For several years the World March of Women Américas has aimed at strengthening the participation of Caribbean organizations, an initiative that has been led by the Cuban National Coord. and that has found in the Berta Cáceres Feminist School a space to strengthen connections and incorporate new Coordinations. With the presence of 11 comrades from the National Coordinations (NC) from Cuba and the Dominican Republic and allied organizations from Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Martinique, the Caribbean becomes visible and brings to the school reflections that further open the horizon of struggle of the WMW Américas.
Feminist Puerto Rico
Gema Adrover Works in the Centro de Apoyo Mutuo de Utuado, coordinating the seed program Semillera Campesina, is part of the agricultural production space Proyecto GuayabaCherry and collaborates in Taller Libertá, an art and popular theater space. Gema shares with us about the situation of Puerto Rico and her expectations for growth from the school: “Our nation is a captive by imperialism and colonialism, which cuts across our collective consciousness, both evils are closely linked to patriarchy and capitalism, our struggle is intense, especially for women living in the countryside, where our voices must be even louder to make ourselves heard. The trajectory has been complex, since patriarchy and its violence harm indiscriminately, including in agroecological organizations and processes, our experiences as militant women of the countryside in many spaces have been difficult, especially because the work of women is made invisible, because most of the support is for male projects, this is the same when it comes to spokespersons and in terms of leadership in the coordinations... … our participation in the Berta Cáceres School provides us with concrete tools and much-needed collective analysis, where we envision organizing feminist training initiatives from my organization and in allied spaces, where we began to talk with the comrades about the need to make meetings of rural women so that, through collective experience, the dialogue of knowledge and our experiences, we will strengthen and get feedback to find solutions to advance the struggle of Popular Rural Peasant Feminism and the end of patriarchy/colonialism.” Estelí Capote Maldonado defines herself as a Feminist under construction who, along with her organization Frente Socialista Movimiento 20.9 are part of the allied formation Alba Movimientos. She shares: “Feminist struggles in Puerto Rico have a long history and trajectory. They are born from the Taino, Arauca and Caribbean peoples who inhabited this archipelago. For us Puerto Ricans, participating in the Feminist school means sharing experiences of struggle, those won and lost, because we learn from them all. In addition, it represents an affirmation of our Latin American and Caribbean identity, our North Star is the SOUTH. We are part of Our América because we belong naturally and by ideological conviction. We hope to obtain from this workshop official relations with all the compas from participating countries and organizations to develop common and formal structures of communication and mutual support. ¡Long live the sisterhood among the women of the world! ¡Long live Our FEMINIST America!”
Cuba: Permanent dialogue between theory and practice.
This Caribbean island participates with compañeras of three organizations that are part of the World March of Women on the island, the Magazine Muchachas, the research group Galfisa (Grupo América Latina, filosofía social y axiología) and the Red Feminista Berta Cáceres. Muchachas Magazine, as Lirians Gordillo Piña points out, “has a commitment to a socialist and intersectional feminist perspective and that commitment does not remain only in journalistic work; it goes first through our deconstruction as women and political subjects and it also goes through the conception of the work we want to do. Cuban adolescents and youth are our target audience, that's why, along with journalistic work and presence on social media, we also have in-person and online workshops, because we are aware of the importance of direct dialogue and horizontal communication as drivers of transformation.” Lirians is part of the Muchachas editorial team and for her the Berta Cáceres Feminist School “provides a broad and relational view of systems of oppression; it has brought us to dialogue, offers creative resources, work dynamics, ways of doing that for us are very useful.” Another delegate is Gabriela Orihuela, a young journalist graduated in 2021 whose work focuses on creating writing that presents an intersectional approach; in studying issues related to black feminisms, violence, patriarchy and society in general. She is currently part of the Muchachas team from where, according to her words, she carries out an active militancy within feminism. Mirell Pérez González, researcher and feminist with Galfisa is part of Red Feminista Berta Cáceres, a meeting place to vindicate the struggles of Cuban, Latin American and Caribbean women, for the sustainability of human and natural life. Mirell shares with us some ideas and feelings born from her participation in the School: “In these times we have had to be creative and join the virtual realm with attractive, didactic proposals, to reinvent our training, accompaniment and participation methodologies. For this challenge that places us in the position of making a committed feminist digital, responsible and collective activism, the Regional Feminist School Berta Cáceres is an experiential and practical capacity building tool… The school has managed to position the history of women's resistance, the permanent dialogue that must exist between theory and practice. It does not present us final or unique truths, it is precisely in the debate where we build and go deeper. Our daily practices give meaning to our struggle. It is these practices that weave our historical and collective memory, that give an account of the path traveled, of the transformation processes of which we are part and the challenges that persist in our journey. On the other hand, I think these are times of feeling accompanied and increasingly united.”
Martinique: Struggles that summon
Rose Bonheur participates for Martinique, from the feminist association Culture Egalité. Rose is an active labor unionist since her youth and throughout her life she has been a part of feminist associations. Culture Egalité is 10 years old and currently has about sixty members, Rose shares that Egalité, “year after year, has gained strength, conviction for all the struggles it leads: defending women's rights and training in schools and companies. For a long time, Culture Egalité has had a firm commitment to ecofeminism. In Martinique the lands are poisoned by Chlordecone -a pesticide used for more than 20 years- we focus our struggles on the recognition of the effects of this product on the health of Martinicans and its reparation.” Rose joined the Berta Cáceres feminist school with the intention of meeting other women and their struggles in the Caribbean and the Americas, and shares: “But I learned more than that and the exchanges show how we are all engaged in the same struggles, even if the strategies of resistance or political organization in our countries are very different. The earth, our earth, weakened, exploited, requires that our cries, our struggles be unanimous, and it is this solidarity that I would like to build with all of you. Another struggle we must lead and collaborate to be heard by the leaders of our countries... is the reception of migrants. The humiliation and administrative violence suffered, for example, by brothers and sisters from Haiti who take refuge in Martinique, is inconceivable and their asylum applications are systematically denied.”