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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Guatemala Human Rights Commission USA

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Human Rights

Mission: Founded in 1982, GHRC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting human rights in Guatemala by documenting abuses, educating the international community, mobilizing our grassroots base and advocating for just policies. GHRC supports Guatemalan communities and human rights defenders who face threats and violence due to their work to promote positive, systemic change.

Results: In 2012 we: - Delivered over 2,200 petition signatures to the Guatemalan government requesting food aid and other support for the 800 indigenous families evicted in the Polochic Valley. As a result of this petition as well as GHRC’s ongoing support with their case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the families received six deliveries of food and have been promised land. - Created an online action to email US Members of Congress, asking them to maintain the ban on US funding to the Guatemalan army. Our supporters sent 2,111 emails and the ban will remain in place for the year. - Provided affidavits in 10 cases of Guatemalans applying for asylum and testified in three more. At least two applicants received asylum based on domestic violence they had suffered in Guatemala and were allowed to remain in the US. The other cases have been postponed. - Coordinated a successful email and call campaign targeting the mining company Kappes, Cassiday & Associates, as well as the Guatemalan Government, calling for an end to attacks on the communities in resistance in San José del Golfo. We accompanied the emails with direct talks with the US Embassy in Guatemala to advocate for dialogue and the full respect of the communities’ right to protest. A tense calm has been maintained since then. - Provided scholarships to 18 children of human rights defenders who have been attacked or killed for their work, enabling them to continue their education. - Led a delegation on women in resistance. On returning to the US, the delegates collected books and arts supplies for organizations they had met with and used their new knowledge to better serve their Guatemalan clients in the US.

Programs: Programs: Advocacy Education Support for Human Rights Defenders Themes: Land and Natural Resources Militarization Women's Rights Truth, Justice and Historical Memory Criminalization and Impunity

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former volunteer with Sister Parish, I admire the work of the GHRC. It remains a major source of information for me.

1 Rachel125

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GHRC is an incredible organization in a multitude of ways. Their staff is incredibly dedicated to their cause, and the many ways in which they work for and with the indigenous peoples of Guatemala. Not only are they pushing for justice within the US for Guatemalans, but they are also on the ground in Guatemala working to support human rights defenders every day. They also host delegations in Guatemala to educate individuals who are interested the various human rights, environmental rights, and political issues in the country. I was fortunate enough to participate in one of their delegations and it was eye opening and life changing. Thank you GHRC for everything that you do!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as an intern with GHRC between 2011-2012 and it was an incredible experience! GHRC is an organization of dedicated advocates who avidly seek to promote the rights of Guatemalans. They work tirelessly for the noble cause of protecting human rights. I would highly recommend getting involved to volunteer or donate to their worthy cause!

1 Shelby3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have always been honored to be involved in GHRC's mission and efforts. I look up to the staff members here as true agents of change, and I have learned so much about social justice, humanity and compassion from the organization.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GHRC has been an irreplaceable part of my journey in understanding both the struggle of the Guatemalan people as well as the fight towards justice on a much greater scale. With the limited resources this organization has access to, the outcomes are incredible. The people working at GHRC have so much love and drive in their hearts, and so much desire to educate the public about their work. I have loved working with them and I hope to be a part of the organization for a long time.

Olga T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GHRC has been very effective in Guatemala and it recognizes the fragility in the human and land rights of the people of Guatemala and it's purpose is to strengthen and stand up for the common good. This non-profit organization is a strong grassroot and it is essential to help it grow so the voices of Guatemala do not remain unheard.

Board Member

Rating: 5

GHRC is one of the few organizations that maintain a strong grassroots focus in all that they do. One of the only organizations with offices in both D.C. and Guatemala City, GHRC truly understands the needs of their partners on the ground, supporting their work. GHRC does not dictate policy or actions, but echoes the voice of Guatemalans who face great risks of violence every day. This is GHRC’s humble yet powerful role in the fight for peace and justice in Guatemala. I am proud to support GHRC’s work, and most importantly, the work of GHRC’s partners.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GHRC does outstanding work to promote peace and justice in Guatemala. At a time when other foundations, organizations, and funding is pulling out in Guatemala, and when violence continues to escalate to conflict-level rates, GHRC is not only remaining steadfast in it's solidarity, it is expanding its support and work. I participated in the June 2008 Human Rights Defenders Delegation, and the August 2009 Women's Right to Live delegation, and have volunteered through out the years. GHRC does high quality research, human rights monitoring, advocacy, and solidarity actions. I am deeply honored and proud to work with them.

