PICA :: Peace Through Interamerican Community Action DONATE NOW

About PICA

pica signPICA is a grassroots, member-based organization in Bangor, Maine. For more than 20 years we have used 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, based in a 18-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.

Through the Bangor Clean Clothes Campaign, Bangor became the first city in North America to create a clean clothes commercial zone. When our anti-sweatshop work shifted to state-level initiatives, we worked with the Maine Clean Clothes Alliance, and later with Sweatfree Communities, to pass the nation’s first anti-sweatshop state purchasing law in 2001. In 2007, we helped make Maine the first state committed to funding a national State and Local Government Sweatfree Consortium.

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.

Youth Adelantando (“youth going forward”) is a self-governing group of youth from area high schools who exercise leadership, developing self-confidence and skills in research, community organizing, and advocacy.

Our Dignity For All campaign is a campaign designed to involve all community members in a process of personal and organizational reflection leading to a commitment to treating oneself and others with dignity.  We are working throughout our region to promote the following guiding principle, outlining the rights and freedoms we believe all people should have.

"We believe tha all epople 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."


We use personal connections to make global issues concrete, real and local. Most of our work is done by volunteers, with the support of a small staff.

PICA is a grassroots organization in Bangor, Maine. For nearly 25 years we have been building grassroots community alliances that address global problems of economic justice, human and worker rights. Our work is grounded in careful listening, telling and sharing stories. Our goal is to transform both individuals and institutions.

We have helped make Maine a leader among all states in addressing the effects of the global economy on our own lives.