ACTIVITIES YEAR 2010
High Tea Attendence List
High Tea Place Mats
March. Our member in the U.S., Irene Mensalavas sent greetings to our group. She is doing fine, and in January celebrated her 106th birthday. Irene has been very generous in helping our children's peace fund and we will send her a copy of our new coloring books when they are ready.
Our article on GLOBAL WARMING AND THE MILITARY came out in the Tico Times and we will send copies of it to government and non-gov. agencies. It is available in Spanish but has not yet been published. We will send a copy to Minister of Foreign Relations, Bruno Stagno, who will be the next ambassador to the UN.
Rita Calvert initiated a campaign on human rights abuses in Burma (Myanmar) stemming from her contacts with refugees from that country. We sent a letter to the UN Council on Human Rights which met in Geneva, and to the UN High Commission on Refugees asking for protection for refugees in Bangladesh and other border areas and for pressure on the military junta to permit free elections scheduled for this year. Rita has films on the situation in Burma for anyone who is interested.
April. Our letter on Handguns at Home, written by Mitzi Stark, was published in the Tico Times. Search for Mitzi Stark at http://www.ticotimes.net/ for many letters published by Mitzi.
At the April meeting Rita Calvert spoke about the meeting in El Salvador to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the shooting death of bishop Oscar Romero and how he has become a hero to the people. She met many people who were part of the popular movement at the time including some who lost family members in the civil war. Salvadoran President Funis participated in the ceremony which shows how changes have come about in El Salvador.
Nicole Sault reported on the situation in Honduras where the new government continues to oppress the people. At least six reporters were killed, five in March. The Honduran press did not covering the atrocities, the rapes of women and the violence. A number of Honduran refugees, some with small children, moved into the Friend’s Peace Center in San Jose,. They need help. The story needs to be told. There is a book available at the Peace Center covering what is really happening in Honduras.
Our new coloring books are ready and they are SENSATIONAL! We do need funding to get them printed in quantities. We want these to go to schools, day care centers and for children everywhere. If anyone can help with funding please let us know. Contact Estilita Grimaldo at email@example.com . Many thanks go to Ashli Nelson and to the student artist Francisco Martinez whose Tico touch added so much. Contents are in English and Spanish.
PEACE COLORING BOOK FRONT & BACK COVERS
The PEACE FILM FESTIVAL was held April 22, 23, 24 at the Sala Garbo theater in San Jose. We solicited support to help publicize and invite friends. Each night included a brief talk on the subject of each film.
Films Shown and Speakers for details and Q & A:
Uranio 238 Member of SOA Watch Damaso Lopez
Hidden in Plain Sight Member of SOA watch and activist Rita Calvert
The 11th Hour C.R. environmentalist Maria Elena Fournier
Mujeras Cruzando Froneras Filmmaker Ana Lucia Faerron
A Force More Powerful Vice Minister of Peace in C.R. Milena Sanabria
FILM FESTIVAL POSTER
May 1st is International Labor Day and WILPF participated in the grand parade again this year. We met at the Parque de Merced, across from San Juan de Dios hospital, at 10 a.m. T-shirts of good quality cotton with colorful peace designs on front and back were for sale at ¢5000.
June. June 5 is Nuclear Abolition Day. A Letter by Mitzi Stark More Militarism Does Not Bring Peace was published in Tico Times http://www.ticotimes.net/
July. Estilita Grimaldo attended and reported on the UN International Meeting on Arms in New York. She took coloring books for the delegations from Jamaica, Nigeria, Guatemala, Colombia and Mexico, countries with high levels of violence. The books were well received. The meeting forged anti-arms groups to continue working against arms sales and production.
Joy Streck’s letter on the proliferation of guns in Costa Rica and the push by gun shops to buy arms came out in the Tico Times http://www.ticotimes.net/ , and an article on the military and on global warming by Mireya Gonzalez and Mitzi Stark came out in Pagina Abierta and in the newspaper La Extra. Copies will be sent to the UN, the Ministry of Foreign Relations and various embassies. President Laura Chinchilla and Jose Miguel Insulza of the OAS already have their copies.
August. A Meeting was held at the FRIEND’S PEACE CENTER in San Jose. A film presentation for Hiroshima Day included films on the atomic bomb survivors, and on depleted uranium (DU) with commentaries on the campaign to eliminate DU. There were also displays of photos and documents. The program was open to the public
Rita Calvert discussed the talk at the Peace Center with Brin Wolf regarding the formation of a Solidarity Group here in Costa Rica to go to Honduras as International Observers to provide honest information about what is really happening there. Our group was invited to participate.
Toy guns. Ashli, Ellen and Estilita agreed to accompany Mitzi to meet with the gentleman who is in the process of producing a documentary on firearms. Carolyn Ross agreed to print an award to be given to local stores who agree to cease selling war toys and guns. Joy and Estilita visited the store Pekiss to inform them that WILPF Heredia planned to give them an award and to suggest that they contact La Teja or any other community newspaper to see if they can send a reporter and photographer to document the award moment and publish it.
WILPF Blog. Joy Streck designed and started a blog, http://www.women4peaceincr.blogspot.com/ and suggested that we enter and post whatever information we wanted to, relating to peace. Estilita informed that she had entered an invitation to other groups working for peace in Latin America to write on our blog.
