Our response to coronavirus

Dear Friends, the global emergency brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) has required us to adapt to a series of challenges, but it has also reminded us of why we choose to work for others... Read More

Dear Friends,

The global emergency brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) has required us to adapt to a series of challenges, but it has also reminded us of why we choose to work for others. In times like these, it becomes all the more necessary to show solidarity with those most at risk and experiencing the highest levels of vulnerability.

In the face of this international crisis, we think it’s important to keep you informed of the measures Seattle International Foundation is taking to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of our team members, our grantees, and those we serve; while we continue to pursue our mission and honor our commitments to our grantee partners and donors.  

To mitigate exposure and slow the potential spread of the virus, staff began working remotely across seven cities in five countries, and we chose to cancel all our local and international travel and site visits until further notice. We have also temporarily suspended our events and in-person meetings; although, whenever possible, we are hosting these activities virtually.

Our programs and initiatives are still in effect, along with our grantmaking and intermediary services, and we are working closely with our partners and grantees to better understand their needs in the face of this pandemic, so we can provide them with the support and flexibility they require to continue their work.

As the situation evolves, we are assessing the spread of the virus on a daily basis and are closely monitoring the state of this emergency in Central America, our region of focus. We will continue to evaluate how we can contribute to alleviating the effects of the pandemic, wherever possible. It is still early to offer concrete responses, but for now, we would like to emphasize our unwavering commitment to the development of the region and its residents.

As the world confronts this challenge, we must continue to advocate for equity, rule of law and justice, and fight against inequality, exclusion and corruption.  Now more than ever, teamwork and solidarity are essential to ensure the well-being of communities at risk and to collectively prepare ourselves for the widespread ramifications of this pandemic.

Any further updates we have for you will be announced on our website and social media.

We wish you and your loved ones good health and safety; may this situation unite us and make us stronger.

The Seattle International Foundation Team 

Arturo Aguilar, Katie Steffen, Eric L. Olson, Julie Sponsler, Perla Vázquez, Olga Vnodchenko, Xiomara Carballo Briceño, Nate Moyer, Mirte Postema, Lariza Romero Fonseca, Araceli Sánchez, Laura D. Vergara, John Wachter, Paola Hurtado, Belén Franco Zaldívar, Denia Arteaga, Anna Pickett, Josué Torres Martínez, María Fernanda Chacón.

About Us

Seattle International Foundation (SIF) champions good governance and equity in Central America through support for rule of law and the strengthening of civil society.

Over the past ten years, SIF has supported 243 organizations in 81 countries and has contributed to the growth of 650 high-impact social change leaders. In addition to its grants portfolio, SIF implements key initiatives in the region, including the Central America Donors Forum, the Central America and Mexico Youth Fund, Centroamérica Adelante and the Independent Journalism Fund.

Our Programs

Central America and Mexico Youth Fund (CAMY Fund) encourages youth to lift up their voices regarding the issues that affect them by providing them with technical and financial assistance so that they can develop their leadership skills and further contribute to improving their lives and those of their communities.

Central America Donors Forum (CADF) unites business leaders, officials, aid workers, donors and members of civil society every year to discuss the region’s priorities, establish contacts and explore social impact development proposals.

The Independent Journalism Fund (IJF) supports independent journalists and alternative media in Central America so that they can research and report on the realities of the region, give voice to the people, and promote democracy.

CA in DC connects Central America to Washington D.C. to promote support, analysis, research and public policies in favor of development, justice, equity, democracy and prosperity in the Central American region.

Centroamérica Adelante (CAA) bets on leaders who work for the rights of migrants in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. We contribute to their training and learning with a one-of-a-kind program that reinforces personal growth, skill development and social capital building.

Coming soon

Learn about our Independent Journalism Fund

IJF supports independent journalists and alternative media in Central America so that they can research and report on the realities of the region, give voice to the people, and promote democracy. Since its inception in 2016, IJF has supported fourteen independent media organizations and projects ranging from data collection and analysis to fact checking and media coverage. It has also supported convening efforts and events, including sponsoring important regional journalist conferences and training opportunities for journalists, reporters, editors and directors. IJF is funded by donors who believe in the important role journalism plays to champion good governance, rule of law and democracy in Central America.

Our 2019 Achievements

We updated our logo and grew our SIF family

In 2019, we launched a new website and renewed our logos for SIF and its programs to better align with the work we do in favor of youth, leadership, cross-sector partnerships, connections with the United States, democracy, rule of law, equity, good governance and mitigating forced migration. We also added 6 new professionals to our team, each with extensive experience. We now have 20 members of our team. located across 6 countries and 8 cities.

We delivered 104 Grants

We distributed 104 grants to 71 grantee partners located in 20 different countries. 77% of our financial support was delivered in Central America and Mexico and funds were allocated for good governance and rule of law, civil society, equity and the reduction of forced migration. Find the full list in our Grants section.

CADF went to Tegucigalpa

The Central America Donors Forum (CADF) was held for the first time in Honduras with the central theme, “Progress at the Crossroads”. In its 9th year, more than 450 people from 14 countries participated, representing the business and philanthropic sector, government and civil society. We had more than 40  panels, workshops and site visits that promoted discussion on migration, democracy and social movements in Central America. CADF 2020 will be in San José, Costa Rica.

Centroamérica Adelante continued its progress

Our successful leadership program, Centroamérica Adelante (CAA), accepted 32 participants from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. This third edition focused on mitigating the causes of migration in the Northern Triangle and culminated in the presentation of 6 pilot projects supported by SIF with seed funding. CAA participants also attended CADF 2019, a forum on migration in Washington DC and the Fund for Global Human Rights’ annual conference.

We strengthened our CA in DC initiative

The Central America in Washington, DC (CA in DC) initiative, in association with universities and organizations, put on 5 presentations of the Report of the Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) on the violent events that occurred in Nicaragua in 2018. In partnership with the Wilson Center, SIF held the first conference on security, migration and rule of law in Central America and published the report “What if They Return? How El Salvador, Honduras, and the United States could prepare for an effective reintegration of TPS Beneficiaries.”

The CAMY Fund amplified the voices of young people

The Central America and Mexico Youth Fund (CAMY Fund) awarded more than 30 grants to youth organizations and collectives in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Belize (31% more than in 2018) and held its first Latin American Meeting of Young Women Activists – We Decide (Encuentro Latinoamericano de Mujeres Jóvenes Activistas – Nosotras Decidimos) in El Salvador. The CAMY Fund also co-organized the first regional workshop in Mexico on early unions and child marriage, participated in the HIPLeaders 2019 program and in the International Visitors Leadership Program in the USA, among other activities.

10 Years of SIF

Since our founding in 2008, SIF has invested in meaningful social impact and poverty alleviation efforts around the world—promoting a spirit of international philanthropy rooted in Seattle, Washington. We are proud of the work we have done in the last decade to push for equity, promote rule of law, foster women and youth leadership, inform and inspire philanthropic strategies, support civil society and more. Each of these activities have taught us key lessons, which were pivotal to informing a new strategy developed in 2018 that will enable SIF to focus its resources entirely on Central America in the decade to come. We invite you to take a tour through SIF’s history by interacting with the timeline below.

Invest with us for the future of Central America

Support independent journalists reporting on the ground

Support youth leaders improving their communities

Support civil society leaders working to mitigate migration