Lucía Muñoz

Lucía has received the Voiceless grant for multiple years now. She is a Guatemalan American who spent part of her childhood in Guatemala during the internal armed conflict. Her experience as witness to the violence, disappearances, and silence surrounding the war motivates her to focus her work on her reducing violence in her native country. The grant will support her trips to Guatemala and the expenses associated with training facilitators to lead workshops at the University of San Carlos and at middle and high schools in Zone 8 and Zone 1 of Guatemala City. She will also be working to recruit an administrator for the program in Guatemala. The workshops, part of the White Ribbon Campaign, provide education on gender equality and the important role men must play to prevent violence against women. She also speaks to U.S. audiences on the theme of violence against women in Guatemala. She is sponsored by Mujeres Iniciando en Las Américas in Costa Mesa, CA.

Adrian Ventura

In the late 1970’s, Adrian was a peasant organizer and worked on social justice issues with community and religious organizations in Guatemala. Due to this work, he was apprehended and tortured multiple times by the military. He continued his activism throughout the 1980’s and ‘90’s and after receiving political asylum in the U.S., he began working with the K’iché Mayan population in New Bedford, MA. The organization he founded, the Community Workers Center (CCT), is a grassroots community-based and worker-led organization that helps low-income workers achieve social and economic justice. The grant will be used for general monthly expenses and transportation costs so Adrian can continue his efforts as an organizer. This year Adrian plans to continue developing the educational and organizing work of CCT by holding lectures on labor rights, supporting youth and women’s committees, mobilizing workers to take action to stand up for their rights, and putting together a conference focused on indigenous culture. In addition, he hopes to raise funds to take action in solidarity with urgent cases in Guatemala.

Ana Valdez

This is the second year that Ana will receive the Voiceless grant. She moved to the United States at age 15 with her family. Ana is a survivor of domestic violence who after many years of silence, physical, emotional and verbal abuse was finally moved to separate from her partner. When she reported the abuse, the police did little to help her until 2008 when she was attacked so severely, she almost died. The police arrested the man and he is now serving a life sentence. This experience has inspired Ana to speak out about violence against women in DC area communities, and start her own organization, Angels Against Domestic Violence. With her new organization, Ana plans to present educational programs against domestic violence as well as classes in English, Spanish, clothing design, and music. In addition, she will work to provide psycho-social support. Ana has also coordinated with GHRC on several occasions to draw the connection between violence against women in Guatemala and domestic violence in immigrant communities in the U.S.

Marvyn Pérez

Marvyn received the Voiceless Speak award in 2009. He was a student activist during the 1980’s amidst the height of the internal armed conflict in Guatemala and was kidnapped and tortured by state forces in May of 1982. It was in September of the same year that Marvyn and his family escaped to the United States, where they underwent a long legal battle over several years to gain political asylum. Marvyn was inspired to become an organizer and active member of many organizations that work to promote human rights in Guatemala and throughout the world. Marvyn will use the Voiceless Speak Fund to continue educating people on human rights, monitor and provide information on the electoral process, denounce General Otto Perez Molina’s role in the Guatemalan genocides, and seek alliances and support for social movement in Guatemala. He is sponsored by TASSC-International.

María Luisa Rosal

Maria is a first time recipient of the Voiceless Speak award. She was born in Guatemala in 1982, but was forced to flee Guatemala in May of 1985 after the forced disappearance of her father. With the assistance of several international and U.S. organizations including the Guatemala Human Rights Commission, María and her family were able to petition and receive political asylum in the United States. Since then, she has worked closely with Amnesty International, the Guatemala Peace and Development Network, and the Guatemala Human Rights Commission to promote human rights in Guatemala. María plans to continue work on her father’s case with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and travel to Guatemala to meet directly with officials of the Public Prosecutor’s Office and COPREDEH about the case. She also plans to bring awareness and education to the issues of historical memory, accountability, and justice both in the United States and in Guatemala. Additionally, María hopes to have the opportunity to participate in panel discussions and speakers tours concerning human rights in Guatemala. She is sponsored by the Guatemala Peace and Development Network (GPDN).