Job Description and Details
This position is based in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and requires that the applicant be a Canadian citizen, dual citizen, or permanent resident of Canada.
The Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Solidarity Network (BTS), based in the Maritimes of Canada on the unceded and unsurrendered territories of the Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik, and Passamaquoddy, seeks a dynamic, caring individual, passionate about human rights, to be BTS’s main ongoing representative in Guatemala, enabling the deepening and growth of BTS’s relationships with its partner organizations. The Guatemala Coordinator works directly in relationship with Guatemalan grassroots organizations engaged in human rights and defense of territory.
35 hours/week (self-managed)
Annual Salary of $25,000CAD per year plus per diem, expenses, benefits and 4 weeks annual vacation
(after seven years, 5 weeks annual vacation)
● one work-related and one personal return flight between Canada and Guatemala per year
● professional development opportunities through the Tatamagouche Centre
● full international health coverage
● Leave policy for mental health and other reasons
Permanent position (BTS has a dedicated and active volunteer fundraising committee; staff are not
asked to fundraise.)
Work location: based in Guatemala City, with visits to BTS partners in various parts of Guatemala (with
travel costs covered), annual paid visit to the Maritimes, also work online.
The newly hired Guatemala Coordinator will participate in a minimum three-month probation period
before a permanent position is offered.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until a successful candidate is found.
To apply, please send the following to :
• Cover letter of no more than one page that outlines your motivations, skills and experience for
this position. In the cover letter, please mention where you heard about this position.
• 3 references
Breaking the Silence encourages people from diverse race, gender, ethnic group, sexual orientation, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, abilities, education, and backgrounds to apply. If your life experiences and skills differ from what is in this posting, but you think you are the right person for the
position, please apply!
Breaking the Silence (BTS) https://www.breakingthesilenceblog.com is a voluntary network of people in the Maritimes who began to organize in 1988 to support the efforts of Guatemalans struggling for political, social, and economic justice.
Injustice is the result of structural inequalities both within and between countries, and BTS is committed to supporting structural transformation both in Guatemala and in Canada. Moreover, we recognize the interconnectedness of these two contexts. We strive to engage in solidarity with and build bridges between the Original Peoples’ (Pueblos Originarios) organizations and communities with whom we work in Guatemala, and the Indigenous communities in whose territories we are situated in the Maritimes. We recognize the ongoing impacts of colonization on Indigenous communities in both these contexts.
Our work is guided by a commitment to equity and opposing systemic oppression, as well as building long-term relationships based on solidarity and mutuality. We respond to partner needs and as such, we respond jointly with our organizational partners in Guatemala. Our relationships are built on
friendship, sharing, and dialogue as we work, learn, unlearn, and grow together.
To carry out this work, we are seeking a creative and thoughtful Guatemala Coordinator with a deep commitment to and passion for solidarity with Guatemala. This person will support BTS solidarity work, primarily in Guatemala, and, on occasion, in the Canadian Maritimes and elsewhere in Canada. This person will be flexible and self-motivated with strong time-management skills, excellent interpersonal and organizational skills, and a demonstrated interest in community engagement. As the person works with a Community Council and committees, all of which are volunteer-based, they must be able to
work without a great deal of direction, and be willing to meet with volunteers during evenings and weekends, as needed.
The successful candidate will be BTS’s ongoing representative in Guatemala, enabling the deepening and growth of BTS’s relationships with its partner organizations. They will coordinate priority areas of work in Guatemala, including:
● Relationships with partner organizations
● BTS’s Cooperant Program
● Human rights and transitional justice
The successful candidate will collaborate with the Mining Justice Facilitator on the following priority area of work:
● Mining justice
The successful candidate will:
● Have excellent interpersonal skills, cultural knowledge of Guatemala and Canada
● Have strong facilitation skills and experience
● Have excellent program coordination skills and experience
● Have excellent Spanish and English language skills (spoken and written); knowledge of Mayan or Xinka languages an asset
● Live in Guatemala or be willing to become based there
● Be a Canadian citizen, dual citizen, or permanent resident of Canada
● Be able to work remotely, with reliable access to computer, phone, and internet (BTS has no office space but does have funding to support office rent)
The successful candidate should:
● Share BTS’s commitment to our work and philosophy
● Have an understanding of the historical and current social, cultural, and economic context of Guatemala and the Canadian Maritimes through a social justice and human rights lens, which will inform solidarity relationships with partners
● Have a strong analysis of and depth of experience in resisting the ongoing impacts of colonialism and structures of oppression within Guatemala and Canada, and between the global North and South
● Have a demonstrated interest in global human rights and social justice
● Have developed and supported advocacy initiatives and campaigns
● Have the flexibility necessary to coordinate work schedules with the Mining Justice Facilitator, Maritimes Coordinator and other BTS staff when needed; adapt to changing circumstances and the realities of a volunteer-based solidarity network
● Work well independently and as part of a team, with excellent interpersonal, organizational and time-management skills The Guatemala Coordinator’s responsibilities will include:
● Designing and developing components of BTS’s Cooperant Program and collaborating with Guatemalan partner organizations regarding placements for cooperants
● Orienting cooperants on the ground & providing ongoing support/supervision
● Making one annual trip to the Maritimes for a minimum period of 3-4 weeks in 2022 (3-6 weeks likely in future years), to help train cooperants, develop relationships with BTS Maritimes Coordinator and BTS network members and local committees
● Organizing delegations of Canadians to Guatemala, and co-leading these delegations with the Maritimes Coordinator or a network volunteer
● Collaborating with the BTS Mining Justice Facilitator to represent BTS in the context of mining justice and human rights/transitional justice in Guatemala
Detailed Job Description
Working in a team relationship with the BTS Maritimes Coordinator, the Mining Justice Facilitator, and with guidance from the BTS Community Council and Cooperant Program Committee, as a key BTS representative in Guatemala, the Guatemala Coordinator will enable and facilitate solidarity work in Guatemala, supporting BTS initiatives and projects. The overall role of the GC is to facilitate the deepening of BTS’s solidarity relationships with its Guatemalan partners.
