The 2018 Central American Donors Forum (CADF) ended on Wednesday with the participation of over 400 attendees from Central America, the United States, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Bolivia, Switzerland and Ireland, with 40 presentations, panels and workshops, guided site-visits and opportunities for networking and alliance-building.

For three days, representatives from the private sector and the government, the philanthropic community, civil society, academia and journalists from across the region came together in San Salvador to discuss and reflect on the realities Central America faces related to migration, equity, rule of law, creating a culture of legality and crisis and philanthropy. The sessions dealt with the regional dilemmas like the current crisis in Nicaragua, migration and internal displacement, impunity and corruption, the role of journalism in promoting democracy, sexual diversity, violence, natural disasters, female leadership and the panorama of impact investments, among other issues.

Arturo Aguilar, Executive Director of the Seattle International Foundation (SIF), organizer of CADF, was pleased and grateful for the massive participation at the forum and the variety of ideas and proposals that emerged throughout the week to contribute to development and to the creation of opportunities in the region.

The President and Founder of SIF, Bill Clapp, commented: “We feel like part of the Central American community and we want to contribute to its prosperity. We strongly believe that this forum can help us discover ways to fully unleash the region’s potential and encourage people to imagine a successful future in their own countries. ”

Miguel Ángel Simán, President of the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (Fusades), an ally of SIF for the forum, said: “We are pleased to have been co-hosts of this forum. Here we have begun to tackle the great challenges that exist in Central America and certainly the challenges we see in El Salvador. We listened to colleagues in the region which has been important because, although we may not agree on all the issues, we have been able to share our perspectives. And it is in that diversity of opinions where we will find the richness we need to find sustainable solutions. We should not be afraid to debate.”

Along the same lines, Mauricio Ramos, CEO of Millicom / Tigo, 2018 CADF sponsor, commented, “For Central America to be a land of opportunities, we all have to work to build the Central American dream with great inclusion and investment. As for Tigo, we are betting on the construction of digital highways for increased development.”

CADF 2018 ended with a reception at the home of US Ambassador Jean Manes. This is the second time El Salvador has received the Central American Donor Forum, the first time was in 2015. This edition had the alliance of Fusades and Fundemas and the support of 30 sponsors.