The Benson Latin American Collection

Marge Van Cleef Central America Solidarity Collection, 1973-2009

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Van Cleef, Marjorie "Marge"
Title: Marge Van Cleef Central America Solidarity Collection
Dates: 1973-2009
Abstract: The Marjorie "Marge" Van Cleef Central America Solidarity Collection contains mostly printed materials and ephemera documenting human rights, environmental impact, and sustainable economic development policies in Central America between 1973–2009.
Accession No.: 2015-16
Extent: 1 linear foot
Language: English, Spanish
Repository: Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Marjorie "Marge" Van Cleef is a teacher and international activist for social progress. As a result of the U.S. inserting a hegemonic influence over the Central American government, a variety of U.S. based solidarity groups emerged. As a member of the New Haven Coalition, Witness for Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition, etc., Van Cleef sought to promote educational outreach and was an advocate for environmental impact, human rights, and sustainable economic development policies in Central America.

With a focus on Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haití, Cuba, and Panama; Van Cleef's collection of publications provides an overarching perspective of both the U.S based solidarity movements as well as the U.S. government involvement and intervention. The broad scope of publications within this collection narrates the economic devastation and free-market reforms, peace initiatives, environmental policy, human rights violations, as well as social and cultural issues of the time period that surrounded U.S. involvement and intervention in Central America.

Scope and Contents Note

The materials in this collection include a variety of magazines/zines, newsletters, brochures, printed listserv correspondence, clippings, posters, audio-visual material and material objects—t-shirts and pins—that primarily document the philosophies, activities, and organizations of several social rights groups Van Cleef was involved with.

Collected Materials by Country contains materials that have been organized alphabetically by country. Each folder contains assorted material-- mostly published newsletters, magazines and other published materials that are specific to issues surrounding that country. There is an emphasis on the U.S. intervention and delegations in Panama; Cuban political prisoners, blockade, social justice, free-market reforms, and human-rights materials; Guatemalan Women’s issues and movements, environmental policy, and labor rights; Nicaragua’s economic policy, elections and invasion; and the 1994 Haiti invasion and human rights support as documented through the variety of publication material. Notable publications and materials that can be found within this collection are Interconnect newsletters; Roots, Soberania, Telar, Cerigua magazines; election brochures; various reports; printed pages of listservs; news clippings and Doonesbury comics as well as handbooks, various resource guides, and organizing materials.

Collected Materials by Organization contains materials that were either published by or have information about organizations that are involved in Central America. Ranging from small organizations like the Guatemala Human Rights Commission to NAFTA. There are also publication specific ACERCA and Interconnect folders as well as pinback buttons representing Central American political sentiment.

Audiovisual Materials contains slides of three trips taken by Majorie Van Cleef -- the 1990 Guatemalan Delegation Witness for Peace, various slides from a trip to Nicaragua in 1990 and the 1992 Haiti Delegation. Also included are topically relevant VHS broadcasts and films from Van Cleef’s personal collection.

Oversized Materials contains posters from Serpaj; the Guatemalan Department of Information and Education; a Guatemalan labor movement poster; an Interview in Buenos Aires' movie poster; and two t-shirts.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Van Cleef, Marjorie--Archives.
Solidarity movement--Central America.
Human rights.

Related Material

Philip Pasmanick Collection of Nicaraguan Materials, 1979-1987.

Marilyn Anderson Collection, 1982-1986.

Archiving the Central American Revolutions Micro Oral History Collection.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Marge Van Cleef Central America Solidarity Collection, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Acquisition Information


Accession number: 2015-16

Processing Information

Collection processed by Brooke Lake (Simmons College Intern), November 2017.


No further materials are expected for this collection.

Box and Folder Inventory

Collected Materials by Country

Box Folder
1 1 Central America, Latin America, 1983-2007
2 Chiapas, Mexico Newpaper Clippings, 1993-1995
3 Chiapas Statements and News, 1994-1999
4 Cuba, 1973-2003
5 Cuban Political Prisoners, 2001-2002
Box Folder
2 1 Guatemala, 1993-2009
2 Haiti, 1992-1998
3 Haiti - 1994 Invasion, 1993-1998
4 Nicaragua, 1983-1999
5 Panama - Visit 1990 - Invasion, 1990-1995
Box Folder
3 1 Vieques, P.R [Includes El Salvador, Haiti] (1 of 2), 1984-1995
2 Vieques, P.R [Includes Third World Resources] (2 of 2), 1993-2003

Collected Materials by Organization

Box Folder
3 3 ACERCA [+ Native Forest Network], 1998-2002
4 GLEP [Guatemala Labor Education Project], 1992-2000
5 Guatemala Human Rights Commission and NISGUA [Telar and Handbooks], 1993-2003
6 Historic Dates [CLASP, El Salvador], 1986-1996
7 Interconnect, 1999-2001
8 Latin America Solidarity Conf[erence], Chicago March 2001, 2001
9 NAFTA, 1993-2001
10 Pinback Buttons, undated

Audiovisual Materials

4 35mm Slides
1 Nica Slides [Nicaragua], 1985
2 Guatemala [Delegation Witness for Peace], 1990
Includes: Baptist Peace Fellowship; Fellowship of Reconciliation.
3 Haiti Delegation, 1992
4 Haiti, 1992, November, 1992
Includes: Mennonite Central Comm.; Chicago Religious Task Force.
5 El Norte, 1983
6 When Mountains Tremble, 1983
7 "Victims of Just Cause - 60 Minutes," 1990
8 "Panama Invasion-Frontline," 1991
9 "Extreme Oil - Ecuador Angola," 2004

Oversized Materials

Box Folder
1 Event and Government Initative Posters 1998-2002
Includes: Posters and (2x) T-Shirts.
2 Event and Government Initative Posters 1988-1996
Central America and Zapatista movement in Chiapas