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Zapatistas Launch Campaign Against Genetically Engineered Corn

AScribe Newswire
April 28, 2004 Wednesday

Zapatista Mayan Rebels in Chiapas, Mexico, Donate GMO-Free
Seed for Sanctuary Planting in Home Gardens; International
Education Delegation to Help Carry Out 1,111 Tests for GMO
Infections During Summer of 2004; Zapatistas Send GMO-Free
Corn Seed Worldwide

OVENTIC, Chiapas, Mexico April 28 [AScribe Newswire] -- A visible sigh of
relief flowed through the crowd of tense Chol and Tzeltal men and women when
the tiny test strip indicating genetic contamination once again indicated
the corn sample was pure. "We are happy that our corn is still natural,"
explained one young woman after the first six samples were tested. "There is
still much that we need to learn about these genetic modifications, but we
do not want what the big corporations are sending because we want our food
to be pure and our corn to be natural."

Several varieties of corn seed from communities in the north of Chiapas and
from the highlands of Chiapas are currently being germinated in order to
carry out additional genetic testing for GMO contamination. More than
twenty varieties have been sent around the world "looking for friends" in
hopes that supporters will plant and consume this important Mayan cultural
heritage.

"To make this map of where there is contamination in our corn will require
many tests in all parts of Chiapas," patiently explained the municipal
leader speaking in Chol to several farmers who had just arrived with their
corn samples. "These tests cost a lot, but they tell if our corn is sick
from the greed of the corporations. We need the map to plan our resistance
to the GMO's so it is important that we make the effort to have the tests
done."

Donations Sought

The current estimate is that each test will cost about $6. Therefore with a
goal of 1,111 tests before Jan. 1, 2005, small and large donations are
urgently needed to purchase tests and to provide transportation for the
indigenous, agricultural teachers who will drive and hike throughout the
mountains, jungles, and valleys of Chiapas testing this year's crop of corn.
Please consider purchasing several tests [$5 each], GPS units [$99 each],
and combi rides [$2.25 each] to support the indigenous, Mayan peoples of
Chiapas efforts to study and resist GMO contamination.

HOW TO DONATE

Donations to the program may be made by check, cash, or credit card made out
to: Schools for Chiapas, 1717 Kettner Blvd., Suite 110, San Diego, CA 92101.
Please write "Corn Education" on your check memo or in an accompanying note.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information, contact Peter Brown, 619-232-2841, fax 619-232-0500,
schoolsforchiapas@schoolsforchiapas.org .

PHOTOS:

http://groups.msn.com/SchoolsforChiapasSpring2004/motherseedsinresistance.ms
nw

VOLUNTEER AND TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE

Mayan corn seed is available for sanctuary planting -- and it's free!

Sow the seeds of resistance and join the growing movement against transgenic
contamination of Mayan corn. You can be a part of preserving a genetic
heritage that has evolved over thousands of years by planting these powerful
seeds in your community, farm, home, school, or family garden. Have a
sanctuary corn party when you harvest and invite all of your friends and
family to eat great corn while celebrating the Zapatista movement!

These seeds have been donated by Zapatista farmers who hope that people of
conscience around the world will provide respectful sanctuary for this
living part of their cultural heritage. Each package contains approximately
200 seeds and growers should indicate if you want white, yellow, purple, or
mixed color [all varieties are dent corn]. Also note if you want seed
adapted to hot or cool climates and if you have the technical ability to
maintain a genetically pure seed line that could be used to replace seed in
Chiapas [this is not a requirement to join the Mayan Corn Sanctuary
Movement. Donations accepted to cover postage and handling expenses.

Photos available:

http://groups.msn.com/SchoolsforChiapasSpring2004/motherseedsinresistance.ms
nw

TRAVEL TO CHIAPAS, MEXICO PLANNED FOR SUMMER OF 2004

The Zapatista Education Delegation and Tour is planned for Summer 2004, from
Sunday, July 25 to Saturday, August 7, 2004. Participants in the travel
program may choose to work in the Seed Sanctuary Program.

What to expect in the Zapatista Education Delegation and Tour:

Live and learn in the misty mountains and steamy jungles of the Mexican
southeast hosted by the autonomous, indigenous authorities of the Zapatista
movement. At the center of this delegation will be multiple opportunities
to speak directly with Tzotzil activists who work in base level
organizations of the Zapatista movement. These activists will include
educators, health workers, women's leaders, agricultural specialists,
artists, and other community leaders. Our indigenous Zapatista hosts
request that all delegation members work within collectives during food
preparation [sometimes on open fires], construction projects, cultural
presentations, and travel. Housing is usually in a Mayan school building
with a tin roof and concrete or dirt floors. Therefore pads or hammocks and
sleeping bags are required of all participants.

Trips to ancient Mayan cities to be arranged along with special interest
meetings as desired by participants. No special language skills required as
translations are provided throughout the tour; however Spanish and Tzotzil
langauge study is available before and after the delegation.

Several delegation photos also available at:
http://groups.msn.com/SchoolsforChiapasSpring2004/pictures as well as our
main web site of www.schoolsforchiapas.org

Applications for travel to Chiapas are also available on-line
www.schoolsforchiapas.org .

---

TO CONTACT SCHOOLS FOR CHIAPAS IN PERSON:

Mexican office:

Schools for Chiapas/Chanob Junetic ta Chiapas/Escuelas para Chiapas

Calle Emiliano Zapata 1994

El Caracol de Oventik de Zapatistas/Tzotziles y Tzeltales

RESISTENCIA Y REBELDIA POR LA HUMANDAD/TA TZIKEL VOCOL IL XCHIU JTOYBAIL TIC
SVENTA SLEKIL AL SJUNUL BALUMIL

San Andres Sacamch'en de los Pobres, Highlands of Chiapas

Mexico -- Planeta Tierra

-------------------------

USA office:

Schools for Chiapas/Chanob Junetik ta Chiapas/Escuelas para Chiapas

Chiapas Schools Construction Teams - San Diegans for Peace in Mexico

1717 Kettner Blvd., Suite 101

San Diego, CA 92101

USA -- Planet Earth

Tel: 619-232-2841

Fax: 619-232-0500

On the Web: www.schoolsforchiapas.org

Donations and pledges to the autonomous Maya schools are vital! We can
accept tax-exempt monthly pledges or one-time donations via visa or master
card, checks, or international money orders. Join us for the children!

For additional information contact Peter Brown, 619-232-2841, fax
619-232-0500, schoolsforchiapas@schoolsforchiapas.org .

CONTACT:
Peter Brown, 619-232-2841, fax 619-232-0500,
schoolsforchiapas@schoolsforchiapas.org