UPDATE: As of Monday, August 4th, The Reality Fund is officially closed. Soon we will be publishing more information on the total amount of money raised, our upcoming trip to La Realidad to turn the funds over to the Zapatistas, and next steps for rebuilding the school and health clinic in La Realidad. Stay tuned to our blog for the latest news!
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Schools for Chiapas has established a special fund dedicated to rebuilding the school and health clinic in La Realidad. We call it “The Reality Fund”.
Why is this reconstruction project so important?
On the evening of May 2, 2014, paramilitaries carried out a targeted assignation of a Zapatista teacher called Galeano as he rushed to defend the school and health clinic in the tiny Chiapas town of La Realidad. Fifteen other Zapatistas were seriously injured and both buildings destroyed.
It was a bloody and horrific night; and it was symbolic because La Realidad is well known as a Zapatista center, because the teacher Galeano was a respected public Zapatista leader, and finally because for twenty year the Zapatistas have peacefully focused on building schools and health centers throughout Chiapas. Many observers anticipated a round of escalating violence in response to this latest deadly provocation.
Yet rather than seeking revenge through retaliation, the Zapatistas launched a non-violent, nationwide and international campaign seeking justice for Galeano and peace in Chiapas. Tens of thousands of people of conscience from around the world responded to the call; Mayan communities from throughout Chiapas sent thousands of representatives to a memorial service in La Realidad, and finally the Zapatistas decided to sacrifice the figure of their famous Sub Commander Marcos to keep the memory of the fallen teacher Galeano alive.
Almost before the cries of “Long Live Galeano” stopped echoed from the Lacandon Rainforest to Mexican consulates in major cities everywhere, the new Zapatista spokesperson, Sub Commander Moises, announced an international campaign to raise funds to purchase building supplies to reconstruct the destroyed school and health clinic. The new building will be a two story concrete block structure with the school on the bottom and the health clinic above. This structure will be functional rather than ostentatious; it has been designed by community members.
And why do we call it “The Reality Fund”?
In direct response to the Zapatista request for help buying building materials, Schools for Chiapas established “The Reality Fund”. We have pledged that all funds donated to “The Reality Fund” will be given directly the Good Government Board in the Zapatista caracol of La Realidad – which translates as “Reality”. We also call liked the name “Reality” because organizing support for the school reconstruction allowed us to channel our outrage and sadness over the death of Galeano into something real.
Perhaps you’ve donated in the past to support Zapatista education; or perhaps you’ve just discovered Schools for Chiapas. Some of you may have considered donating and just never gotten around to it or you may not have had the funds help out in the past. Maybe the murder of the teacher Galeano touched you as it did so many.
No matter what, we urge everyone who reads this blog to give what they can to support this worthy cause by donating today! We also rely on you to use our most powerful form of grassroots outreach to support The Reality Fund – words from you own mouth and from your own pen. Together we will help rebuild both the school and health clinic in La Realidad.
Please click here to donate TODAY! And please urge your friends and family to donate.