Coexistence International makes fact-finding trip to Mexico and Latin America
May 25-June 9, 2010
In May, Jessica Berns, Program Director of Coexistence International (CI), began a two-week fact-finding trip to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Peru. The purpose of her trip was to gain a deeper understanding of the coexistence issues facing countries at a national level, as well as themes for the region, and to introduce CI’s resources and experience.
Berns met with individuals and organizations representing civil society, academia, and governments who work on issues pertaining to coexistence and governance, including immigration, indigenous rights, and transitional justice, among other thematic areas.
Highlights of her trip included
- a presentation on "coexistence and why a complementary approach: observations and questions on Latin America" at the Second Annual Latin American and Caribbean Social Science Conference held May 26-28 in Mexico City (hosted by FLACSO, La Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Socialesa, a regional academic social science organization);
- participating as a civil society observer at the Annual General Meeting of the Organization of American States in Lima, whose focus this year was “Peace and Security and Cooperation in the Americas,"; and
- engaging with the Yuyachkani theater group in Peru, whose most recent play focuses on memories or Peru’s past, as viewed through past Yuyachkani productions. (Read more about their work on the Acting Together on the World Stage website, and read about a 2007 visit to Brandeis of Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani.)
The Coexistence International Focus Paper "What is Coexistence and Why a Complementary Approach?" [PDF] is available in a Spanish translation. Read or download "¿Qué es la convivencia y por qué adoptar un enfoque complementario?" [PDF].
Jessica Berns visits "El Ojo Que Llora": (The Eye That Cries), in Lima, Peru, a memorial to those killed and missing from the 1980-2000 internal conflict in that nation.
"El Ojo Que Llora" is the work of Dutch artist Lika Mutal, who lives in Peru.
The memorial is intended to be a place of peace and reconciliation. It features the names of all of those killed and missing from the conflict.