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Reality Tours eNewsletter

Dear Global Exchange Reality Tours Supporter,

In this Spring 2009 ENewsletter, we have some exciting news and opportunities for you to get involved with Global Exchange Realty Tours:

A New Book from Global Exchange and PM Press
Venezuela Speaks! Voices from the Grassroots

Every day we pick up the newspaper, there is more news about Venezuela's controversial leader, President Hugo Chavez, and the radical policies of his Bolivarian Revolution. Yet, the political process taking place in Venezuela is grossly misunderstood and misrepresented.  Through our Reality Tours program, Global Exchange seeks to expand the vision of what is truly occurring in Venezuela by connecting people with the organized communities ignored in mainstream press. 

Building from on-the-ground experience, our Venezuela Reality Tour Directors, JoJo Farrell and Carlos Martinez, along with journalist Michael Fox, continue in this vein with their new book, Venezuela Speaks! Voices from the Grassroots, to be released at the end of the year by independent publisher PM Press.  Each chapter centers on an interview with a different member of Venezuela's many social movements, where they discuss their role within their movement, and shed light on the increasingly complex political process.

Together with Global Exchange and PM Press, we are sure Venezuela Speaks! will reach a wide audience once it's complete. However, in order to make this book a reality, we need your support. As Reality Tours participants, you know just how important it is to deepen the public's perspective of misunderstood countries like Venezuela. 

In order to finance the final production of the book, we need to raise $5,000, and we are reaching out to our community of past Reality Tours participants, such as you. Individuals who donate $100 or more will be acknowledged in the book and will receive a signed copy once it is released. 

Please mail checks to: Global Exchange, Subject: Venezuela Speaks! Fundraiser, 2017 Mission St., 2nd FL, San Francisco, CA 94110. With your assistance, we can elevate the vision and voices of Venezuelan activists creating another world.

Join Global Exchange in Venezuela

Join Global Exchange Reality Tours on our renewed Venezuela delegations and explore the impact of ten years of the Bolivarian Revolution. The South American nation is at the center of a new, progressive model of socio-economic development, and much of Latin America is following suit.  There are few countries where everyday people actually receive the benefits of cooperation with multinationals: a redistribution of oil profit, a guarantee for healthcare written into the constitution, and record-breaking achievements in education. What's more, having been internationally ratified as a democracy during the August 2004 recall referendum, Venezuela has embarked upon some of the most innovative regional programs that Latin America has ever seen. Learn about dynamic social programs and policies that will rewrite Latin America's regional role in the global economy.

Join us and meet with diverse communities on an array of inspiring issues, and return to the US with a renewed commitment to human rights!
For more information please contact Sneh Rao: sneh@globalexchange.org
Upcoming Delegations:

Afro-Venezuelan Cultural Festival and the African Diaspora
June 20, 2009 - June 30, 2009

Periphery to Power: the Rise of the Left across Latin America
August 15, 2009 - August 25, 2009

Fall Semester Study Abroad in Mérida, Venezuela
September 02, 2009 - December 03, 2009

A New Vision for the Americas
November 21, 2009 - December 01, 2009

New Venezuela Study Abroad Program
Global Exchange's Fall/Spring Semester Study Abroad in Mérida, Venezuela is a 12-week academic program designed to increase students' knowledge of contemporary Venezuelan society and build bridges between advocates of social justice in the global North and like-minded activists in Latin America.
The program is built around intensive Spanish language training; courses focused on Venezuelan history, culture, and politics; and exchanges with community leaders involved in social change on the ground. Participants have the opportunity to earn 15 undergraduate or graduate credits while engaging with contemporary and alternative development issues both inside and outside the classroom. For more information please contact Edward: edward@globalexchange.org
Fall Semester Study Abroad in Mérida, Venezuela
September 02, 2009 - December 03, 2009

Customize a Reality Tour for Your Group
Our Customized Reality Tours program offers an alternative and increasingly popular form of educational travel, exclusively tailored to the particular interests of your group. Whether your group is a university or high school class, a membership organization, church group, a group of professionals or a group of like-minded people, Global Exchange can organize your tour.
Some of our past customized group participants have included members of established foundations, various city, state and private universities, high schools, and chapters of nationwide organizations including World Affairs Councils, United Nations Associations, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Food First, the Vukani Mawethu Chorus. For more information, please contact Malia: malia@globalexchange.org

Plus, check-out the reflections of Anthony Fowler, Honduras April 2009 delegate--a great example of the power of custom delegations.

Seeing People for the First Time
"I feel guilty that I was so blind and that it took this trip to open my eyes.  I would like to blame my myopic and self centered gaze on the consumer smoke blown by marketers and media but that is no excuse.  We are so privileged and yet we busy ourselves stressing about making our comfortable lives more comfortable." Read more of Anthony Fowler's article

Last Chance to Vote!
Ashoka's Changemakers & National Geographic
2nd Annual Geotourism Challenge

Global Exchange Reality Tours is happy to announce our partnership with Ashoka's Changemakers and National Geographic for the 2nd Annual Geotourism Challenge. Ashoka and National Geographic are particularly interested in tourism innovations that celebrate the distinct destinations of the world by honouring culture, cherishing history, and enhancing the environment.

Since you have traveled with Reality Tours, what better way to support our work and our incredible community partners around the world! Please assist Global Exchange by joining Changemakers, casting your vote, and posting comments today!

In the weeks to come, look for more updates and ways to share your passion for socially responsible travel with Reality Tours.

Thank you for your work on behalf of peace & justice,

Global Exchange Reality Tours


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