About Us

Carasque no to domestice violencePICA is a grassroots organization in Bangor, Maine. For nearly 30 years we have been using our strong Maine base and our close ties to the popular movement in El Salvador to generate creative power for social change. Together we work for human rights, and to create a fair economy in Maine, around the United States, in El Salvador, and in other developing countries. We create models for local action in a global framework.

Our Sister City Project, anchored by a 25-year partnership with the community of Carasque, El Salvador, builds friendship, solidarity, and understanding between Mainers and rural Salvadorans, and grounds our work for human rights and fair trade in concrete cross-border realities.

PICA’s Dignity For All Project is based on this statement of principles:

We believe that all people in our community should have civil rights, equal rights on the job, equal treatment by police and the courts, access to essential medical, educational and social services, and the right to be treated with dignity.

Dignity For All engages community members in the greater Bangor area in actions that create deepened commitments to treating ourselves and others with dignity. Our current focuses include working with community coalitions to improve public transportation and to protect the rights of immigrants and make Bangor a welcoming community for all.

PICA is a co-founder and leading member of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign (MFTC), a coalition of small farmers, small businesses, manufacturers, labor, environmental and low-income groups, which is the voice of fair trade in Maine. In 2004, MTFC helped create the Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission, the nation’s first state citizen commission monitoring the impact of trade on our laws and economy. We now carry out much of our Fair Trade work through MFTC, most recently focusing on defeating the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership.

PICA is a volunteer organization, with the exception of our indispensable part-time office manager, Ellen Gray, who holds us together.