1 Denise59

Volunteer

Rating: 5

With a minuscule budget but a highly effective and efficient staff supported by an exuberant cadre of volunteers GHRC-USA walks the walk while talking the talk.

Pamela40

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GHRC does such amazing work. They are not only raising awareness, but making real change in the lives of the Guatemalan people. They deserve all of the recognition and support they can get.

Sammi L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The GHRC is an extremely effective organization that, despite its small size, makes a huge impact on the human rights situation in Guatemala. I had the opportunity to participate in a delegation with them in January, and I was astounded by the dedication they had towards their work. And not only were they extremely knowledgable on the issues that Guatemala currently faces, they had the respect of the communities and organizations that we visited, evidence of their positive presence and hard work there. I will continue to support the GHRC as much as I am able to, and believe wholeheartedly in the work that they do in Guatemala.

1 Jacqui L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I still wear a piece of blue and yellow string wrapped around my wrist as a memory from my last trip to Guatemala with the GHRC. I've been on two delegations they help organize, and their work and relationships with the victims of the Internal Armed Conflict, and other communities in resistence is evident. The staff members were welcomed by community members as old friends, a sign that what the GHRC is doing is well received and important.
Their listserv and quarterly publications are also informative and encourage the general public to get involved with simple urgent action calls and letter writing campaigns that everyone and anyone can help with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GHRC is a small NGO making a big impact in Guatemala. I have been volunteering with GHRC for some years now, and I am humbled by the amazing work they do on an everyday basis on the ground for human rights in Guatemala.

Review from JustGive

Courtney18

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Traveling with the Guatemala Human Rights Commission on a recent delegation was a peak experience on all levels. Through their dedicated work there, they have built up so much trust, with so many communities and activists; and as a result our experience was much deeper and more profound than I ever could have imagined. They have earned respect there from the people they serve as well as at the U.S. Embassy where our presence was welcomed and obviously prepped for. Guatemala seems to always be balancing on the edge of tragedy and reform and I hope GHRC can always be around to help tip the scales towards justice.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I participated in the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission annual delegation in August 2012. The organization of the delegation and the speakers we met were exceptional and far exceeded my expectations. We meet incredible people who inspired me to further my education with a regional focus. Furthermore, the directors were remarkably knowledgeable and prepared, which encouraged me to follow their line of work. I recommend GHRC to all of those interested in Guatemala, but also to those interested in human rights, labor movements, indigenous movements, gender equality, political economy, and social and economic justice.

Kathleen22

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a teacher who spent two years in Guatemala, I signed on to GHRC-USA's 2008 delegation with high hopes of learning more about a country I had grown to love. The trip with the delegation far exceeded my expectations. Our facilitators were gracious experts who led productive meetings with government officials, activists, women's and survivors' groups. In some ways, I learned more about Guatemala and its people in that one trip than I had in my two years living and teaching in the city. Most importantly, the people we spoke with and the deep thinking that we did about social justice on the trip helped me to re-commit to social justice work and to carry the message of Guatemalans seeking peace and justice back to my community in the United States.

Ilyse K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Guatemala Human Rights Commission USA (GHRC) offers a variety of programs that work in solidarity with Guatemalans for positive systemic change. One such program is GHRC's Speaker's Tour, which enables Guatemalan human rights defenders, journalists, land rights activists, and women's rights advocates to share their experiences in forums throughout the United States. From listening to the 2011 Fall Speaker's Tour, where Mayan activist Maria Choc shared how a mining corporation brutalized her community, my spark of interest in Guatemalan human rights evolved into a fervent commitment. Important to this commitment is staying abreast of current events, and GHRC shares up-to-date information through print and electronic resources—the news publication “El Quetzal” and the GHRC Blog. GHRC also publishes timely Action Alerts, which notify people how they can sign petitions to support human rights defenders and/or denounce harmful policies. Furthermore, my recent participation in GHRC's 2012 delegation to Guatemala, provided a life-changing opportunity to meet Guatemalans and learn about their land rights and women's rights struggles. From my participation on the delegation and attendance at many GHRC events in the United States, I have witnessed how staff bridge the capitals in two countries—Washington, DC and Guatemala City—with expertise in policies affecting Guatemala and empathy for the people these policies impact.