Centroamérica Adelante

Centroamérica Adelante

Centroamérica Adelante

Centroamérica Adelante

Who We Are

Centroamérica Adelante (CAA) is an innovative leadership development program created in 2015 to support the high impact leaders driving change in Central America. In 2019, after a period of evaluation and redefinition of priorities, SIF launched the third edition of CAA in collaboration with the Institute of International Education (IIE) and a new ally in the region, Cristosal.

The program is designed to facilitate and motivate key players in civil society to actively work with others across sectors and organizations, in addition to their own teams and movements, to make a positive impact on the lives of those affected by the causes of migration.

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Our Objectives

Centroamérica Adelante offers a training program to leaders of civil society working on the different causes of migration in the Northern Triangle of Central America. The program spans 10 months and is focused on:

Personal Growth

Leaders acquire interpersonal and technical skills through trainings on leadership for social change, the human rights approach to development, advocacy and the construction of public policies, strategic communications and people-centered work plans.

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Skills Development

Leaders gain knowledge of context and frameworks, including but not limited to history and theory behind established migration frameworks and the political context within which these frameworks exist and are (or are not) applied, and deeper understanding of drivers of forced migration.

Social Capital Building

Leaders leverage their social capital, which includes understanding the relevant stakeholders and how to build relationships and strategically collaborate to further their mission.

2019–2020 Program Participants

Alejandra Lozano

El Salvador

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Alejandra Lozano

El Salvador

Alejandra holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the José Simeón Cañas Central American University and a Master’s degree in Social Sciences focused on social research. She is passionate about community and childhood development and currently works as the Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning Coordinator for Save the Children (SC) in El Salvador. At SC,  she supports projects focused on improving the living conditions of children, adolescents, and their families in the areas of protection, migration, and forced displacement. Alejandra volunteered at TECHO El Salvador for four years. During her time at TECHO, she served as Project Coordinator and led volunteers in the areas of community development and school reinforcement. She believes that listening to children and their families is key toward developing meaningful solutions on migration and forced displacement.

Berinda Janeth Herrera

Guatemala

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Berinda Janeth Herrera

Guatemala

Berinda is a phycologist and became a member of the Women Entrepreneurs Association (WEA) of Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, in 2014. At WEA, she works with and for indigenous women of different communities in her province. She is a university professor at the Mesoamerican University and has participated in national and international trainings on leadership and women empowerment. She graduated from the second cohort of Central America Adelante. 

Carmelita Ixcol Mus

Guatemala

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Carmelita Ixcol Mus

Guatemala

Carmelita is a Mayan K’iche’ researcher at the Dialogue Association based in Guatemala City, where she focuses on issues of migration, health, violence, and border security. She is part of the Mayan migration and health research team coordinated by Creighton University, the Mayan Pixan Ixim organization, and the University of Nebraska, United States. Carmelita has taught courses in Ethics and Values, Interculturality, and Social Psychology. She has conducted research on Mayan self-esteem, human rights education, and lynching in Guatemala. She has lived and studied in El Salvador, Spain, and is bilingual in  K’iche’- Spanish.  

César Estrada

Guatemala

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César Estrada

Guatemala

Cesar is the Social Programs Coordinator at the Strengthening of Indigenous Women Development Association (IWDA) in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. He is in charge of programs that focus on women and their reproductive rights, youth capacity building, migration mitigation, and labor support and reimmersion for people that return from the United States. He develops partnerships to strengthen the political incidence of youth in the region. Cesar also works in the creation of municipal offices for the prevention of violence against children and adolescents. Prior to IWDA, he worked for the Guatemalan Red Cross, Survivors Foundation, DiverArte Association, and Association of Returned Guatemalans. 

Claudia Izaguirre

Honduras

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Claudia Izaguirre

Honduras

Claudia is an industrial engineer, holds a Master’s degree from ITESM, and works as an Internal Quality Auditor. She is an expert in the areas of hospital administration, economics and public finance, project management, processes and technology management, and public-private partnerships. She has been a member of the National Health Commission in Honduras and represented Honduras on international committees (CISSCAD and RESSCAD). Claudia has taught undergraduate and postgraduate level courses in Honduras, at the Central American Technological University, Argentina, and Spain. She has also given lectures on human rights at international events in Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, and Thailand. She has served as a Board Director, Project Coordinator, and, currently, Executive Director of the Young Women’s Christian Association in Honduras. 

