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Iwith.org visits the Rigoberta Menchu Foundation in Guatemala


Some reasons for our trip to Guatemala are to consolidate ties, to see how the projects are developing in situ and to analyse the Digital Democratization of Guatemala; but, the main aim of our visit is to celebrate Rigoberta Menchu´s anniversary.


Iwith.org has been working closely in different projects with Rigoberta Menchu Foundation since 2005. The biggest one is the Digital Democratization of Guatemala in which several American and European organisations are taking part; this project has been structured in three different axes:

* The planning of an educational system which includes the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the minority Mayan languages, taking advantage of the experience that has been lived in Catalonia during the last decades and looking for the development of the Mayan University.
* The formation and training of users and coordinators using ICTs.
* The adaptation and translation of OpenOffice and other free Open source software into Mayan languages.

Furthermore, the Rigoberta Menchu Tum Foundation (FRMT) decided to undertake the updating of its web page in collaboration with iwith.org, taking part in the Ab•core programme. This project has just been finished. Josep Gaspa, one of the founders of iwith.org and Ramon Bartomeus, human resorces manager, saw the effort made by the Foundation in situ and studied the development level in the centres of Guatemala City and San Lucas Toliman where a consultancy is being done for the training of teachers in new technologies. Both saw how these four years working together have left a print, and these links have been strengthened even more after the visit. In this video, Paul Menchu, Assistant Manager of the Foundation, talks about FRMT’s ICT projects with iwith.org.



Rigoberta Menchu’s Birthday

Ramon and Josep were invited to Ms. Rigoberta Menchu´s house to celebrate her 50 birthday. “The biggest treasure in my life is the capacity to dream: in the most difficult moments, in the hardest and complex situations I have been always able to dream about a more beautiful future”; it was the sentence she pronounced in her greeting speech in order to welcome her guests.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner decided to celebrate this day with her friends, family, other Nobel Peace Prize winners and coworker organisations in the United States and Italy as well as with those people who have been working with her in favor of peace. She offered a typical Guatemalan meal which included Pulik, Ch´ilim, Kaquik and a typical drink to honor her guests.

After that, the party continued in a school where more than 200 representatives of the different areas of Guatemala and Mayan villages joined the celebration of Rigoberta’s anniversary. The “Internacionales Conejo”, a Guatemalan music group, provided the entertainment during the evening.
Iwith.org thanks the Nobel Peace Price winner Rigoberta Menchu for her kindness and wishes to strengthen links more and more, because the work of this organisation is an example of how the world can improve with the use of New Technologies.
       
Translation by Sara Vázquez
on 04/03/2009
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