CIPO-VAN is a Vancouver-based activist organization committed to the creation of community and transnational networks. Its primary focus is the dissemination of information and perspectives on autonomous community organizations and the strengthening of public awareness and civil society through public events and alternative media. Particular attention is paid to aboriginal cultural rights, sustainable community living, and resolutions to cultural and economic discrimination. Members include students, professionals, Canadians, Mexican and internationals of different cultures. CIPO-VAN is guided and inspired by many aspects of indigenous Mexican culture including food, fiesta and communal participation.
Building Community: aka get involved!
When someone asks how can they help out in our activities, we always ask back “what do you love doing?”. CIPO-VAN is a space for people to explore their craziest ideas (after all, our tactics include Mexican wrestling and handing out flowers to the Major of Vancouver!) and to find other people who are also conjuring up events and campaigns in support not just of Oaxaca, but of our local communities.
There are countless ways in which you can be part of this exercise of building dreams; it’s not necessary to shift our daily routines drastically in order to participate, there is always space for those who bring a few grains of sand and for those who are ready to throw down bucketloads!
Bridging language and cultural gaps
We are currently re-framing our need to work on translating materials from Spanish-English and the other way around. Our first target is to build a solid reference database of Ricardo Flores Magon’s writings in English, and we need LOTS of help with that. We are also looking into making materials available in Spanish about struggles happening in Canada and the U.S. so that people in communities throughout Oaxaca and Mexico in general can have easier access to current information of different struggles.
Organize, organize, organize!
One of the key activities we engage in is to organize and participate at events where we raise funds and support for CIPO-RFM and other struggles. This usually means concrete things like helping us make traditional Mexican food, pasting posters around town and spreading the word online, making props and materials for the events, etc.
Contact us if you have an itch to learn more, or if you have other projects in mind, maybe we can work on them together!