Rosa Chávez

Guatemala City
Guatemala Program Coordinator
Rosa Chavez JASS

My name is Rosa Chávez, I am a Mayan K’iche’ Kaqchiquel women, poet, artist and educator. For me, naming this identity is and important way of recognizing my ancestors, my past, but also my present. I have published five poetry books and I am part of the editorial committee of the feminist newspaper La Cuerda.

I migrated from my community to study legal and social sciences, degree which I didn’t complete, but instead I found literature and artistic manifestations, and did theater, community cultural management studies in the Escuela Superior de Arte (College of Art), filmmaking and audiovisual production in Casa Comal Central American Film School, and won a scholarship from the Sami Film Institute in Norway. I was part of Caja Lúdica during its first seven years, a group of young people that, for the first post-war years in Guatemala, used art and ludic methods for social transformation of neighborhoods, communities and peoples through training, political activism, community art and occupation of public spaces. The search for reconstituting my identity, language, spirituality and contribution to my peoples’ claims, took me back to communities to learn with elderly people and to work with organizations from the Mayan movement, with women, children and mixed groups, where I have contributed to collective building of methodologies from art and Mayan spirituality for training, healing and decolonization.

I have combined my collective and organizational work in different urban and community spaces, and I have struggled to carry out my proposals as a poet and artist in a structurally racist and excluding country. On the way I have always found a network of women that been fundamental for my survival. In recent years I have called myself a feminist, and it is a struggle that strengthens and drives me to continue re-signifying, generating knowledge and healing. I am currently a member of the JASS Mesoamerica team and I focus my energy and experiences working with women, communities and movements that defend land, bodies, territories. Next to my colleagues I learn, unlearn, question and fight for a different life.

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