September. A peace festival was held for Children’s Day (Dia del Ninos) in Heredia on Sept. 9. Mireya Gonzales and Emily Morales met with the municipality of Heredia which collaborated with us to provide tables, chairs, music and a storyteller. We gave out our coloring books, bookmarks and demonstrated how to make oragami peace cranes celebrating the life of Sadako Sasaki who died in Japan as a result of illness from the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. The police gave a demonstration with drug-sniffing dogs. A monument against armaments was made by the children covered with toy guns and toy military weapons.
Rita Demonstrating Oragami Cranes
The Origami Peace Crane
Showing Coloring Books
Coloring Book Marks
We participated in an international congress sponsored by the Rasur Foundation to promote government ministries and departments of Peace. Here in Costa Rica the Ministry of Justice is now the Ministry of Justice and Peace as a result of Rasur's efforts.
Coloring books are being destributed by all our members to schools and groups working with children. Carolyn Ross and Ellen Multz are on the Women's Club Education Committee and can take our books to the schools they visit. Estilita has sent them to many contacts in education. Many teachers report aggression among children and use the coloring books in whole or particular pages to teach a peace culture.
Estilita arranged for a workshop on peace and alternatives to violence with Celina Garcia for a group of 30 school directors in Heredia.
Rita showed a film on Burma at the Peace Center. We are considering showing films related to human rights at some future time.
Honduras: Nicole and Mitzi wrote a letter to CR president Arias, U.S. presidents Obama & Clinton, Sen. Kennedy and newspapers the Tico Times and La Nacion, regarding the link between the coup in Honduras and the School of the Americas. Our letter in the Tico Times stirred up a response by several readers.
October. We had a table at the exhibition center in Santa Ana where the International World Peace Congress was taking place with a display of our campaign against gun toys, our coloring books and material about WILPF. Members attended some of the events. We were proud to be part of this congress that expected about 200 participants from around the world.
Because of the high cost, $50 a day, we were only there two days but our display with toy guns, coloring books, material on the School of the Americas, nuclear disarmament with the story of Sadako and the peace cranes and other campaigns we worked on was a success. Many visitors took coloring books to translate into their own languages and 48 people, many from South America, signed our 'guest book' to work with us on disarmament issues. A TV journalist from Japan filmed our display to show in her country. Many thanks to Ashli and her husband Luis who made the display boards and to Rita, Joy, Estilita, Mitzi and others who worked on this.
Latin American Disarmament. We met with Vice Minister for Peace, Max Loria, on Monday and he was in agreement with our proposal to host a march from La Merced to Plaza de la Cultura on December 1, but asked that we call it COSTA RICA CONTRA EL ARMAMENTISMO. Because of treaties between Costa Rica and Latin America, he asked us to eliminate Latin America, to which we agreed.
He said that to include Latin America in such an observance, Costa Rica would have to go to the OAS and that the process would take at least two years, but said we should go ahead for this year. I know it's late, but the Minister's office, specifically Dulce Umanzor, has been requested to inform the entire Red De Paz, so that the event is sponsored by us all.
Friday, we met with the Office of Production and Design of the Ministry of Culture, to see how we can all work together: the Red, the Vice Ministry for Peace and the Ministry of Culture. It was decided to postpone this event until 2011.
Rwanda request for WILPF assistance. After the discussion regarding armaments, Joy Streck presented a situation we are working on in Rwanda with Mukamurenz Esperanza, the coordinator of the organization Christian Action on Peace. Her husband, Emile Uwimbabazi, President of Permanent Education for Peace and Reconciliation (PEPR) was unjustly put in jail when someone in his organization paid a prisoner of the genocide to claim that Emile also participated, so that the man could claim his job as president of PEPR. Emile was released from charges twice, but in the end was sentenced by a “Kangaroo Type” of court to 30 years in jail. Joy has spent many months trying to find a solution. Emile is in dire straights due to poor nourishment and torture. The Minster of Peace suggested we contact the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This effort is still under investigation. We need help and suggestions with this situation. If you can help contact Joy Streck firstname.lastname@example.org
CAP partners, from left to right, Rev. Gary Edmonds Chairman of Breathrough Partners, Docteor Greg Nestri co-chair Food for Hungry International, Madam Mukamurenzi Espérance coordinator of CAP Chritian Action on Peace, Madam Fatuma Ndangiza, Executive Secretary of Unity and Reconciliation commission, Rev. Emile Uwimbabazi President of Permanent Education for Peace and Reconciliation PEPR, Dwight Jackson, PHD Director Great Lakes Region FHI.
School of Americas. Nov. Carol Marujo did a power point presentation of the meeting in Venezuela on the School of the Americas and disarmament at the Peace Center for our October meeting. She met peace groups from all over the Americas and we want to continue working on these issues. We participated in the rally and activities on Nov. 25, the International Day Against Violence Toward Women.
The campaign against toys of violence continues. We are looking into ways of publicizing the campaign. Estilita sent a letter to the tv show Giros. We got a nice letter back but no spot on the show. We will continue!
December. No meetings during the month of December. Will resume in January.