Each year, Seattle International Foundation (SIF) has the pleasure and honor of hosting the Central America Donors Forum, a unique gathering that brings more than 500 leaders and experts from civil society together with representatives from philanthropy and the public and private sectors to discuss development, justice and equity in the region.

Our conference this year is particularly relevant because, for the first time in its 13-year history, CADF will be held in San José, Costa Rica. CADF 2023 will feature more than 50 sessions, our most expansive agenda ever, and includes a wide variety of networking opportunities to continue strengthening partnerships in Central America.

Under the theme, “Renewing a Vision of Hope”, CADF 2023 offers diverse panels, fireside chats, strategic roundtables, workshops, and site visits which, created from a shared vision, will generate conversations that influence philanthropy, encourage strategic investments in Central America, promote the exchange of information and resources, and elevate the voices of experts and underrepresented groups.

At SIF, we’re working hard to develop an unmissable experience for the CADF 2023 audience that allows participants to delve deeper into Central American issues.

Panels will include civil society leaders such as former Attorney General of Guatemala Claudia Paz y Paz, Garifuna leader Miriam Miranda, former President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla and feminist activist Morena Herrera, as well as distinguished community leaders who will address issues related to authoritarianism, the closing of civic spaces, social justice, economic inequality, and human rights.

We will delve into Nicaraguan issues, including: emigration from Nicaragua to Costa Rica, the deprivation of Nicaraguan nationality, forced displacement, the realities facing those in exile and the overall response system for immigrants and refugees.

We will address the defense of territories, the environment, sustainable livelihoods, climate justice and climate change adaptation from the perspective of local, indigenous and youth leadership.

We will discuss the importance of strategic and transformative alliances and working with local leadership to promote sustainable development in the region. We will open dialogues on labor rights, post-pandemic education inequity and food systems.

Like every year, CADF will dedicate invaluable space to discuss how independent media continues to serve as a bastion of democracy and accountability in Central America despite censorship, persecution, criminalization, the exile of journalists and the booming disinformation industry. Independent journalists such as Jennifer Ávila from Contracorriente, Carlos Fernando Chamorro from Confidencial, Alejandra Gutiérrez from Agencia Ocote, José Luis Sanz from El Faro, Quimy de León from Prensa Comunitaria and Wilfredo Miranda from Divergentes, among other independent media representatives, will share their experiences, analyses and solutions across diverse panels.

Lastly, but certainly not least, the 2023 agenda includes keynote speeches by Mileydi Guilarte, Deputy Assistant Administrator within USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Allegra Baiocchi, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Costa Rica. The agenda also features a discussion with Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, Eric Jacobstein, as well as a conversation with the Rector of INCAE Business School, Enrique Bolaños.

We are excited to build upon the momentum of CADF 2023 in Costa Rica and facilitate dialogues that motivate, inspire and drive collective action. We believe CADF is a valuable opportunity to generate synergy within initiatives that address the changing contexts and emerging challenges in the region, and provide philanthropy the space to adapt and support efforts that ultimately foster broad, inclusive and prosperous communities.

On behalf of Seattle International Foundation, I invite you to join this space in Costa Rica to reflect on the present and future of the region, and to search for a path towards equity and development.


Adriana Beltrán, Executive Director, Seattle International Foundation (SIF)