The Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA) was founded in 1982 as an organization that works to defend the rights of workers on large coffee, sugar and cotton plantations, to recover lands taken from the Mayan communities over the past centuries, and to promote and recover Mayan culture and spirituality.
Today about 100 communities in 11 Guatemalan provinces belong to the CCDA, but the organization is strongest in the Madre Vieja valley of Sololá.
History of the CCDA
The CCDA emerged from the Rebel Armed Forces (FAR) during the peak of the Guatemalan civil war, in 1982 in San Martín Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango. The original name was the Campesino Committee in Defence of the Highlands. The perception that the CCDA was another armed group led to the arrest, disappearance, assassination and exile of many of the CCDA directors due to the repression of the government against social groups and human rights. For this reason, the CCDA changed its name to the Campesino committee of the Highlands. The CCDA began to work clandestinely until 1988, but were not established legally until 2000 when it succeeded in becoming a legal organization.
For more information on the CCDA, visit their website.