Guatemalan civil rights activists featured in double lecture

Oct 11, 2013

North Central College hosts two speakers in a free lecture, titled “Poverty, Medicine and Human Rights in Guatemala,” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, in Smith Hall at Old Main.

The speakers are Arleth Molina, a hospital administrator in Guatemala, and her husband, Carlos Molina, a professor at Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala. The husband-wife team has extensive experience working with the poor.

Many North Central College students know the Molinas. For more than a dozen years, the couple has assisted students who have traveled to Guatemala and has helped them develop an alternative trade project in that country.

Arleth has worked for decades as a hospital social worker and at an underfunded state hospital in Guatemala’s second-largest city. She has struggled to provide health care for citizens in extreme poverty while dealing with an inefficient, meddling bureaucracy. Arleth will discuss the state health care obligations in human rights declarations.

Carlos has helped create a model of revenue-producing community tourism that’s been adopted by some 30 indigenous communities in Guatemala. A recipient of numerous national recognitions, Carlos will address how, under the right circumstances and with adequate local control, tourism can improve the quality of life for impoverished communities. His lecture will focus on the need for robust community and cultural rights, as well as individual human rights related to economic opportunity.

The double lecture is part of the College’s 2013-2014 focus on human rights and poverty reduction and is cosponsored by Cultural Events, International Programs and Leadership, Ethics and Values.

In advance of the lectures, students involved with Enactus will host a Human Rights Week Tent Sale from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, on the lawn of the sociology/anthropology house at 116 S. Brainard St. Fair and direct trade products from countries such as Guatemala, Kenya, the Hopi Native American tribe and many more will be on display and available for purchase. All the products are part of NCC’s Best, the direct trade project of North Central’s Enactus.