June 2017

Many of you chipped in last year to help send the Center's own Sallie Latch to the Greek island of Samos to work with refugees. Sallie arrived in Samos on March 13, 2016, one week before the EU-Turkey deal took effect that was devised to keep millions fleeing death and destruction from entering Europe. This turn of events totally reshaped Sallie's plans. The refugee camp where she had expected to work became a virtual prison closed to volunteers. So instead of taking care of babies, Sallie whipped out her iPod and began interviewing refugees about their experiences.

The latest development is that Sallie has returned and is speaking at the Left Forum in New York in June. She has been asked to draw on her many interviews with refugees and paint a verbal picture for people like you and me of the refugee experience. What if it was you whose life was suddenly interrupted by bombs, rockets and gunfire? What if your home was destroyed, all possessions gone and some of your children... Read more

Over 80 co-op and union activists and scholars participated in the 2nd North American & Caribbean Regional Encounter of the Workers' Economy in Mexico City November 2-5, 2016. The Center sent six delegates, led by CGJ co-op organizer Yolanda Millán (not in the group photo). Worker-controlled TRADOC-Blackstone Tires in Guadalajara and New Era Windows & Doors in Chicago (formerly Republic Windows & Doors) were among recuperated factories represented by workers who had been delegated by their newly launched cooperatives. This was one of three regional gatherings leading to a global meeting of the Workers' Economy that will take place from August 30 to September 2, 2017, in Buenos Aires/Pigüé, Argentina.

Additional encounters in this same October-November period included the 2nd Euromediterranean Workers Economy Meeting in

People are still puzzling over how it happened, how did Donald Trump become President? Much of the Center's January-March “Snowbird” Symposium was centered on this question. In case you missed these discussions, want to hear them again or would like to pass them on to a friend, quite a few are available as videos on our website:

“I’ve returned realizing that there is a better world out there than the one we are currently living in... “
This is a comment from Bill Wilen, a participant in the Center's February 2017 delegation to San Cristobal de las Casas.

23 years after the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas and despite constant attempts by the Mexican government to undermine their project, the people of Chiapas have been able to keep the government at bay and to maintain impressive developments in participatory community development. The 1994 uprising, timed to coincide with the introduction of NAFTA, fought for land and other rights, including the right to grow their own food for their families in the traditional ways without interference from the government. They were particularly opposed to the take-over of their land for the corporate cultivation of corn and other crops for export, with little or none left for local people.

In these dark times, when our governments seem... Read more

It's too late to join our June trip on Cuba's new cooperatives.--watch for a report on it in our next Newsletter. But, there is another chance to visit Cuba this year. In collaboration with Via Organica and the Organic Consumers Association, we are organizing a second tour from November 26 to December 5 with a focus on organic agriculture and cooperatives.

Folks who went on our previous organic trips to Cuba are all pumped up by what was a great experience. As one person wrote, “Life changing! I gained a perspective on the social, economic and political conditions in Cuba that is invaluable for understanding sovereignty and justice in a globalized world.”

Two decades ago Cuba was the first country to convert from industrial to organic agriculture. Today it is converting a major part of its economy to cooperatives. Participants in the November tour will learn how this island nation is striving for food sovereignty as it reorganizes its economy. We will visit organic... Read more

Starting in January, visitors to our website have found some big changes. The new design is now “responsive” so that it adapts to all of your devices. So, if you miss one of our programs or want to view it from afar, you can now watch the video on your phone!

The major objectives of the upgrade are:

  • to make it easier to publicize our events,
  • to gather the resource materials we have developed over the years in one place,
  • to have a better bi-lingual capacity,
  • and to make it easier for people to support the Center's work.

What this means in practice is that you can now subscribe online to our program announcements and/or newsletters (and unsubscribe as well). You have easy access to books, videos, papers, conference proceedings, etc. The site is searchable and we're adding some new resources, such as a page of “Resist Trump” links. Some of our conferences were fully bi-lingual and quite a number of the proceedings are now... Read more

Members of the Center constitute a warm and nurturing community that sustains the work of the Center on a day-to-day basis. Membership involves a pledge to make a regular donation to help maintain the Center's ongoing projects. We encourage, but do not require, a donation of $120 per year or more. We simply ask that you give what you can afford. Now, on our new website, you have the option to make your pledge online on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis--whatever works best for you. As always, you may cancel at any time.

Many, but not all members, are residents of or regular visitors to San Miguel de Allende, others come less often or follow our work from afar. But all share our mission--to build alternatives, to educate ourselves, to work for a more just and sustainable world. Please consider... Read more