Solidarity in the 1980’s Sanctuary Movement: Maria Guardado and Darlene Nicgorski reunite to tell their stories 30 years later
Oct 23 4:30-6:00 PM
Founders Room, Honnold/Mudd Library
About the speakers:
Maria Guardado is probably the foremost Salvadoran activist in the United States. She began her political activism in 1966 when she worked on her first presidential campaign in opposition to the government in El Salvador; for the next 15 years she worked on behalf of several causes in El Salvador including the teacher’s union and a campesina organization. In January 1980 she was targeted for her activism and captured by paramilitary forces and tortured. She fled El Salvador and received political asylum in the United States in 1983, assisted by members of the Sanctuary Movement. Now living in Los Angeles, Maria continues her life as a political activist and poet, working with countless organizations fighting for immigrant rights and other progressive causes. A documentary about Maria, Testimony: The Maria Guardado Story (2002), has won numerous awards. She also is a renowned poet; her first CD, “Poemas”, was released in 2013.
Darlene Nicgorski was a leader in the Sanctuary movement for Central American refugees in the United States in the early 1980s. She was a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis for nearly 20 years during which she worked on behalf of Latin American refugees in Guatemala and Mexico then in Arizona where she became involved with the Valley Religious Task Force on Central America, which assisted refugees fleeing political unrest and persecution in Central America to find sanctuary in the United States. She was arrested for her activities and was a defendant in the Arizona Sanctuary Trial of 1985-1986. She has been much in demand as a spokesperson for the Sanctuary movement since her arrest, and has received numerous awards and recognitions. She donated her papers about the Sanctuary Movement to Special Collections in 2011. Darlene Nicgorski and her partner currently reside in Claremont.
Darlene gave her Sanctuary Movement papers to Special Collections, and they are available for study and research. The finding aid is online at the Online Archive of California.