Dispatch #3: Young Worker’s Tour 2011
In the face of adversity, courage can take many forms. We have seen so much bravery over the last few days… It’s humbling and inspiring. On Saturday, we met with Tirza and Guillermo, two lawyers from the Association of Judges for Democracy. Appointed as Supreme Court Judges nearly a decade ago, they both lost their jobs as a direct result of criticizing the Supreme Court’s role in supporting the military coup. Not only did they lose their incomes, they lost their reputations, and have struggled to find enough work as lawyers to make ends meet. But in the face of continuing persecution, they have continued their work trying to create stable, well-governed institutions within the Honduran judiciary.
Later that day, the personal stories of maquila workers from CODEMUH poured out, and we listened as they went from tearful explanations of illnesses and outrages to expressions of strength. They are so brave to confront their employers, and they are so brave to tell us their intensely personal stories. Their lives are a constant struggle, and they have to muster enormous amounts of strength just to get through each day.
Today we were given a measured and organized presentation on the situation in Honduras by the workers of the Honduras Accompaniment Project. But the calm of their presentation belied the danger of their work – every day they set out to stand with Honduran human rights workers in whatever way they can. It may be to stand with them physically in times of danger, or it may be just a consultation on a human rights matter. They are no doubt inspired by the courage of the Hondurans they accompany, but their personal bravery was an inspiration to us.
We can all take a measure of this courage back with us, to light the way in our own struggles.