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Compa eras is the untold story of women's involvement in the Zapatista movement, the indigenous rebellion that has inspired grassroots activists around the world for over two decades. Gathered here are the stories of grandmothers, mothers, and daughters who became guerilla insurgents and political leaders, educators and healers--who worked collectively to construct a new society of dignity and justice. Compa eras shows us how, after centuries of oppression, a few voices of dissent became a force of thousands, how a woman once confined to her kitchen rose to conduct peace negotiations with the Mexican government, and how hundreds of women overcame ingrained hardships to strengthen their communities from within.
About the Author
HILARY KLEIN lived in Chiapas, Mexico, for several years, where she worked on projects in Zapatista communities. After she edited a book of Zapatista women's testimonies to be circulated within their own villages, women within the movement suggested that Klein compile a similar book for an outside audience. Compañeras: Zapatista Women's Stories was the result. Klein, a D.C. native, has been engaged in social justice work and community organizing for twenty years. She currently works at Make the Road New York, a membership-based organization that allies with immigrant and working-class communities to help them achieve dignity and justice.
“Compañeras is an essential book for us to understand and learn from the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, and no one is more qualified to write that book than Hilary Klein. This is the first book on the Maya women’s leadership and participation, which has formed this uniquely powerful and persistent movement.”—Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Professor Emerita of Ethnic Studies California State University, East Bay; and author of Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie
“Compañeras responds to the need for more in-depth writing about women in the Zapatista movement. . . . Hilary’s years of commitment, depth of relationship with Zapatista women, and history of writing about Chiapas make her the ideal person to write this book.”—Peter Rosset, author of Food Is Different: Why the WTO Should Get out of Agriculture
“Hilary Klein is one of the very few people with a grasp of Zapatista history and culture, the compassion to be able to hear and reflect women’s histories, and the sensitivity to guide outsiders through the politics and struggle of one of the world’s most important social movements. . . . This is a book that should be on every activist’s reading list, and in every social studies class, too.”—Raj Patel, author of The Value of Nothing and Stuffed and Starved
“Till now, there has been no serious, in-depth work based on first-hand information that explores the extremely rich experience of the women of the EZLN, and how much they have achieved in the construction of indigenous autonomy and in their personal self-determination. I am very familiar with the work that Hilary Klein carried out with Zapatista women for a number of years. Her experience and capacity guarantees the high quality of her book Compañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories.”—Dr. Mercedes Olivera Bustamante, Centro de Estudios Superiores de México y C.A., Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas