Highland Support Project (HSP)
HSP fosters agency and empowers indigenous communities by providing opportunities for education, community organization, supporting social entrepreneurs, and addressing health and poverty in the face of shifting political arenas and environmental changes.
The word "Highlands" is more than a topographical description. In the Americas, it has great cultural significance as the location for both ongoing Indigenous resistance; and it also signifies the largest concentrations of First Nations Peoples in the western hemisphere. Socio-economically, Highland communities generally rank lowest in quality of life indexes, life expectancy and access to basic services. They also tend to have the highest rates of political violence.
Colonial histories have led to entrenched patterns of poverty and dependency in Highland communities of the Americas. We support communities to break these vicious cycles, to achieve agency, independence and prosperity– however this may be defined by these communities.
Highland Support Project was created in 1993 as a response to political violence that was creating an indigenous leadership vacuum in the Highlands of Guatemala. The subsequent dramatic loss of leaders and organizational experience was perpetuating a dependent status for Maya communities.
This weakening of individual and community agency was compounded by cultural stresses as great as any since conquest.See more