PROGRAM DETAILS

WHO WE ARE

The program includes encounters with historians, educators, labour, women, political, religious, and grassroots leaders as well as exiles from Central America. The personal stories from people who live in urban squatter settlements, orphanages, and rural indigenous villages are intermingled with an ample amount of group reflection time to process new insights.

We use Facilitators from a team of experienced people who may still live in Latin America, or are 'back up North' and who come down to help with the group. All have trusted relationships with the people we visit and are fluent in Spanish and English.

QUEST for Justice Internacional (QUEST) is a federally registered nonprofit Canadian organization, financially accountable to a volunteer Board.

WHERE WE ARE

The majority of our groups come to Cuernavaca, a cosmopolitan city of over a million people, about 80 km. south of Mexico City. We rent or lease a variety of locations in Cuernavaca, depending on group needs. All are in secure and quiet communities within easy walking distance to shopping, parks and other resources.

In each location, the grounds are spacious and clean, with ample area for group meetings, exercise and reflection. Bedrooms may be single or shared, with attached full bathrooms. Each group has their own dedicated meeting room.

There is either high speed Internet access on the grounds, or close by in an Internet cafe. All locations have purified water. The locations also include a lounge area, and a 24 hour refreshment area. Everything about the buildings is newly updated, and the sites are very welcoming and modest. Depending on the kind of program, we have additional locations in Mexico City, and Chiapas.

HOW WE DO THIS

We offer tailor-made events from 5 days to 4 months, although we recommend 15 days.

Depending on your area of interest, we arrange direct encounters with people with whom we have a trusting relationship. As much as possible we arrange these encounters through community cooperatives. We pay these organizations, thereby empowering their members and enabling community development. We do not 'put people on display'. We have worked hard to form just and equal relationships with all our partners.

People you will meet are social justice activists; educators; refugees; those who have experienced poverty, racism, sexism and oppression; student, labour and community leaders; and community workers. Partnerships with other like-minded organizations in Mexico have been created to ensure we work together for social justice.

Safety for participants as well as respect for the people we visit are our primary concerns.

We strive to achieve a balance between content; group processing; and free time. You will meet people at the Centre to hear their stories; we will visit people in their homes and places of work or worship; and we will travel to rural centres, archaeological sites, and other distant locations. Our skilled facilitators provide the translation.

To enter into a personal relationship with those who are different or on the fringe of society, enables us to look more critically at our own culture and values.

In a QUEST group participants are challenged emotionally, intellectually, and physically. We can't promise that all your questions will be answered, but we do promise it will be an adventure in learning.

WHO SHOULD COME

We invite secondary school, college and university students and faculty; faith groups; and anyone else concerned with human rights, social justice, human or environmental exploitation to join us.

AND WHAT ABOUT AFTER

We believe each of us has our own quest. Although we cannot predict where yours will lead, we help participants to find a 'space' for continued involvement. For some it will be supporting relief and development organizations, service clubs, etc. We can tell you about some who do outstanding work, and 100% of money donated goes directly to people and projects in need.

The quest for others might be a different perspective about their own life and community. The most commonly used phrase after a QUEST event, is that it is "life changing".

We recognize that the journey has no end. We are continually putting together new advanced encounters for our graduates.

THE ARRANGEMENTS

Early registration is encouraged to ensure your choice of dates. Groups are asked to save their spots with a non-refundable deposit. In addition to your travel costs from your location to and from Mexico City, we charge $55US per day per person, which includes any part days at the start and end of the trip. We recommend a 10 - 15 day schedule and would be happy to work with you, through email, to firm up all details.

All meals are included, as well as picnic lunches when we are at a distance. The only things not included in the above cost are "social and souvenir" costs.

HOW DO WE GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU

We would be delighted to answer any questions you may have about any aspect of the center. We believe that transparency is critical to the ongoing health of an organization and welcome your feedback at any level. Please do keep in touch with us directly.

You can contact us or get additional information at:
QUEST Internacional
RR 1, #409, County Rd 3
Belleville, Ontario, Canada, K8N 4Z1
Email:gwarren@loyalistc.on.ca
Our web site is: www.quest-int.org

If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

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