Guarani Liberty Initiative
While globalization has been a double-edged sword for many in the rural environment, it has brought a light to a group of indentured workers in the jungles of Bolivia where company stores reign and debts are carried over generations.
A campaign against indentured servitude co-sponsored by the International Labour Organization and a Swiss development agency provided important civic education and basic human rights training to these Guaraní and campesinos. This was the Guaraní Liberty Initiative.
It is amazing what a motorcycle and a video camera can do.
We in the Law and Development world talk a lot about the importance of field research and the need for empiricism. Proyecto ACCESO also believes in the visceral, the kind of research that is more gonzo in its approach. In so doing, we worked with international actors, local community groups, and philanthropists to create the ultimate interdisciplinary approach to solving major problems. We were, in short, testing the limits of civic education and the role that popular participation can promote sustainable development and democratic governance.
The Guaraní Liberty Initiative was an importance milestone in the development of Proyecto ACCESO. It coupled us to legitimate organizations – the Swiss and ILO – while still paying homage to the history of motorcycle diaries elsewhere on the continent. We tried to give vulnerable peoples – many of them indigenous – with education about their fundamental human rights, including the right to a dignified wage.
It was a public education curriculum and campaign gone well. A rare victory.
In the Memory of Dennis Avery
Dennis S. Avery, a graduate of California Western School of Law, a former Dean, and long-time supporter of Proyecto ACCESO died on July 23, 2012. “Dennis was a wonderful man – charitable, smart, humble and interested in making the planet a better place,” expressed ACCESO Director James Cooper.
Through the Avery-Tsui Foundation and California Community Foundation, Dennis contributed to Proyecto ACCESO over the years, supporting efforts to build the rule in Latin America. With Cooper, Dennis also helped purchase a motorcycle for ACCESO’s Guaraní Liberty Initiative, a public education program in rural Bolivia that was also funded by the International Labor Organization and the Swiss Development Agency.
We are most grateful to Sally Wong-Avery for her continued support to our efforts.