ASAMBLEA: War on Drugs



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UNDERSTAND the War on Drugs in its historical, transnational, systems-level complexity and the ways in which you are implicated within it.


ENGAGE with a unique transnational community of educators and youth from a wide spectrum of communities along the drug supply chain.


MOBILIZE resources in sync with the priorities and needs of those living in frontline communities to support grassroots activism.


Spend a week in Mexico with leading academics, activists, journalists, and artists who will help you weave together history, neuroscience, geopolitics, economics to gain a multidimensional and transnational understanding of the War on Drugs. Engage with the students and educators of Catalyst and learn how you can support the projects they are developing to transform drug-related conflict in their communities back home. During your downtime, explore the rich cultural and culinary traditions of Tepoztlán and Mexico City.

Upon DONATING 3.000 USD OR MORE TOWARDS student scholarshipS For catalyst , YOU are automatically eligible for asamblea .

What: A socially engaged travel-learning experience

When: Summer 2020

Where: Tepoztlán & Mexico City

Donation: $3,000+ USD* , tax deductible

*By making a donation of one full scholarship for a Catalyst student, you will gain full access to the Asamblea experience which includes lectures, activities, accommodation, meals and transportation inside Mexico. Asamblea participants are responsible for their air fare to and from Mexico City. Donations are tax-deductible for US donors. We are accepting donations via Honey’s Foundation.




Stay at the Hotel Posada del Tepozteco, a mansion with more than 70 years of tradition, now converted into a beautiful and cozy hotel. Enjoy breathtaking 180 ° views of the valley and the spectacular mountains of the Tepozteco National Park.


The contents of the ASAMBLEA : War on Drugs program will be complemented with bespoke, immersive activities ranging from a mushroom-identification hike in the forest to a visit to the Tepozteco ruins, and culinary experiences of Mexican cuisine.

ASAMBLEA accepts a maximum of 10 participants to ensure that every participant gets the chance to fully engage in lectures and activities, and to create an intimate atmosphere of exchange and learning among the group.


ASAMBLEA participants will have the unique opportunity to engage with and learn from the cohort of students and educators of the Catalyst : War on Drugs Incubator. Sit in on classes and participate in discussion. Share meals and exchange ideas. Through such interactions you will learn about the projects that the Catalyst fellows are developing to transform drug-related conflicts in their communities and gain a unique perspective on the priorities and preoccupations of those living on the frontlines of the War on Drugs.


As an ASAMBLEA participant you will become a member of an online community of Catalyst’s alumni, students, educators and other ASAMBLEA participants. Through this community you will be able to follow the progress of the Catalyst fellows’ community projects as they are implemented, learn about the challenges they face, meet for video conferences, exchange ideas, share opportunities you discover, offer your expertise, and mobilize your networks and resources to continue supporting youth-driven grassroots activism that is transforming drug-related conflict across the Americas.


The War on Drugs

Rooted in global black-market supply chains, transnational organized crime networks, international policy frameworks, and the complex geopolitics of US interventionism, the War on Drugs is by its very nature a cross-border phenomenon. Both historically and at present, US foreign policy plays a central role in Latin America’s drug wars. Even as US States move towards legalizing marijuana within their own borders, such changes are having important consequences further upstream in the supply chain in Latin America. Any attempt to understand and respond to the War on Drugs within the Western Hemisphere, must therefore be transnational in its scope and must engage stakeholders from along the entire trans-continental drug supply chain that runs between South, Central and North America.



  1. a group of people gathered together in one place for a common purpose.

  2. the action of gathering together as a group for a common purpose.

  3. the action of fitting together the component parts of a machine or other object.

ASSEMBLING support networks

We believe the social world is a creative field, and that its transformation involves assembling actors and resources into new networks of learning and action. ASAMBLEA contests the notion that those who want to put their money towards socially just causes are removed from the problems they seek to resolve. Instead, ASAMBLEA moves beyond traditional models of philanthropy and envisions a more pluralistic, participatory and politically-engaged approach to social change.

justly distributing efforts

ASAMBLEA believes that the movement towards socially-just drug policies must be centered around those who have borne the brunt of the violence caused by the failed drug policies of the present. That said, we do not believe that the labour of bringing about social change should fall entirely on those living on the frontlines of the War on Drugs. Recognizing that we are all implicated in the War on Drugs and thus all share the responsibility of bringing it to an end, ASAMBLEA is growing cross-border alliances between people of different socio-economic backgrounds who are committed to advocating for socially-just drug policy reform across the Western Hemisphere.


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