Peasant Agroecology for Food Sovereignty and Mother Earth: Voices from the Via Campesina Movement

May 2, 2016
7:00 pmto8:30 pm

Lawrence 115
1190 Franklin Blvd.
UO campus


2016-Speaking-Tour-768x576La Via Campesina is an international social movement made up of peasants, agricultural workers, women farmers, fishermen and women, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, and migrants around the world. This movement coined the term food sovereignty, or the right of all peoples to define their own local, culturally appropriate food systems. Agroecology, a form of low-input, politicized, context-specific sustainable agriculture, is seen as a key pillar to constructing food sovereignty.

Presenters Marlen Sánchez and Nils McCune (both of the Nicaraguan Via Campesina organization, the Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo) will highlight the work of Via Campesina to construct the Instituto Agroecológico Latinoamericano (IALA) Mesoamérica, or the Latin American Institute of Agroecology of Mesoamerica in Santo Tomás, Nicaragua. While IALAs exist in other parts of Latin America, this would be the first regional, agroecology peasant university of its kind for Central America. Sánchez and McCune will also talk about how agroecology can be used as a tool to fight climate change, to create gender equity, resist neoliberal capitalism, and facilitate re-peasantization.

Via Campesina delegates bios:

Marlen Sánchez has been the National Coordinator of Agroecology for the Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo (ATC, one of the founding members of La Via Campesina) since 2013. She has also been a member of the ATC for 11 years. She was one of the first graduates of IALA Paulo Freire, located in Venezuela, and is currently the director for implementation of IALA Mesoamerica in Santo Tomás, Chontales, Nicaragua and coordinates the leadership formación for the Central American region of La Via Campesina.

Nils McCune is a student and researcher in agroecology, as well as a technical team staff member with the ATC. He represented the ATC at the International Forum for Agroecology in Mali in 2015. He is a regular translator at Via Campesina international meetings, including the International Conference of Agrarian Reform in Brazil in April of this year. He is also the liaison to Friends of the ATC, the sister solidarity organization of the ATC.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latino/a & Latin American Studies and the Student Sustainability Fund of the UO Student Sustainability Center. It is part of a 2-week West Coast speaking tour (for more info, visit

For more information, please email or call 541.346.5286.

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