Cleopatra Méndez

Guatemala

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Cleopatra Méndez

Guatemala

Cleopatra has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the founder and legal representative of the Multicultural Association of Women for Integral and Sustainable Development (AMMUDIS). At AMMUDIS, she has consolidated a team of women that volunteer their time, ideas, and enthusiasm, with the goal of transforming the municipality of Livingston and the department of Izabal, Guatemala. She has 14 years of experience in sustainable community development and identifies herself as an environmentalist and agent of social change. Cleopatra has represented Livingston and Guatemala in various national and international events and her leadership is recognized by several institutions in Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. She envisions a community where women and youth are empowered actors leading positive, integral, and sustainable social change. She is the mother of two girls and a boy. 

Denis Urbina

Honduras

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Denis Urbina

Honduras

Denis is the  Income Generation Technical Supervisor of the Genesis project implemented by FUNADEH and sponsored by USAID in Honduras. As the Technical Supervisor, he manages private and governmental opportunities for at-risk youth and provides support to develop the beneficiaries’ soft skills. The Genesis project has helped more than 600 youth secure jobs and propelled more than 500 youth to launch their microenterprise. These efforts are key toward mitigating migration as youth are able to support themselves and families. Before working at FUNADEH, Denis was a pastor in Honduras and Guatemala and developed social impact projects. 

Diego Mena

El Salvador

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Diego Mena

El Salvador

Diego is the Coordinator for the Sustainable Livelihoods for Youth program and the Methodological Processes Coordinator for the Childhood and Youth Program in the Salvadoran Pro Rural Health Association based in Santa Ana, El Salvador. He designs and develops educational tools and programs on soft skills, social enterprises, as well as participation and collective action for Salvadoran children and youth. He worked as a Program Coordinator for El Salvador and Honduras of Ashoka International, an institution that catalyzes social entrepreneurship to promote social change, where he designed frameworks that promote youth leadership and entrepreneurship. Diego’s frameworks have been replicated by local organizations and universities.

Dina Martínez Lainez

El Salvador

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Dina Martínez Lainez

El Salvador

Dina is a lawyer and has worked at the Studies of Application of Law Foundation (FESPAD) for 16 years. She coordinates the Building Peace project, whose objective is to promote citizen participation in the formulation of public policies for the prevention of violence in seven municipalities of El Salvador, and coordinates research on the risk factors that impact trafficking. Dina has participated in the preparation of national reports on security and criminal justice, juvenile criminal justice, disarmament, and prevention of violence. She completed an investigation on women’s participation in the security forces, which was coordinated by the Security and Defense Network. Dina has also carried out analyzes related to the illicit trafficking of weapons, the impact of firearms on violence, among others. She represents FESPAD at various coordination national and regional level spaced focused on citizen security. She has participated in several training processes related to public safety, human rights, gender, public policies, and political advocacy.

Edgardo Platero

El Salvador

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Edgardo Platero

El Salvador

Edgardo is the Technical Director of the Foundation for Democracy, Security, and Peace (Fundemospaz) of El Salvador. At Fundemospaz, he is involved in the development of programs that provide technical assistance to governments in the design, execution, and evaluation of policies, plans, strategies, programs, projects and services related to human security, public health, cultural diversity, protection of children, and prevention and control of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, weapons, violence, suicide, enforced disappearance, forced migration, trafficking in persons, and road accident. To further his expertise, he participates in graduate-level academic programs for public health professionals. Edgardo worked in the Solidarity Fund for Health as a Program Coordinator and has provided national and international technical assistance to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Development Program ( UNDP), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Ministries of Health, Education, Justice and Public Safety. 

Elda Peralta Lavaire

Honduras

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Elda Peralta Lavaire

Honduras

Elda is the Programs Coordinator for Young Leaders, an organization whose goal is to break the cycles of violence by educating and empowering girls and youth to lead changes in their homes, schools, and communities. She works as a Technical Specialist in mediation for the GoodCitizenship and Civil-Security project, implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP Honduras). Elda has worked in community development with peace culture programs and youth outreach centers, and in the Family Strengthening program of SOS Villages in four components: children, women, family, and community in support of single mothers to avoid family disarticulation, forced emigration, and school desertion. She worked in the Interamerican Foundation and in the Foundation for the Protection of Lancetilla, Punta Sal, and Texiguat (PROLANSATE) that supports Garífuna micro-enterprises to strengthen the financial stability of Garífuna women and mitigate the migration of their communities. 

