We must answer their call. Our Mother Earth, militarized, fenced-in, poisoned, a place where basic rights are systematically violated, demands that we take action. Let us build societies that are able to coexist in a dignified way, in a way that protects life. Let us come together and remain hopeful as we defend and care for the blood of this Earth and of its spirits. —Berta Cáceres in her Goldman Environmental Prize acceptance speech
Berta Cáceres, Honduran indigenous and environmental organizer, was assassinated in her home in Honduras on March 3, 2016. One of the leading organizers for indigenous land rights in Central America, she co-founded the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH).
Learn about Cáceres’ work and philosophy from this Democracy Now! segment and from a tribute by Beverly Bell and a 2020 interview with Laura Zúñiga Cáceres, Honduran activist and daughter of Berta Cáceres.
Cáceres was murdered in an attempt to silence the fight for environmental justice and land rights in Central America.
These struggles are already silenced in the textbooks where little reference is made to climate change or Central American history. Teachers can break that silence. This is why the Zinn Education Project provides resources for teaching outside the textbook. Check out the lessons and articles on climate justice in the teaching guide A People’s Curriculum for the Earth. There is a collection of lessons, books, and films on Honduras and other Central American countries online at Teaching About Central America.
Our thanks to Erin Currier for generously allowing us to feature her portrait (36″x 24″ mixed media collage and acrylic) of Berta Cáceres.