Sarah Cross



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Abstract or Description

Women on the frontline of efforts to end violence and secure a just peace seldom record their experiences, activities and insights – as generally there is no time or, perhaps, they do not have formal education that would help them record their stories. The Women PeaceMakers Program is a selective program for leaders who want to document, share and build upon their unique peacemaking stories. Selected peacemakers join the IPJ for an eight-week residency.

Women PeaceMakers are paired with a Peace Writer to document in written form their story of living in conflict and building peace in their communities and nations. The peacemakers’ stories are also documented on film by the IPJ’s partner organization Sun & Moon Vision Productions. While in residence at the institute, Women PeaceMakers give presentations on their work and the situation in their home countries to the university and San Diego communities.

Luz Méndez of Guatemala is president of the Advisory Board of Unión Nacional de Mujeres Guatemaltecas, which works for gender equality, social justice and peacebuilding. She participated in the table of peace negotiations as part of the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity’s delegation, where she dedicated special attention to the incorporation of gender equality commitments in the accords. After the end of the war, she was a member of the National Council for the Implementation of the Peace Accords. She was also the coordinator of the Women Agents for Change Consortium, an alliance of women's and human rights organizations working for the empowerment of women survivors of sexual violence during the armed conflict, seeking justice and reparations. Méndez was a speaker at the first meeting that the U.N. Security Council held with women’s organizations leading up to the passage of resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.

Publication Date


Document Type



peacebuilding, Women PeaceMaker, Guatemala


Peace and Conflict Studies

A Just Path, A Just Peace: A Narrative of the Life and Work of Luz Méndez of Guatemala