Leaders of the Americas Speaker Series: Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum, October 4, 2023

Event 1:

Leaders of the Americas Speaker Series – Featuring Rigoberta Menchú Tum

Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú

12 p.m. | Diane Bennack Concert Hall

On Oct. 4, UIW welcomed Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum. Dr. Menchú Tum has dedicated her life to the struggle for human rights for all of humanity, and particularly for the rights of Indigenous peoples around the world and in her native Guatemala. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992.

The event was open to all UIW students, faculty, and staff, as well as to CCVII Sisters and staff.


Event 2:

Lewis Center of the Americas Presents, an Evening with Rigoberta Menchú Tum

Rigoberta Menchú and Sandra Guzmán

6-8 p.m. | Diane Bennack Concert Hall

An evening reception to honor and welcome Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum to San Antonio was held at the Diane Bennack Concert Hall. In addition to hearing from Dr. Menchú Tum, guests heard from pioneering Afro-Indigenous storyteller, culture writer, literacy editor, and Emmy-award-winner Sandra Guzmán, who delivered a special introduction of her beloved Nobel Laureate.

The event was open to the public.

Dr. Rigoberta Menchú Tum's Biography

Dr. Rigoberta Menchú Tum 1992 Nobel Peace Laureate
Founder and Lifetime President of the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation

Dr. Menchú Tum is a social leader, activist, political leader, writer and spiritual guide, who has worked tirelessly in the defense and vindication of the rights of women and indigenous peoples and has had an extraordinary trajectory in the peace dialogue processes in the region. She is the founder and Life President of the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation, which has been her platform for work at the national and international level for the past 30 years. Dr. Menchú Tum has developed initiatives in the areas of education, food security, human rights and justice, in favor of the most disadvantaged populations.

With the support of leaders of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the world, she proclaimed the International Year and the Declaration of the two Decades of Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations. She is founder of the political party Movimiento Político Winaq, and is Vice President of the "Menchú Tum, Hacia Una Cultura de Paz, A.C. based in Mexico. She is an active member and founder of the Nobel Peace Prize Women's Initiative, an active member of the PeaceJam Foundation, as well as the National Council and founder of the Political Association of Mayan Women of Guatemala MOLOJ. She was also named the Extraordinary Researcher and is the holder of the Extraordinary Chair "Rigoberta Menchú Tum" at the National Autonomous University of Mexico - UNAM.

Among the many awards Dr. Menchú Tum has received are the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador from 1996 to July 2020, the "Legion of Honor in the Highest Degree of Commander" in 1996, the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in 1998, the Ibero-American José Martí Award in 2002, the Aztec Eagle Award in 2010, the Rubén Darío Cultural Order in 2010; and more than thirty Doctorates Honoris Causa in the field of Humanities, awarded by prestigious universities in Latin America, Europe and Asia, among them the University of San Carlos of Guatemala and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); and other international recognitions for her contribution to the search and preservation of peace among peoples.

Dr. Menchú Tum has published autobiographical books, on peace culture and children's literature, the latter in co- authorship with Dante Liano, in which she promotes the ancestral teachings of Indigenous Peoples. Her most recent book "K'aslemalil-Vivir, El Caminar de Rigoberta Menchú Tum en el Tiempo", published in December 2014 and the second edition in December 2015.

Maya K'iche' woman, born in the Laj Chimel Village, San Miguel Uspantán, El Quiché, Guatemala. Her parents were Mr. Vicente Menchú Pérez and Mrs. Juana Tum K'otoja'. Married to Mr. Angel Francisco Canil Grave and is the mother of Mash Nawalja' Canil Menchú and Tz'unun Canil Menchú, who died in December 1997.

For questions, contact Dr. Rafael Hoyle by phone at 210-805-3096 or email hoyle@uiwtx.edu.