Elisa García

El Salvador

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Elisa García

El Salvador

Elisa is the Prevention of Children’s Irregular Migration in Central America and Mexico project Coordinator at the Education and Cooperation Foundation (Educo) in El Salvador. She has been involved in youth development work that increases access to education, employment, and self-employment as a strategy to reduce the causes of irregular migration and instill a deep-rooted connection among youth and their communities. Additionally, Elisa pushes for policy efforts on irregular migration. She has collaborated with various entities that work on the protection of children, adolescents and youth, empowerment of women, development of enterprises, technical training and job habilitation, among others. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Business Consulting from the University of El Salvador. She has taken courses on international cooperation, doctrine of comprehensive protection of children, adolescents and youth, territorial management of development and migration and gender in development.

Elly Torres

Honduras

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Elly Torres

Honduras

Elly has over 10 years of experience in social development and international cooperation. She is the Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Security and Transparency projects Specialist at the Association for a More Just Society, which seeks to prevail justice through functioning governmental systems. Under the Lima agreement, she participated as a national observer for Hondura’s 2017 general elections. Elly is a member of the Gender Equality Network promoted by Canada and is a co-founder of the Foresta Honduras organization, which promotes youth and women leadership initiatives, social entrepreneurship, environmental protection, and peace. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and has completed courses on gender, advocacy, and grant writing in Central America, Ecuador, the United States, France, New Zealand, and Senegal. She speaks Spanish, English, and French.

Emilio Pacheco

El Salvador

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Emilio Pacheco

El Salvador

Emilio is the Eastern Regional Director of Men Against Violence in El Salvador and supports the prevention and attention of sexist violence, sexuality and relationships, and therapeutic care for women who are victims of gender violence. He is a psychologist and holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Emilio was a Let Girls Lead Scholar in the Political Advocacy course in favor of adolescents and completed the girls, boys, and youth political advocacy certificate. He has worked for the National Council for Childhood and Adolescence, and World Doctors in Spain. He is a consultant for various organizations on gender and mental health issues.

Esdras López

Honduras

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Esdras López

Honduras

Esdras is the Deputy Director of the Proponte Más secondary violence prevention project of USAID, based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He is in charge of the technical direction of the project and the strategic coordination with national and international partners. He also guides and directs the development of evidence-based interventions and approaches in five municipalities of the country that are vulnerable to violence. Estrad participates in other spaces of civil organization. He is a graduate of the regional program of sociopolitical training Agents of Change Honduras of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, where he has been teaching since 2014. He previously worked on violence prevention with local organizations and on advocacy projects for the promotion of child and youth development with funds of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Honduras. He has more than 12 years of experience in development, citizen-security training, and public policies.

Estuardo Juárez Moscoso

Guatemala

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Estuardo Juárez Moscoso

Guatemala

Estuardo is a Social Worker for the Lambda Association based in Guatemala City. He has participated in gender-based violence workshops led by the UN Refugee Agency and completed a migration and LGBTI virtual course led by the International Organization for Migration. Estuardo has also completed citizenship participation courses and is first-aid certified. He is involved in various social activities and does not tolerate injustice. He considers himself honest and is passionate about helping people. He speaks Spanish and English.  

Guillermo Léverman

Guatemala

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Guillermo Léverman

Guatemala

Guillermo is an expert on child protection and has worked for 11 years in the ChildFund Guatemala. He contributes to various projects that improve the life adolescents and youth and, through that manner, decreases their need to emigrate. For the implementation of the ChildFund protection strategy, he provides advice and support to local partners. For 16 years, Guillermo has coordinated programs and projects for girls, boys, and youth in the country and within the business, government and civil society sectors. He has been a member and founder of several political and social organizations and has represented the country in international networks and organizations, that promote youth employment and volunteering. 

Ignacio Henríquez

El Salvador

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Ignacio Henríquez

El Salvador

Ignacio holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He is the Manager of the Active Citizenship program at Oxfam in El Salvador, where he implements and develops projects that seek to increase the population’s ability to recognize and defend their rights and influence on policymakers; with emphasis on women’s right and youth participation. Among the topics developed and implemented are: right to water, environment and comprehensive territorial management, food security and sovereignty, agroecology and organic production, violence against women, land management, farmers markets, fair trade, development local, decentralization, preparation and humanitarian response, right to health, citizen participation, among others. He has worked in regions extending from southern Mexico to Costa Rica. 

