Photo: Yaranesi Perez, 22 years old, young community leader, Afterschool Program teacher.
Studying at a university is already very difficult for any young person, especially for those with limited resources. Just applying to the public university in the city of León (UNAN) makes you compete with students from all over the country. But for Yaranesi Pérez this has not been her only struggle. She is also a school Afterschool teacher; a community collaborator/leaders; and a young activist willing to help her neighbors and friends as much as she can. All the efforts made by this young leader are for the sake of her community because she wants to improve it.
Yaranesi aims to be an agent of change. One of her primary goals is to be a teacher at the formal school in her community. This year Yaranesi will graduate – after five years – with a degree in Natural Sciences at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua. Yaranesi studies in “sabatina” mode, which means she wakes up very early Saturday to be able to do her chores at home, and then takes the bus that leaves his community at 4:00 am to be able to arrive punctually at classes to the city of León at 7:00 am.
She, like many other young women in the community of Goyena, was awarded scholarships by NHLSCP and is achieving her goals. This success makes for better economic and social conditions for their families, as well as sets an example for the rest of the young people in the community. Already many young people from the community who are in high school admire Yaranesi, and have expressed “If she can, so can we”. At the New Haven-León SCP we hope to continue to support the goals of many young people through the scholarship program, so that more young people like Yaranesi become examples of perseverance, discipline and leadership for their friends and family.
Photo: March against violence against women in Leon, Nicaragua – organized by Mujeral in Action, New Haven León Sister City Project, Casa de Colores, Ixchen-Leon, other organizations and individual feminists.
On November 26th of this year, we helped organize the International Day Against Violence Against Women event in León. Since 2012, NHLSCP has helped mark this important annual event. We get together with several feminist organizations and individuals to march through the streets of Leon, demand our rights, and expose abuses that Nicaraguan women experience. Women from the rural communities of Goyena and Troilo also participated with their own peaceful demands.
To mark the 55th year of the International Day Against Violence Against Women, we remembered and honored the Mirabal sisters; Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa, who were murdered by the dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic in 1960. In the 21st century, even though women are legally recognized as citizens with human rights, we continue to be abused, raped, sold, beaten, exploited, denigrated and killed. We will not stop marching and fighting for justice until we are respected and patriarchy and all its institutional expressions are abolished. Feminist Women demand that the government, the laws, and the public guarantee a country that’s inclusive, fair, free and healthy for all. We actively sympathize with the survivors of gender violence, who are abused, raped, and killed. We denounce the impunity that is guaranteeing more violence in Leon, Nicaragua, in Latin America, and in the world, because we want “Not One Less Women” woman abused.
Photo: Women organizations and individual feminists in activity “Women in Black Action for Women’s Lives – Not One More”.
On July 10th, women’s organizations conducted nationwide simultaneous actions to denounce femicide in Nicaragua, demanding ‘Not One More’. New Haven/Leon Sister City Project, in conjunction with women’s organizations and individual women feminists, helped organize the activity ‘Women in Black’. This was a performance representing the 34 femicides to date in 2015, denouncing that in 60% of the cases the aggressors had some family ties to the victims, that the home remains the most unsafe place for women. We demanded that the state’s 779 Law be enforced without reform as it was approved in 2012. That day we denounced the lack of institutional support available when victims seek access to justice. This is a problem because of the collusion, inefficiency, and prevalence of a patriarchal thought, and the influence peddling which benefits the aggressors. Even with the serious situation of violence in which we live, we recognize the courage and determination that many women are showing when they put in their complaints or seek help to leave violent situations and manage to save their own lives. We call women to continue to denounce violence in all its forms, and demand the law enforcement Law 779.
Magdalena Claudia Salazar, 19 years old, has been a member of the Environmental Youth Brigade in Goyena for 2 years.
Claudia is a dynamic active youth from Goyena, currently in her 3rd year of high school. This young student was previously in NHLSCP’s Afterschool Program and is now a member of the Youth Brigade. Claudia left school for a while due to economic problems in her family and had to work to support them. Currently she is suffering from an illness in her eyes called photophobia, which has somewhat limited in their studies as it gives her headaches and irritates her eyes when reading. But at age 19, she is still struggling to keep learning and get to college, and her goal is to study agronomy and to cultivate the land owned by her family.
Currently Claudia receives a stipend (supported by Temple Emanuel), which allows her to continue her studies. Claudia, at her young age, is already an example of perseverance and leadership to many young people in her community. Like her, they also dream of reaching college.