Three Southwest Florida women will be travelling to Guatemala this week to teach women, families and teachers about reproductive health and human trafficking.
The program is called The GRACE project – or Guatemalan Rural Adult and Children’s Education. It’s run by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers and sponsored by the Zonta Club of Sanibel-Captiva.
The women include Dr. Genelle Grant and Marta - the main characters in WGCU’s one-hour radio documentary, Lucia’s Letter, which won a prestigious Peabody Award this year. The documentary is based on a composite letter Grant wrote that tells about the lives of Marta and several other local Mayan women who were smuggled into Southwest Florida many years ago by a coyote.
Their parents paid big money to send them, but the girls paid the price when the journey turned disastrous. Now Grant and Marta use the letter, originally on CD, to educate Mayan women about the importance of investing their money in going to school in Guatemala rather than using all of the family’s resources to send the girls to the United States. While in Guatemala this month, Grant says they’ll create a brochure called Union of Women or “Union Ix (eesh)” in the indigenous language.
“So Union Ix is a little girl, a little Mayan girl, and she will be talking to her cousin about Lucia’s Letter, that she heard Lucia’s Letter. And this is going to be a set of drawings like a little comic book,” said Grant. “-We’re hiring artists, young women. We’re going to be doing this brochure down there and printing it and sending it back out with these 140 teachers who come to these two workshops.”
The brochure will be in black and white so it can be copied easily and cheaply as compared to the original Lucia’s Letter which is on CD, making it hard for parents and girls in some remote villages to hear the message. The GRACE Project provides similar work-study trips to Guatemala each summer.
Meanwhile, local health and human trafficking education for Mayan and Latina women takes place starting in July at Page Field and Pine Manor Community Centers in Fort Myers.
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:33