Rigoberta Menchu-Tum

Human Rights Activist and Peace Nobel Laureate

Speaker Fee Range: $20,000 - $50,000 USD

Travels From: Guatemala

Rigoberta Menchu-Tum is available for virtual keynotes and webinars. Please complete the form or contact one of our agents to inquire about the fees for virtual engagements. Please note: the fee range listed above is for in-person engagements.

Human Rights Speaker Rigoberta Menchu-Tum
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    Rigoberta Menchu-Tum

    Human Rights Activist and Peace Nobel Laureate

    Speaker Fee Range: $20,000 - $50,000 USD

    Travels From: Guatemala

    Rigoberta Menchu-Tum is available for virtual keynotes and webinars. Please complete the form or contact one of our agents to inquire about the fees for virtual engagements. Please note: the fee range listed above is for in-person engagements.

    Rigoberta Menchu-Tum Speaker Biography

    Rigoberta Menchu-Tum, born in 1959, in a poor Indian peasant family and raised in the Quiche branch of the Mayan culture. In her early years she helped with the family farm work, either in the northern highlands where her family lived, or on the Pacific coast. Both, adults and children, were picking coffee on the big plantations.

    Menchu-Tum soon became involved in social reform activities through the Catholic Church, and became prominent in the women’s rights movement when still only a teenager. Such reform work aroused considerable opposition in influential circles, especially after a guerilla organization established itself in the area. The Menchu-Tum family was accused of taking part in guerrilla activities and Menchu-Tum’s father, Vicente, was imprisoned and tortured for allegedly having participated in the execution of a local plantation owner. After his release, he joined the recently founded Committee of the Peasant Union (CUC).

    In 1979, Menchu-Tum too, joined the CUC. That year her brother was arrested, tortured and killed by the army. The following year, her father was killed when security forces in the capital stormed the Spanish Embassy where he and some other peasants were staying. Shortly afterwards, her mother also died after having been arrested, tortured and raped. Menchu-Tum became increasingly active in the CUC, and taught herself Spanish as well as other Mayan languages than her native Quiche. In 1980, she figured prominently in a strike the CUC organized for better conditions for farm workers on the Pacific coast, and on May 1, 1981, she was active in large demonstrations in the capital. She joined the radical 31st of January Popular Front, in which her contribution chiefly consisted of educating the Indian peasant population in resistance to massive military oppression.

    In 1981, Menchu-Tum had to go into hiding in Guatemala, and then flee to Mexico. That marked the beginning of a new phase in her life: as the organizer abroad of resistance to oppression in Guatemala and the struggle for Indian peasant peoples’ rights. In 1982, she took part in the founding of the joint opposition body, The United Representation of the Guatemalan Opposition (RUOG). In 1983, she told her life story to Elisabeth Burgos Debray. The resulting book, called in English, I, Menchu-Tum, is a gripping human document which attracted considerable international attention. In 1986, Menchu-Tum became a member of the National Coordinating Committee of the CUC, and the following year she performed as the narrator in a powerful film called When the Mountains Tremble, about the struggles and sufferings of the Maya people. On at least three occasions, Menchu-Tum has returned to Guatemala to plead the cause of the Indian peasants, but death threats have forced her to return into exile.

    Over the years, Menchu-Tum has become widely known as a leading advocate of Indian rights and ethno-cultural reconciliation, not only in Guatemala but in the Western Hemisphere generally, and her work has earned her several international awards.

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    Rigoberta Menchu-Tum Keynote Topics

    Even today, where the media seems to tell us everything and nothing is left unknown, human rights continue to be violated in much of the world. Now imagine what was happening more than 30 years ago and the atrocities and human rights violations that were done without being stopped by anyone.

    In this keynote speech, the youngest winner at the time of the Nobel Peace Prize, Rigoberta Menchú-Tum will speak about her experiences defending the rights of the indigenous tribes of Guatemala. It will also teach us about the importance of the fight for human rights, the search for justice that all those who have been mistreated deserve and the persecution of those who have violated the human rights of others and who have gone unpunished must face.

    Rigoberta Menchú-Tum, known worldwide for being the winner of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize and who actively participated in the signing of peace agreements between the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unit and the Government of Guatemala, will deliver this crucial speech about peace and its vital importance.

    In this keynote speech, audiences will learn the impact of implementing a culture of peace has on a society, how it can greatly help the improvement in the development of a country and how it can change the mentality of its citizens and future generations. With several examples and motivational stories, the speaker Rigoberta Menchú will allow us to understand the real value of a culture of peace.

    Of indigenous descent, specifically from the K'iche tribe, Rigoberta Menchú-Tum is one of the people who has most defended the human rights of indigenous people around the world. Proof of this is the Nobel Peace Prize she received in 1992 or being named Goodwill Ambassador by the UN and UNESCO.

    In this conference, Rigoberta will introduce attendees to the identity and values ​​of indigenous populations, so often neglected, demonstrating all the values ​​and teachings that they can bring to the world. Rigoberta will talk about the importance of defending their rights and will encourage the audience to help them in their defense since many times their voices are not heard enough.

    Rigoberta Menchu-Tum Speaking Videos

    Rigoberta Menchu-Tum - interview