Nuevo Horizonte

Nuevo Horizonte

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John Ahni Schertow
February 2, 2008
 

When the earth belongs to the people, they are able to achieve their dreams.

Thirty-six years of civil war in Guatemala resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 people—most of them Indigenous.

In the wake of an amnesty signed in 1996, those who took part in the armed struggle against Guatemala’s dictatorship were finally allowed to return to their lives.

However, a small group of families—Quiche, Q’eqchi, Mam, Ladino (mixed Spanish and indigenous) and others—-decided that would instead continue on with their struggle.

Replacing their weapons with a vision for a better life, the families decided to create a self-sustaining agricultural cooperative. Thus, the Nuevo Horizonte Cooperative was born.

“Initially conditions were very harsh and infrastructure was non-existent” for the collective. “Without shelter, drinking water or electricity, with very low soil productivity, and with no capital or assets” the families had to literally work from the ground, up.

They did just that. After carefully studying the land, they began to grow crops and reforest the land. They also started cattle, chicken, and fish farms; created their own school, medical clinic, grocery store, bakery, dental clinic, daycare; and in time, began leading numerous community-based projects.

Today, Nuevo Horizonte is a symbol of alternative resistance around the world. Now over 400 in number, they are living proof that we can all live in an inclusive and just society without any of the burderns we are forced to endure in “modern civilized society”

Watch the full film, Nuevo Horizonte at CitizenShift, or on YouTube.

If you’d like to get in touch with the Nuevo Horizonte collective, visit http://tscnh.codigosur.net/. You can also learn more at coopnuevohorizonte.blogspot.com / cooperativenewhorizon.blogspot.com

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