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Peace and Community Accompaniment Coordinator - SIPAZ - México
1.00
Allowance
 
San Cristóbal de las Casas - State of Chiapas
Mexico
The members of the SIPAZ team live in San Cristóbal de las Casas, which is a tourist and multicultural city with different options for free time. The city has become a touristic place renowned for its preserved colonial architecture and presence of indigenous groups. It is 2,200 meters above sea level which would imply a cool or even cold climate. San Cristóbal de las Casas has a fairly high temperature range during the day but nighttime temperatures are cool (houses are usually without heating systems). The rainy season runs from May to October.

There are private clinics and public hospitals but the services are of a basic quality compared to Western standards. There are also five to six small universities. Schools operate on a calendar from August to June. There is cheap public transport in and out of San Cristóbal.

There are dozens of evangelical churches in the city. Most branches of Protestantism are Nazarene or Pentecostal, who have to develop a conservative expression of their faith with regard to moral parameters, conduct and personal ethics, as well as in the face of socio-political challenges and circumstances. At least one week per month will be dedicated for excursions outside of San Cristóbal. For these trips SIPAZ provides basic aspects in terms of food, accommodation and transport, to be consistent with its profile and social projection.

Challenges:
• Bicycle/long-distance walking is required.
• The use of public transport is required.
• Work hours are occasionally up to 5 p.m. or are sometimes during the night or on weekends. In all these scenarios SIPAZ will look for ways to negotiate proportional compensation times.
• In the midst of the region's tourism, there is a lot of political and social instability.
• Local churches do not accept or recognize the rights of LGTBQ+ people and, in some cases, there may be racism against people of colour or indigenous people. This is not only from churches but also in other social groups in the region.
• There are no Mennonite or Anabaptist churches in the region.
• It is possible to find xenophobia against Central Americans especially.
• Due to long and frequent travel and the sharing of meals in rural areas, there may be a risk of gastrointestinal situations that, with good habits and prevention, can be reduced and controlled.
Apr 30, 2020
Jul 13, 2020
yes
3 years
All MCC workers are expected to exhibit a commitment to: a personal Christian faith and discipleship; active participation in a Christian church or Christian community; and nonviolent peacemaking. MCC is an equal opportunity employer, committed to employment equity. MCC values diversity and invites all qualified candidates to apply.
  • Fluency is preferred in:
        -Spanish: reading, writing, understanding, speaking and exposing fluently
       -English: reading, writing, understanding, speaking and exposing fluently (preferable but not conditional)
  • Commitment to the principles of dialogue, non-violence, accompaniment, and respect for diversity
  • Previous work experience in the areas of peace, human rights and/or conflict resolution
  • Previous international work experience (preferably)
  • Availability and good physical condition for excursions where the basics are provided in terms of housing, food and transportation
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Political analysis skills
  • Written communication skills (reports, urgent actions, articles, etc.)
  • Experience working as part of a team and with diverse groups
  • Computer skills (Word, Excel, internet, webconference, social networks)
  • Ability to make decisions through consensus
  • Initiative skills
  • Openness to inter-religious and intercultural work
  • Ability and attitude of service and learning
  • Ability to be in potentially tense situations
  • Creativity and flexibility to adapt to new and changing situations - proven maturity
  • Invitations to serve with MCC are contingent on the successful outcome of criminal background check(s).
Summary:
MCC México is looking for a service worker to serve with SIPAZ and live in San Cristóbal de las Casas in the State of Chiapas, México. This person will have, in the midst of teamwork, the responsibility to accompany various processes of observation, analysis and international accompaniment to vulnerable groups and communities whose human rights have been violated or are at risk, in the south of the country.

