BTS Community Development & Human Rights Volunteer Program!

We are excited to announce the creation of the BTS Community Development and Human Rights Volunteer Program!

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Building on our previous experience with training and sending interns, human rights accompaniers, and volunteers to Guatemala, BTS is seeking to create a team of 6-8 people who will serve as short and longer-term volunteers with our Guatemalan partners. Through this program, we hope to strengthen our Canadian presence on the ground in Guatemala, which will increase our capacity to engage in solidarity with our partners by responding to volunteer requests in a timely manner. We welcome people of all ages and backgrounds to apply.

Overview of roles:

1) Short-term volunteers with previous accompaniment experience 
While based in Canada, these volunteers agree to be available at least once over a two-year period to travel to Guatemala on short notice to respond quickly to urgent, immediate needs of partners, such as:

  • Emergency human rights accompaniment of individuals and communities under threat
  • Presence at court cases in Guatemala regarding genocide

2) Longer-term volunteers:

  • Two volunteers (one for 2019-20, and one for 2020-21) committed to serving for a one-year period based in Guatemala City. Under the direction of the BTS Guatemala Coordinator, they will respond to requests by BTS partners who are seeking immediate presence in challenging situations, and will work with BTS partners and volunteers on the development of this program
  • Additional volunteers will serve for 6 months to a year in projects identified by BTS partners, who will publicize job descriptions and skills needed in the coming months. Skills needed may include law, agriculture and perma-culture, education and popular education, marketing, communications skills (social media, journalism, website development), grant-writing and translation

Criteria:

  • Flexibility; this is a new program and the needs of host organizations may change
  • Minimum of intermediate Spanish and willingness to take Spanish training, if necessary (cost to be covered by the participant)
  • Commitment to volunteering in Guatemala within 2 years of the training
  • Minimum 6 month commitment and/or willingness to be available on short notice
  • Willingness to be involved in solidarity upon return to Canada
  • Must communicate regularly with BTS and local support committees
  • Prioritizing the development of human relationships and the accompaniment of community processes, rather than expecting high levels of personal achievement and immediate results

Mandatory Training: May 16th – May 21st, 2019 at the Tatamagouche Centre, Tatamagouche NS

Costs and Funding:

  • Estimated $700 for monthly living expenses in addition to flights and health insurance
  • We hope to provide some financial support, but volunteers will be required to fundraise

Next steps:
If interested, please email Stacey Gomez (BTSMaritimesCoordinator@gmail.com) and we’ll contact you at a later date with an information/application package at a later date

About BTS:
BTS is a voluntary network of people in the Maritimes who began to organize in 1988 to support the efforts of Guatemalans struggling for political, social, and economic justice. Today, BTS has committees in several Maritime communities, and engages in human rights accompaniment, public education, and political advocacy around key issues such as: defense of territory; gender justice; truth, justice and impunity; and security, along with support for our partners working in areas such as education, community development, fair trade, land and labour rights.

Our approach:
Our work is guided by the objective of building long-term relationships based on solidarity and mutuality. We respond to the needs and issues defined by our partners and by other Guatemalans with whom we work. Our relationships are built on friendship, sharing, and dialogue as we work, learn, and grow together.

We wish to thank UNIFOR and the Sisters of Saint Martha of Antigonish for their financial support to develop this program.

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