José Alberto Barrera

Guatemala

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José Alberto Barrera

Guatemala

Jose is a lawyer, notary, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Legal and Social Sciences from the Rafael Landívar University of Guatemala. He works at the Myrna Mack Foundation, as an Advisory Lawyer, and has played a key role in processes of constitutional jurisdiction and academic investigations. He has held positions in the Constitutional Court, the Human Rights Ombudsman institution, the Attorney General of the Nation, and the Supreme Court of Justice. His professional experience has allowed him to approach topics related mainly to constitutional law and human rights.

José Orlando Ramos

Guatemala

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José Orlando Ramos

Guatemala

Jose is a clinical psychologist from the Mariano Gálvez University of Guatemala and completed courses in Barcelona, Spain, on at-risk children and youth. He is the Executive Director of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, in Guatemala, where he monitors and manages all programs dedicated to serving at-risk children and youth. Before Guatemala’s general election in 2019, he participated in political talks to further the political candidates’ awareness on issues of children and youth. 

Julia Vindel

Honduras

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Julia Vindel

Honduras

Julia is the Technical Coordinator of Community Organizations for the development of USAID’s Employing Futures project, executed by Banyan Global in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She collaborates with Workforce Development that facilitates the training of 7,500 young people and accompanies their entry into the labor sector on a national level. These actions seek to prevent violence, improve community security in areas of high social risk and, as a result, reduce migration. Julia was a Program Manager for the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) in the areas of education and culture, where she coordinated with the government secretaries of Education, Security and Culture and with civil organizations to connect children and adolescents to projects on the prevention and reduction of violence.

Julio César Paz Márquez

Honduras

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Julio César Paz Márquez

Honduras

Julio has experience in monitoring and evaluation of local governance and in preparing reports and analysis of water council management and educational networks. He has taught workshops on gender to high school students and civil society organizations and was a primary school teacher of Spanish language arts, mathematics, English, social studies and physical education. Part of his knowledge about migration is based on his past personal experience as a migrant and his being returned three times, once from Mexico and twice from the United States.

Lidia Viviana Tzay PataI

Guatemala

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Lidia Viviana Tzay PataI

Guatemala

Lidia is a Kaqchiquel Maya with extensive experience in the legal field. She is the Director and Litigating Attorney of the Women’s Rights Initiative legal advisory program in Guatemala City. The program seeks to mitigate inequalities and improve the lives of Guatemalan indigenous women by providing legal advice and education. Lidia works on legal cases of violence against women before the justice system and fights for justice for women and girls. In this way, she also empowers women and girls to exercise their rights. She has worked for several institutions that fight for the rights of indigenous people, women workers rights, and protection of women fleeing violence.

Liliam Mejía Núñez

Honduras

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Liliam Mejía Núñez

Honduras

Liliam has a degree in Social Work from the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), a certificate in human rights, politics and citizen security and received a training for child rights advocates in Latin America. She is the National Coordinator for Law and Advocacy at Aldeas Infantiles SOS Honduras. She worked in the Network of Private Institutions for Girls, Boys, Adolescents, Youth and their Rights (COIPRODEN) in the programs and projects department for four years, where she advocated for the promotion and defense of women, children and youth’s rights. She has 12 years of experience working with children and youth and has represented Honduras before the International Committee on Children’s Rights (2014) and before the Human Rights Council (UN, 2016), presenting on the state of children and youth in the country.

María Isabel Fortin de Miranda

El Salvador

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María Isabel Fortin de Miranda

El Salvador

María Isabel is the Peace and Justice Building Manager at the Catholic Relief Services (CRS). At CRS, she is in charge of several programs such as the Young Builders program (specialized for at-risk youth) and Savings and Loan Savings Groups. She focused on migration in Honduras and El Salvador and was Project Country Director on the subject of violence prevention with the International City Managers Association/Municipal Associations for the Prevention of Violence, a regional project sponsored by USAID for six years. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration through a presidential scholarship from the University of Loyola, New Orleans, and holds a Master’s in Social Economy from the University of Barcelona. She speaks Spanish and English fluently.

Moisés Ramírez Majano

El Salvador

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Moisés Ramírez Majano

El Salvador

Moisés works as a Program Coordinator at the Asociación de Jóvenes Líderes Solidarios y Voluntarios (AYLSV) of El Salvador, where he developed a framework for the Culture of Peace and Life Skills program that focused on at-risk youth. He also works on developing strategic alliances to mitigate forced displacement and to establish the Network of Youth Organizations. Moises has been a National Coordinator of Empowering Youth El Salvador and has participated on processes to defend human rights, such as the committee of the School of Political and Civic Education of the Central American University José Simeón Cañas, where he worked with leaders from the northern region of ​​El Salvador. Simon has been working with vulnerable youths affected by forced displacement since 2017.