Project and Position Synopsis:
SIPAZ – International Peace Service is an MCC long-term partner in México and has developed a very close relationship of fraternity and friendship. According to SIPAZ's website,"in 1994, after the armed uprising of the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), social and civil organizations, as well as Mexican religious leaders confirmed the need for a permanent international presence in Chiapas. This international presence must aim to help stop or curb the risks of violence exiting due to the conflict and post conflict. In this context, in 1995, international organizations with a long history of peace, human rights and active non-violence responded by creating a coalition of groups from the United States, Europe and Latin America. They shared not only multiple concerns about the situation in Chiapas, but also the hope that they could support the construction of a just and lasting peace in this state. This resulted in the SIPAZ project (International Service for Peace - https://www.sipaz.org/)." Over the past few years, the relationship between SIPAZ and MCC has been primarily through the assignment of Service Workers. SIPAZ works primarily by taking advantage of medium or long-term volunteering, which are sustained during their working or service time through international funding agencies, such as MCC. SIPAZ works by accompanying, interviewing and evaluating communities, churches, human rights violations and local initiatives for peace or against injustice in southern México, providing coverage mainly in the states of Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca. SIPAZ does not implement social or development projects, but thanks to their accompaniment, training and advice, the information they raise is good enough to update and advocate for the social situation in southern México, with many international actors who relate to SIPAZ. Based on their experience, SIPAZ has been able to implement good security protocols for their teams in order to reduce the risk associated with their work, but also to allow them to continue doing the task according to their mandate.

The SIPAZ Board of Directors is its international decision-making, planning and outreach body, made up of organizations that form the SIPAZ coalition, as well as people with experience in México and in peace rights. They meet with the team in Chiapas once a year, in order to follow up on the context and give new approaches to the organization. The team works with a fairly high level of autonomy. SIPAZ develops its work through an international team of five to six people based in San Cristóbal de las Casas, reaching main conflict zones in the southern states of México. Since 2005, its team has expanded the work to the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero, although without permanent offices there. The supervision of the team is the responsibility of the Coordinator (Director) in Chiapas, although many other decisions are taken on the ground by the teams that are deployed. Those who are linked to SIPAZ are asked not to seek or acquire another employment commitment, or formal academic studies in México or online, as this could be an obstacle to the demands of time required to work with SIPAZ. Usually, the team works from Monday to Friday, but will be asked for great flexibility due to field trips that may involve several days or weeks per month.

Supervision:
This position will be directly supervised by the director of SIPAZ in terms of work, time management and relationship management. This position will also be directly supervised by the MCC Representatives for México in order to accompany the service process, comply with MCC's human resources policies and for the management of the relationship between SIPAZ and the worker.
Fish and seafood local diet; Heavy use of peanuts in local diet; Limited contact outside local community; Far distance to emergency medical care; Long distance biking/walking required; Political instability; Security issues; Occasional overnights; Occasional evening and weekend work; Occasional long days; Work requires healthy boundaries; Large geographical scope; Complex-needs population; Externally funded program; Diverse group of stakeholders; Physically demanding work; Limited internet connectivity; Limited dietary options; Use of public transit required; Local church not supportive to LGTBQ+ persons
Responsibilities
• Develop and maintain contact with a wide spectrum of actors involved in political and social conflicts in Chiapas and surrounding states in their peaceful resolution.
• Participate in long and/or frequent trips to different indigenous and rural regions of Chiapas and surrounding states or in emergency situations. In the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero, SIPAZ offers long-term excursions three to four times a year.
• Collaborate in the creation of reports, analyses and articles on social and political conflicts, as well as promote national and international solidarity with the search for peaceful solutions.
• Provide information and analysis to the delegations and people who visit the office in Chiapas.
• Build public relations and carry out advocacy activities to influence government officials at all levels, embassies, and maintain relationships with organizations that cooperate with SIPAZ.
• Facilitate spaces for reflection on non-violent activism, conflict transformation and peace and reconciliation in areas of conflict in Chiapas or surrounding states.
• Organize and/or attend local, regional and international forums in coordination with SIPAZ and MCC.
• Participate in the responsibilities involved in maintaining the SIPAZ office.
• Participate in mandatory MCC meetings/retreats three times a year and be an intentional part of MCC team life through these spaces and other communication channels (WhatsApp or virtual encounters if needed).
• Address guidance from the MCC Representatives for México.
• Other service workers or SALT/YAMEN participants may be able to live and serve in Chiapas, which may be a good opportunity to cultivate friendship and fellowship relationships because of their bond with MCC.
• MCC expects all Service Workers to participate in the life (at least weekly) of a local church, preferably a Mennonite or Anabaptist church, if present in the region.
    
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