BTS priority areas are:
support for work related to the genocide and mining justice, with gender as a cross-cutting theme in relation to the two priorities.
With the support of the BTS Cooperant Program Committee, lead the BTS Cooperant Program, the GC will:
● Design & develop program components, forms, evaluation tools and other relevant documents, in consultation with BTS staff & committees
● Collaborate with partners on creating cooperant placements
● Manage cooperant program in Guatemala including coordinating trainings, reflections, and evaluations with cooperants and partners
● Assist the Cooperant Program Committee in attaining program objectives including taking an active role in the solidarity & human rights leadership training team, and interviewing and selecting applicants for the program, etc.
● Organize logistics for cooperant arrivals & placements (with partners)
● Orient cooperants on the ground & provide ongoing support/supervision
● Arrange emergency human rights accompaniment placements as needed
As BTS’s key continuing representative in relationship with its partners, they will:
● Maintain regular communication and face-to-face meetings with partners
● Respond to requests for urgent actions & emergency accompaniment
● Coordinate Topacio Award activities including reviewing applications, selecting winner, organizing awards ceremony logistics
● Coordinate partner meeting (including logistics) in collaboration with Maritimes Coordinator
● Support partners' needs that relate to BTS priorities including participating on network calls (CAMIGUA) and attending court hearings on a need-be basis
To facilitate BTS’s support for human rights and transitional justice in Guatemala, they will:
● Stay informed, through research and regular communication with BTS partners, about human rights, genocide, and transitional justice in Guatemala
● Send urgent actions and critical information/analyses of genocide/transitional justice to BTS listserv as needed
● Provide accompaniment to public events, hearings, trials, etc, for BTS partner organizations and friend organizations
● Represent BTS in coalitions (CAMIGUA)
In support the Mining Justice Facilitator’s work with communities affected by Canadian mines, they will:
● Maintain regular communications with the Mining Justice Facilitator about the work of the Parlamento Xinca & resistance to the Escobal Mine in El Estor; and coalition work to support other mining-affected communities
● Provide translation for communication between the Mining Justice Facilitator and the Network, as needed
● Represent the network and advocate for mining communities at the Canadian (and occasionally other) Embassies
● Provide the logistics in Guatemala for Guatemalans affected by Canadian mining to attend trials, speaking engagements, etc. in Canada by obtaining passports and visas, preparing for flights.
● Occasionally accompany Guatemalans affected by Canadian mining to Canada for trials, speaking engagements, etc.
The GC will support BTS committees and volunteers as they engage, learn, advocate, etc., including through delegations and speaking tours. They will:
● Provide general support to BTS-related work
● Provide regular work update to co-workers and BTS Committees
● Support the Cooperant Program Committee with fundraising, training, recruitment, and updates from Guatemala on a need-be basis and with a limited scope
● Participate in and provide updates to the BTS Annual Meeting and regular Community Council, Cooperant Program Committee, and & Steering Committee Meetings
● Provide logistics work in Guatemala in preparation for delegations from Canada to Guatemala, in consultation with the Maritimes Coordinator and other members of the delegation planning group. Regularly co-lead these delegations
● Provide the logistics in Guatemala for individuals from Guatemala invited to do a speaking tour in the Maritimes, including letters of invitation, obtaining passports and visas, preparing for flights etc. Work with the Maritimes Coordinator and the Community Council
in the overall planning for the Speaking Tour.
● Develop solidarity action that will be taken during the Spring and Fall tours, in collaboration with Maritimes Coordinator
● On occasion, accompany Guatemalan guest(s) on tours (Fall and Spring, TBD) in the Maritimes and provide support for the guest (may include translation and driving) during the tour, including meetings with BTS Local Committees in NS, NB, and PEI.
Working as a team along with other BTS staff, they will:
● Maintain regular communications with the Maritimes Coordinator including weekly/biweekly meetings and an annual 5-day overlap meeting between MC and GC in Guatemala
● Annual relationship-building session with the Maritimes Coordinator, supported by an outside facilitator
● Maintain regular communications with the Mining Justice Facilitator, including weekly or biweekly meetings and the possible sharing of responsibilities mutually agreed upon
● Develop semi-annual work plans with the Maritimes Coordinator and Community Council to fulfill the mission and vision of the network.
● Maintain communications with other staff (eg. Northern-based Summer Cooperants) as needed
● Participate in the ASPIRE program at the Tatamagouche Centre
The GC will support BTS communications: They will:
● Maintain & facilitate communications between BTS network and its partners including organizing and facilitating partner updates where possible; and sending urgent actions and critical information/analyses related to BTS priorities in mining and genocide/transitional justice to BTS listserv as needed
● Coordinate communication updates between cooperants & BTS network
● Regularly post on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
● Research news & sources of information including attending press conferences and community events
● Support the Maritimes Coordinator’s lead on BTS communications through providing written updates for annual report, regular E-Bulletin, social media, etc; occasionally provide English translation for same
The GC is responsible for some administrative tasks. They will:
● Participate in the administrative work associated with the position including written work plans, keeping track of hours and expenses, monitoring staff budget, etc.
● Track, record and process expenses
● In regular updates, document achievements, best practices & lessons learned
● Renew health insurance
*NB: This job description is subject to change based on discussions between the Guatemala Coordinator
and the BTS Community Council, including staff
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