In choosing the two words in our name PUEBLO PARTISANS, we give expression to our beliefs. We believe, in the first instance, that we have an obligation to make explicit our beliefs. Relationships between communities and PUEBLO PARTISANS, in our view, are conditional on the distinctive experiences and value systems of the parties involved. Where experiences and value systems are articulated, informed contractual relationships between communities and PUEBLO PARTISANS can be achieved.
The Spanish word PUEBLO can be translated into English in several ways including "town" or "a constituent mass of people". Our other word, PARTISANS, means to us, a group of people who make no claims of neutrality or objectivity, rather the group actively champions an idealistic point of view. PARTISANS have a collective stake in the outcome of their activities; they do not view themselves as helpers. PARTISANS work in solidarity with one another and frequently with those who are unable to participate actively.
PUEBLO PARTISANS believes that we live increasingly in a world in which most people are struggling not only for their physical survival but the survival of their identity. We do not see solutions to be those of streamlining mega-systems. Instead, we believe in facilitating culturally relevant local responses. Technologies in the form of knowledge and tools cannot be simply transferred across time and space. Technology must be consciously adapted by its users.
Finally, PUEBLO PARTISANS believes in long-standing relationships between communities and itself. Community survival (community ecology) depends upon an endless stream of adaptations to changing situational circumstances. Our presence in a community inevitably "changes the landscape" and we become a part of the ecology. Accordingly, we have chosen a "non-parachutist" intervention mode which we call community accompaniment.
About PUEBLO PARTISANS SOCIETY
The project allows for the capital-poor community of Tanhoc to earn land title for their agricultural co-operative through verifiable enhancement of residents’ level of education. Previous efforts to obtain land title through a government loan program failed, as the community was unable to make payments.
Pueblo Partisans provides an education credit for each community member that successfully completes a grade level at a recognized institution or successfully completes a course in a self-defined program of workshops. Recent workshops have included community planning, animal husbandry (pigs), and environmental restoration. Education credits, in turn, are applied to the annual installment of a concessional Guatemalan Land Fund (FONTIERRAS) loan. Credits are weighted to favour female achievements in education, to offset the unique obstacles women typically encounter. By way of this project, Tanhoc residents should be able to obtain clear land title by 2012 while improving their skills