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Special Projects

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Story of Life

Designed, implemented and secured funding for “Story of Life,” a digital storytelling project for Internally Displaced Iraqis in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Worked in partnership with the Warvin Foundation for Women and the Iraqi Network for Social Media (INSM) with financial support from the United States Institute of Peace and my own nonprofit, HablaCentro Informatics Not for Profit.. The project’s activities included creating a training of trainers digital storytelling course, taught by members of and collaborating journalists, to 15 Internally Displaced Iraqi participants; the collection and creation of 15 stories by trained participants; the digitization and sharing of stories on a citizen journalism platform and; the strategic distribution of these stories in collaboration with local Iraqi media, nonprofit partners and bloggers. English website: www.storyoflife.org Arabic website: www.ar.storyoflife.org.

Guatemala: Eternal Spring Eternal Tyranny

Guatemala’s Lost Photographs

Crowdfunded campaign to publish a new student edition of “Guatemala: Eternal Spring Eternal Tyranny” (WW Norton) to teach Guatemalan schoolchildren, especially rural and semi-literate schoolchildren, about Guatemala’s thirty-six year civil war in a more visual way. This is the only book of photographs that covers Guatemala’s brutal war. It was important to make it accessible in towns that need it most and for people who will use it for teaching the history of Guatemala’s armed conflict. Total amount raised: $22,490. Kickstarter page

La Camioneta: The Journey of One American School Bus

Every day dozens of decommissioned school buses leave the United States on a southward migration that carries them to Guatemala, where they are repaired, repainted, and resurrected as the brightly-colored camionetas that bring the vast majority of Guatemalans to work each day. Since 2006, nearly 1,000 camioneta drivers and fare-collectors have been killed for not paying the extortion money demanded by local gangs. La Camioneta tells the story of the migration and resurrection of one bus as a vehicle into the personal stories of five men whose lives become intertwined with its fate. Total amount raised: $26,510. Kickstarter page

Observe Nebaj

Observe Nebaj

This small crowdfunded campaign had a big impact on the transparency process of Nebaj’s mayoral elections. Nebaj is located in the Ixíl region of Guatemala, a region that experienced many massacres during Guatemala’s civil war. Working in partnership with indigenous leader Matilde Terrraza and our nonprofit, HablaCentro Informatics NFP, Observe Nebaj raised the funding necessary to pay volunteers’ food, travel and incidental expenses. Volunteers were then able to serve as election observers for Nebaj’s contentious re-election of their mayor. Project website: es.observe.hablacentro.com

La Casa De Tio Nefta

La Casa De Tío Nefta

Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” I coordinated and implemented a project to build my schizophrenic uncle a house in the Guatemalan jungle of Media Luna, on the border with Honduras. This project was completely crowdfunded and raised more than $4,000 for Uncle Neftali’s house in less than two weeks. Project website: www.casadetionefta.com

A Sewing Machine for Magdalena

A Sewing Machine for Magdalena

Worked in partnership with the Association of Displaced Maya Ixil Chajulense Women (ADMICH), a nonprofit which seeks the economic, cultural, artisanal, agricultural, environmental and social development of young women and their communities in the Ixíl region of Guatemala, specifically Chajul Cotzal and Nebaj, I designed and implemented a campaign to crowdfund for a sewing machine for their ADMICH’s business in less than three days. Project website: www.admich.hablacentro.com


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