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The LAWG History Project

Hay Camino: The Contributions of the

Latin American Working Group

To Canada-Latin American Solidarity (1965-1997)

“Wanderer, there is no road. The road is made by walking.”

-Antonio Machado

The LAWG Hay Camino History Project

By documenting and preserving the rich history and legacy of the Latin American Working Group (LAWG), the Hay Camino History Project hopes to create a useful new set of resources to assist those today struggling for social justice and for a stronger, democratic, civil society in Canada and Latin America.

Hay Camino was a project to document the history and contributions of LAWG which, for more than 30 years carried out solidarity related to Canada and Latin America. The aim of the project is to provide a lens through which to explore the lessons learned from this creative and innovative period of social justice and solidarity work.

The Project was begun in April of 2014. An Advisory Committee was formed to oversee the project comprised of individuals who had been active in LAWG. The project team met monthly via skype and carried out correspondence and conversations with a broad network of former members and colleagues. A part time coordinator was hired to help coordinate the project, including the carrying out of interviews with people in Toronto, Ottawa, Fredericton and Saskatoon. As well as gathering primary information, and hosting gatherings to bring individuals together, the project has focused efforts on organizing and archiving its vast collection of papers, publications and documents. LAWG’s organizational documents and papers, corporate research and country file materials, and its library of Latin American and other publications, are housed at York University in Toronto.  The Project completed its active phase at the end of 2018.

We are grateful to the many who contributed to the success of this effort in preserving LAWG's history.  Along with some seed funds remaining from LAWG's operations, the  United Church of Canada, the Ursuline Religious of the Diocese of London, Ontario, the Carrot Common Social Justice Fund in Toronto, as well as numerous individual donations from former LAWG members and contributions made in memory of Sheila Katz funded the costs of this project over its four years.  Jenny Cafiso, a former LAWG member and currently Director of Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) provided financial administrative support. 

The members of the LAWG History Advisory Team donated many hours in conducting interviews, guiding the project, writing and presenting pieces of LAWG's history at events and conferences, writing reports, creating this website to make the findings accessible and bringing this phase of the project to its completion.  They were  Bob Carty, Sheila Katz, John W. Foster, Suzanne Dudziak, Betsy Anderson, Louise Casselman, and Janice Acton, as our initial part-time coordinator.  Following the death of Bob Carty in 2014 and Sheila Katz in 2016, our team was joined by Chris Rosene. 

Thank you to all those former LAWG members and others who agreed to be interviewed and who attended the larger gatherings which helped guide the project and provided analysis and interpretation of the findings.  Thank you to Glenn Sevillo for his assistance in creating the website. 

Caese Levo, formerly LAWG's Librarian, has been stalwart over more than 20 years in preserving LAWG's Library and Resource Centre through collaboration with  Professor Liisa North and CERLAC (Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean) at York University. Caese has been an essential collaborator in this project, thank you.  York University houses  LAWG's organizational files in their Archives.  The transcripts of the oral history interviews and the files created through the LAWG History Project will also be deposited there. Caese has continued to volunteer many hours working on the materials housed at CERLAC, maintaining relationships with the university structures and guiding researchers and others in accessing the collection. Thanks are also due to Margrit Gahlinger, a former LAWG member, who also volunteered significant hours working on the collection at York University.  

The Collection was recognized and celebrated at a special event organized and hosted by the University on February 16, 2017.  We are so grateful for the partnership of York University in facilitating the on-going availability of these materials.

Don Cockburn, Alison Acker and Huberto Ungo

An early LAWG Publication

LAWG Library and Resource Centre on Harbord St. 

The LAWG Solidarity Story

Compiled by Janice Acton and Betsy Anderson, October 17, 2017


Final Report: “Si Hay Camino” LAWG History Project

December 2018

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