Taking Democracy to a New Scale
About the Author: Tomicah Tillemann serves as the Secretary of State’s Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies.
Today, I’ve come together with more than 500 activists, academics, and policymakers to participate in the World Movement for Democracy’s Seventh Assembly in Lima, Peru. The Assembly is a key gathering for civil society leaders from dozens of countries, and participants at the meeting are working to develop new strategies for advancing democracy, dignity, and opportunity worldwide.
This year’s Assembly is taking place from October 14 to 17, and it’s built around the theme of “Democracy for All: Ensuring Political, Social and Economic Inclusion.” Peru, like many Latin American countries, has made significant political and economic progress over the last decade. But… more »
It Starts With One: Alumni, Youth Empowerment, and a Vision for a Better Future
About the Author: Jeff Weinshenker serves as a Public Diplomacy Officer in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.
It all starts with one. One idea. One individual. One community. And one vision for a better future.
It starts with Juan Pablo in Bolivia teaching at-risk youth how to express themselves through sports and culture, developing their own identity so others won’t define it for them.
It starts with Martha in Costa Rica or Yelitza in Panama, who found ways to reach the “unreachable” — gang members, drug users, and school dropouts in whom others had given up hope.
Sometimes it begins with an idea — teaching robotics to 10-year-olds in a drug-ravaged community in Costa Rica. Piece by piece, with the support of dedicated adults, these boys and girls learn to construct something bigger — engines, cars, complex systems — and along the way, they rebuild themselves and their neighborhoods.
These moments of inspiration exist across… more »
TechCamp Empowers Civil Society Leaders in Central America
About the Author: Katie Dowd serves in the Office of the Secretary of State.
Last week, Guatemala City, Guatemala, played host to the first “Do It Yourself” (DIY) TechCamp. TechCamps are a signature program under Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Civil Society 2.0 initiative; they aim to build the digital literacy of civil society through two-day, interactive training events. To date, the State Department has coordinated 11 TechCamps around the world, convening more than 1,000 participants. So, how did Tech Camp Guatemala differ from past ones?
Civil society leaders and technologists in Guatemala used “TechCamp in a Box” to organize the event themselves. In the spirit of encouraging innovation and empowering civil society organizations to create change in their own community, we have made all of the planning materials for our TechCamp… more »
Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Travels to Central America
Office of the Spokesperson
June 25, 2012
Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson will travel to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras June 26-29. Assistant Secretary Jacobson will meet with leaders from all sectors of Central American society to advance our regional partnership for a more secure and prosperous Central America.
In El Salvador, the Assistant Secretary will award scholarships to Salvadoran students for study in the United States, and will participate in an equipment donation ceremony for Salvadoran security and law enforcement. In El Salvador and Guatemala, she will meet with government, civil society, private sector leaders, and media opinion-makers to discuss citizen security. Also in Guatemala, she will meet with student participants in the English Access Microscholarship Program and will attend the closing ceremony of Beyond the Horizon, a U.S.-sponsored joint humanitarian assistance exercise in the city of Cobán.
In Honduras, the Assistant Secretary will participate in a meeting of the Central American Integration System (SICA) Heads of State and Government. In May 2012, the United States and SICA signed a Memorandum of Understanding granting the United States observer status in that organization. Assistant Secretary Jacobson will reiterate our strong commitment to a regional security partnership and will highlight our integrated approach to cooperation through the Central America Regional Security Initiative. She will also meet with Honduran officials and civil society representatives.
Turning Tables: From At-Risk Youth to Generators of Change
About the Author: Paula Uribe is a Senior Advisor for Social Issues in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.
Youth are overrepresented both as victims and perpetrators of violent crime in the Americas. Children, as young as 12, in countries like El Salvador are recruited into gangs. The Latin American Technological Information Network has found that a young person in Latin America is 30 times more likely to be murdered than a young person from Europe. Moreover, the short- and long-term costs of youth delinquency take a heavy toll on the potential development of the region. According to the World Bank, youth violence costs Latin American and Caribbean countries an average of 1.4 percent of their GDP each year. The urgency to address this crisis is clear.
Youth crime and violence in the Americas stem from poverty and inequality, lack of opportunities, lack of access to formal and alternative forms of education, lack of constructive leisure activities, and lack of employment… more »