Guatemala Initiative


Misty Hills outside of Xela (Quetzaltenango) – available for sale as print, or photo card

My road to loving Guatemala has been a long, but purposeful one. Read more about my personal story HERE.

In order to pursue my life mission of using my talents to make lasting change in this world, I have developed The Guatemala Initiative. It is a collection of artwork – photographs, hand-made note cards, multimedia pieces – related to Guatemala.

All proceeds from the sale of my art goes to support the following organizations doing essential human rights work in Guatemala. Please see the bottom of the page for products, prices, and an order form!

Nuevo Amanecer
All proceeds from Guatemala art support Nuevo Amanecer’s community projects, specifically the anniversary celebration, memorial chapel exhibit, and visitor educational and reconciliation program, along with other historical memory projects.

My current connection and work with Guatemala is through my dissertation research with the community Nuevo Amanecer in the western part of the country, about 40 minutes from the Mexican border. They are an amazing community of former refugees who escaped the state violence which included massive human rights violations, and acts of genocide perpetrated by the military which was supported (materially and financially) by the United States. They ran from the military to find refuge in Mexico in the early 1980s, during the worst of the violence. After the signing of the peace accords, they returned in 1998 to found the town of Nuevo Amanecer, and establish their own democratic self-governance structure, build a school, their houses, a road, church, and health clinic, along with community projects such as a tortilla shop, carpentry, and bee keeping.

Currently, I am studying the way that community members remember the history of the conflict, and how they celebrate, survive, and build a new future. I am currently doing a collaborative project and supporting the work of many community projects.

I also collaborate on projects with the Seattle-based non-profit organization New Dawn Guatemala. The non-profit mainly runs a scholarship program for the young people of Nuevo Amanecer to go to secondary and post-secondary (technical training) schools. New Dawn is an entirely volunteer-run organization, you can donate directly to New Dawn here.

Currently, all of my Guatemala-related art goes to support Nuevo Amanecer’s community projects, by raising funds, and raising awareness about their work.

The Human Rights Defenders Project
This new organization works directly in Guatemala to support the projects and work of human rights defenders who fight for indigenous rights, land rights, water rights, women’s rights, and justice efforts in the country. This organization is deeply committed to grass-roots advocacy and accompaniment, directed by those on the front lines fighting for justice.
More information can be found here.

Guatemala Human Rights Commission-USA

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Lake Atitlan – available as a print or photo card

I became involved with GHRC as a delegate on the 2008 human rights monitoring trip to Guatemala to investigate attacks and threats against human rights defenders. I returned to Guatemala with GHRC as an intern and co-leader of the 2009 delegation investigating women’s rights. I also served on the board of directors from 2012-2016, and the vice-president from 2014-2016. 

GHRC is the only non-governmental institution in Washington, D.C. doing human rights and grass-roots policy work that also has an office in Guatemala. Since the mid-1980s, founded by Sister Alice Zachmann, it has been one of the leading solidarity and advocacy organizations pushing for more human rights friendly U.S. foreign policy, providing important on-the-ground updates to the U.S. government and concerned people living in the U.S.

My past Guatemala artwork supported GHRC, which is entirely funded by individual donors, allowing for maximum impact, and grass-roots guided advocacy.

You can find more information about GHRC here, and you can donate directly
to GHRC here.

Order My Guatemala Art
I sell packs of photo note cards, photo prints, calendars, and can do custom multi-media art projects with my several photo collections. I donate all proceeds to organizations listed above.

  • Nuevo Amanecer  – scenes of life around town, photos taken Summer 2017
  • General Guatemala – landscapes, crafts/art, celebrations and colorful scenes from around Guatemala, photos taken Summer 2008, Summer 2009, & Summer 2017

Photo Card Sets are an assortment of photos, mounted on black card stock, with blank white space for writing inside. Envelopes included, and images (obviously) without signature text.


set of Nuevo Amanecer card

– 4 pack: $9.50
– 6 pack: $12
– 8 pack: $13
– 10 pack: $15
– other: ask!

Prints: $30 and up – a variety of options, let’s talk.
Calendar: $15-$20 and up – hand-made/drawn or printed

Please let me know what you would like, and what is on your mind!



11 responses to “Guatemala Initiative

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  8. My sister was just in Guatemala, and she too, found the juxtaposition of beautiful scenery and social injustice to be rather haunting. That’s so great that you’ve found a way to use your talents to support such an important mission. You’re a true inspiration!

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