiladora workers in their homes and communities, find out about current conditions of life and work and learn what strategies they are using to advocate for themselves. Discover the power and dynamic of collective action. Our Mexican partners, the Comité Fronterizo de Oberas/os (the CFO), continue to find innovative, often bold ways of organizing despite the financial crisis and the intense anti-labor climate of Mexico—and the world—that they and we are facing.
Tentatively this delegation will pursue a fair trade theme. Piedras Negras is not only the home city of CFO, but also the site of the Dignity and Justice Maquiladora, a unique business model at the border – a worker-owned sewing collective, technically structured as a maquiladora in order to be able to export and sell in the US.
As we head south through Texas, the delegation will visit another worker-owned, woman-led sewing collective: Ilo de Justícia (Thread of Justice) a project of Fuerza Unida in San Antonio. Fuerza was formed in 1990 in protest, when Levi Strauss closed their San Antonio plant without notice or severance pay.
For more info or to request a registration form, write to: Judith Rosenberg, email@example.com or call 512. 494.8377.
CFO organizer\’s website
Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera (Austin so Close to the Border) announces:
Delegation to Reynosa and Rio Bravo, Mexico: March 12-14, 2010
Now in our 10th year, we pursue and celebrate a cross-border solidarity relationship with a grassroots Mexican organization of maquiladora workers; and we invite you to participate. We go to Mexico to listen: In the wake of US trade and immigration policies, rampant militarization, and an over-load of media, this is one sure way to form your own opinion about corporate- and state-led globalization: talk with the people most directly affected. We go to learn: Our Mexican partners, the Comité Fronterizo de Obreras/os (The Border Committee of Workers), a woman-led Mexican NGO, has organized for labor and human rights for 30 years. They speak from experience and will share the reality of their living and working conditions and of their struggle. In Reynosa and Rio Bravo we will learn about their historic strategies—to democratize unions and make them work for workers; to hold corporations accountable and make them toe the line of the law. Witness the power of the people–live and in action… organized and enduring… hospitable and friendly. Great food. Viva la esperanza!
Delegations cost $225, which covers transport from Austin, food lodging, translation, orientation. Scholarships sometimes available. Passport required. A project of The American Friends Service Committee. For more information see: http://www.afsc.org/austin/ht/d/ContentDetails/i/18266
Deadline: February 24.