Photo: Associated Press
Originally published in LGBTQ Nation.
Twenty-two years ago, I made a promise that has shaped my life and my work ever since. My beloved partner Eddie, a talented musician, was dying of AIDS.
At the time, we felt powerless, isolated and angry—there was no effective medical treatment, no hope for recovery and too much hate rooted in fear of a mysterious disease and its association with gay men. As his final days neared, Eddie asked me to swear to him that he would not become “just another AIDS statistic.”
I’ve done everything in my power to keep this promise to stop HIV-positive and LGBT people like Eddie from being forgotten. Read More
Wilmer Gutiérrez Gómez (right), a leader of AJWS grantee Coordinadora Chorotega, works to defend the land rights of indigenous communities. Photograph by Stefanie Rubin
American Jewish World Service has worked in Nicaragua for 14 years, focusing on two of the most pressing challenges facing some of the most disadvantaged groups in the country:
- The struggle for land, food, water and resources needed for the survival of indigenous people
- Human rights violations against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people
This week, a group of AJWS supporters will travel to Nicaragua to engage with nine of our grantee organizations. They’ll meet with staff members who are mobilizing their communities to make long-lasting change.
Our grantees take on critical rights issues in Nicaragua—like Coordinadora Chorotega, which trains local leaders to take legal action against the government’s sale of indigenous land. There’s also Grupo Safo, which recently opened the first health clinic in Nicaragua specifically for lesbian, bisexual and transgender women.
Want to learn more? Check out Promoting Human Rights in Nicaragua, a new review of AJWS’s work in the country.
Women from the Waslala Association of Entrepreneurial Women, an AJWS grantee in Nicaragua, rally to end violence against women.
More than a year ago, Nicaragua passed the Comprehensive Law Against Violence Toward Women (Law 779), which represents significant advances in addressing a pervasive problem in the country. The law recognizes that violence takes many forms—physical, psychological, sexual and economic. It also calls for more state resources to respond to violence against women—in all ways that it manifests. It condemns any public official who gets in the way of women pursuing justice in the courts, and it directs federal resources to build violence prevention programs.The law is comprehensive in addressing multiple forms of violence, but does it skillfully address Nicaragua’s demographic and regional diversity? Checking the pulse on this step forward, AJWS grantees in Nicaragua offer insights about the law’s challenges and opportunities: Read More
Students from the University of Florida Hillel on an AJWS Alternative Spring Break in Nicaragua
Originally posted on the blog of RJ.org, News and Views of Reform Jews.
Last fall, as a junior attending the University of Florida (UF), I was considering all the possibilities for the upcoming spring break. I know that typical UF students spend their spring breaks on cruises and at beaches, drinking and getting awkward tan lines. I was not excited by the prospect of getting sunburned or putting myself in a bathing suit. Sure, I could visit my parents in Texas, but since it was a recent relocation, there would be no friends there for me and sitting on the couch all week just sounded boring. Read More
Do you love tilapia? I do. But after reading yesterday’s New York Times article about unregulated tilapia farming, I’ll think twice before I order my next fillet. Last year, more than 52 million pounds of fresh tilapia were exported to the United States, mostly from Latin America, as well as 422 million more pounds of frozen tilapia, both whole and fillet, nearly all from China. It’s a booming industry, but it’s doing a lot of damage to the natural world, not to mention the survival of a species. Read More