Obdulio Perén

Guatemala

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Obdulio Perén

Guatemala

Obdulio works at Juarez y Asociados, a consulting firm, implementing a project that aims to address the main causes of undocumented external migration by improving youth’s, ages 15 to 24, quality of life in the western highlands of Guatemala. He is a volunteer in the Association of Community Services EMAUS San Juan and, for several years, has worked and volunteered on processes that develop youth and apply participatory methodologies to further basic life skills. His purpose of service has made him involved on various processes in favor of youth and those who are in vulnerable or suppressive conditions. 

Osman Murillo Lara

Honduras

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Osman Murillo Lara

Honduras

Osman is the Coordinator of the Center for Education and Prevention in Health, Sexuality and AIDS (CEPRES), where he has been a key resource regarding forced migration of LGBTI+ people since 2012. He is linked to various municipal programs for returned LGBTI+ migrants to facilitate their full social reintegration. This has made Osman a primary point of contact for civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations and assistance centers working with returned migrants. He is a psychologist and is pursuing a Masters in Social Sciences, Urban Studies and International Migration. He speaks Spanish and English and understands Honduran sign language.

Queily Díaz

Honduras

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Queily Díaz

Honduras

Queily is the Regional Coordinator for the Christian Organization for Integrated Development of Honduras in Potrerillos Cortés, Honduras. Together with her team of five people, she facilitates the implementation of projects in defense of people’s rights and provides accompaniment to youth organized in different networks to help mitigate the causes of migration. She supports them in organizing their networks, implementing initiatives and entering the labor force. This implies coordination, management and advocacy actions at the municipal and regional levels. She has a degree in Management and Social Development and has been working on development processes for 14 years throughout the country with different organizations.

Rafael Poitevin

Guatemala

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Rafael Poitevin

Guatemala

Rafael holds a Doctorate degree in Public Administration and Public Policies, and is a Professor. He is the Program and Projects Coordinator at the Prosperiti-Guatecípa Foundation in Guatemala, where he is involved on developing programs that strengthen democracy and civil society, transparency, social municipal audits, health, entrepreneurship, and migration mitigation. He is a civil society representative in the international initiatives of Open Government, Eiti and Cost, and of the Citizen Ambassadors for the Sustainable Development Objectives (ODS) program in Latin America. He has participated in the Guatemala Country Implementation Reviews of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and its Follow-up Mechanism (MESICIC), as well as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). Rafael has been a member of the Security and Justice Bureau of the Guatemalan Congress, where he promoted open justice and legal initiatives that incorporate social inclusion, migration, security, and youth.

Rocío Martínez García

El Salvador

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Rocío Martínez García

El Salvador

Rocío is specialized on local development and communications for development. She is the Health programs Manager at Glasswing International based in San Salvador, El Salvador. At Glasswing, she leads social programs focused on community health, violence prevention, mental health, local development, and gender. She has experience in the implementation of social projects with international organizations such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Inter-American Development Bank. Before working at Glasswing, she worked in the Social Investment Fund for Local Development of El Salvador and the Environmental Fund of El Salvador. Rocio has also volunteered on the areas of human capital management and promoted the development of children and youth in at-risk and vulnerable communities.

Silvia Raquec Cum

Guatemala

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Silvia Raquec Cum

Guatemala

Silvia is a Kaqchikel Maya gender violence Defender. Since 2016, she coordinates the migration operations of the Pop No’j Association (PNA). She has experience with indigenous migrant children, women, and girls in migration, and the return and reintegration process of children and adolescents deported from Mexico and the U.S. She has been involved in the Mayan women social movement from a young age. Silvia plays an active role in the Maya Women Kaqchikels (ALIAMAK) women’s articulation to prevent identity and cultural gender violence. She has represented PNA at the national, regional, and international level to bring awareness on the situation of indigenous migrant children and share about PNA’s projects.

Vilma Chanta

El Salvador

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Vilma Chanta

El Salvador

Vilma is the Territorial Development Researcher and Coordinator of the National Foundation for Development based in San Salvador, El Salvador, where she began her career as a volunteer in 2011. She has experience in the management and implementation of projects for youth, women, and local governments. Vilma is a key player of the Juventud de Global Water Partnership Central America and an active volunteer of the Youth Network for Water in Central America. In recent years, she has been involved in projects that promote access to water through rainwater collection systems. She was selected for the Young Water Fellowship in 2017.

Activities