Charito Calvachi-Mateyko

Charito is the founding member of the Latino Initiative on Restorative Justice (LIRJ), a nonprofit organization whose mission is the dissemination of restorative justice domestically and abroad, especially in Latin America, as she is a native of Ecuador and has dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Ecuador. She is also the principal of Rosario Calvachi-Mateyko & Associates, LLC.

The LIRJ organized the 2010 Restorative Justice in Delaware Conference, which was well attended by judges, social workers, lawyers, members of the judiciary, probation officers and the general public with interest in this topic. The main orientation of the conference was to show the broad ranges of application of restorative justice bringing the best worldwide known presenters as Howard Zehr, Lorraine Stutzman-Amstutz, Barbara Toews, Nancy Riestemberg and Kay Pranis to speak about restorative justice in schools, the judiciary, the prison, domestic violence and land use planning. The LIRJ organized three focus groups as follow up from the conference in education, the judiciary and domestic violence in 2010 and was preparing more focus groups for 2011.

Charito returned from Honduras on February, 2013. She was invited by the Forum of Women in Defense of Life to give a restorative justice and trauma healing training to women who have been abused and to be the keynote speaker for a forum celebrating Women’s Day in San Pedro Sula. She went to Tegucigalpa for another set of trainings invited by the Violence and Crime Prevention state agency, where member of the judiciary, the prevention agency, psychology students and child protection agencies attended the event. She also gave trainings to children who have committed crimes.

Charito presented on restorative justice and trauma healing at the XI Congreso International de Psicologia y Criminologia—Crime, Predition and Prevention, at Puebla, Mexico, in November 2012. She facilitated three other trainings on Circles of Peace and Trauma, one of them at the Casa de la Amistad, Friends Meeting, in the Mexican capital. She wrote two articles that will be published in two different books for this event.

She was part of a trauma outreach mission to Kenya, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo in July 2012, where she facilitated a peacebuilding training to former gang members on the slums of Nairobi, gave a lecture on restorative justice at the University of Nairobi, and had dialogue with refugees, school children, elderly, battered woman, youths and churches about their resilience for peace and trauma healing using a restorative living.

Charito was hired under the Youth Alliance Regional Program from USAID-SICA to train in Honduras introducing restorative justice to members of the judiciary, NGOs and social workers. She was the keynote speaker for the Forum on Restorative Juvenile Justice in Tegucigalpa on August 5, 2011 that was attended by 90 participants. The diversity of participants ranged from members of the Supreme Court to a young leader who traveled eight hours to attend the event. Charito was interviewed by the state television and La Tribuna newspaper. In addition, she recorded two television programs.

On December 6, 2011, the Youth Alliance Regional Program, the UNFPA and the Latino Initiative on Restorative Justice, Inc. united forces to interview Dr. Howard Zehr in a webinar event that was broadcasted to all Latin America. Dr. Zehr answered question from various countries, Charito hosted the event and Dr. Vernon Jantzi translated. A video of the interview entitled “The Essential Howard Zehr” is available.

From December 12 to 16, 2011, Charito was the trainer on restorative justice for the Observation Trip of Good Practices and Restorative Justice Training on Costa Rica, where Honduras Supreme Court Justices, District Attorneys and Juvenile Judges from Honduras met their counterparts in Costa Rica.

The Ecuadorian Commission for Peace and Justice, the Pontifical Catholic University of Quito and the Women and Penitentiary Pastoral from Caritas-Ecuador invited Charito to provide seven days of restorative justice training in three different cities of Ecuador in June 2011, and again in December 2011 where she trained on using restorative justice to address bullying in schools. She will provide a training on restorative justice and the skills needed for facilitators on May 9, 10 and 11, 2013.

Charito won the contract to train 35 young leaders of seven countries in Central America and 35 journalists on restorative juvenile justice from February 21 to 25 and 28, as part of the regional effort that UNFPA, SICA, ONLUS/Soleterre, the Ministers of Justice and other organizations to address youth problems. Charito was chosen from an array of professionals due to the methodology she uses to teach. She will continue advising the young leaders in their country projects.

Charito was appointed on December 2011 as a Co-Chair of the Delaware Hispanic Commission by Governor Jack Merkel to work in behalf of the Latino community there. In 2012, Gov. Markell appoint her as well as a member of the Heritage Commision.

In 2010, Charito was invited by the American embassy in Lima, Peru and Encuentros, Casa de la Juventud y Tierra de Hombres to teach a circle process training, to give lectures and workshops in Lima and Chiclayo and to be interviewed by national radio, TV and press about juvenile restorative justice. She looks forward to doing more work for restorative justice in Latin America.

A year earlier, in November 2009, she was invited to present a paper on Juvenile Restorative Justice and the Media and to do a workshop on circles process to the First Worldwide Congress on Restorative Juvenile Justice in Lima, Peru.

Charito is also the first Latina ever to be selected as a visitor scholar and Speaker Bureau of the Delaware Humanities Forum to teach restorative justice, circles and peacebuilding and diversity in Latin America in the schools and organization of the entire state. In January, Governor Jack A. Markell appointed Charito to the Delaware Heritage Commission.

Charito was hired by the Congress of Ministers of Justice of Iberoamerica (COMJIB in Spanish) to provide a four-day training on Restorative Juvenile Justice to 33 Judges and Magistrates from seven Central American countries in Guatemala City, Guatemala, in August 2013.

Based in Lancaster, Pa., Charito continues to produce and host the longest known Spanish radio show, “For a Culture of Peace,” from Radio Centro in Lancaster, and La Exitosa, Internet radio in Delaware, and is an ex-oficio member of the Center for Community Justice and the implementer of Peacemaking Circles for the program.