Guatemala’s Women: Moving Their Country Forward
About the Author: Melanne Verveer serves as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.
From the first time I visited with then-First Lady Hillary Clinton in 1998, Guatemala’s natural beauty and the warmth of its people, particularly the strength of its women despite many hardships, have left me with a special affinity for this Central American country. However, it has also long been a place rife with challenges. Even after the 1996 peace accords were signed to end the 36-year internal conflict, Guatemala has continued to struggle with malnutrition, poverty, corruption, organized crime, and high rates of violence against women.
Despite these challenges, my recent visit to the country has convinced me that Guatemala is beginning to address them, particularly gender-based violence (GBV) and other crimes. A big part of this change… more »
Women Moving Forward in Guatemala
About the Author: Kathleen Guerra serves as Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala.
As diplomats, one of our most important functions is to get to know the people of our host country. What do they think about what’s happening in the world? How do they view the critical issues of the day in their country? And what is their opinion on the United States?
Here in Guatemala, as Cultural Affairs Officer, I am lucky to have a job that allows me to do just that. I travel to many remote sites around the country, to check up on our English teaching programs or to visit an archaeological site we support with a grant from the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. I meet a wide variety of people from all over Guatemala: young, old, rural, urban, rich, poor, male, female. I talk to them, and I learn a lot about their lives.
But some things, like gender-based violence, I will never understand. This issue was central in a visit last Friday by Ambassador-at-Large… 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 »
English Teaching Translates Into Community Leadership in Rural Guatemala
About the Author: Kathleen Guerra serves as the Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
One of the amazing yet frustrating things about working on the cultural side of public diplomacy is that the results of our programs are often not apparent until after months, years, or even decades have passed. We know our exchanges work; for example, there are many examples of International Visitor Leadership Program participants, identified for their leadership potential, who have become heads of state. But as a cultural affairs officer, you often leave a country still wondering what impact your programs will have in the long term.
That’s why a recent visit by Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson to Guatemala, which highlighted the specific and immediate results… more »
RT @StateDept Special Advisor for @ChildrensIssues Susan Jacobs travels to Guatemala, July 1-3: http://go.usa.gov/w4K
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.
Doing Business Differently: Fighting Global Hunger Through a Whole-of-Government Approach
About the Author: Tjada McKenna serves as Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, and Jonathan Shrier serves as Acting Special Representative for Global Food Security and Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy for Feed the Future.
In Haiti, farmers are increasing their incomes and conserving the environment by improving their production of plantains.
In Guatemala, smallholder farmers — many of them women — are benefiting from increased access to loans, markets, training, and technology to advance food… more »
Helping Guatemala Cultivate a Better Future
About the Author: Ertharin Cousin serves as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies in Rome.
Cooperativa Agricola Integral Mujeres Quatro Pinos (Integrated Women’s Agricultural Cooperative) in the central highlands of Guatemala is a heartening example of what women can accomplish when they set their minds to it, work together and receive the necessary investment support.
I visited Quatro Pinos’ vegetable production, processing, and marketing operation last week on a media tour of Guatemala as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations agencies in Rome.
In just six years, the cooperative has grown from a group of 35 women with small vegetable plots to a 350-member cooperative that manages 415 acres of land. Since the fall of 2010, they have quadrupled their production from 450,000 to 2 million pounds of vegetables. They grow snow peas, English peas, string beans, and mini carrots that they then process, package and export — much to the… more »
Secretary Clinton Meets With Foreign Minister Jimenez in Madrid
Trip Page | Photos
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met today with Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez in Madrid. After their meeting, Secretary Clinton said:
“Thank you so very much, Trini, for those warm words, and also for the excellent working relationship that we have. And the meeting we just completed demonstrated that once again. It was a wide-ranging, comprehensive discussion of so many of the important issues, not only the bilateral issues, but regional and global issues, as well. And it underscores the enduring relationship between the United States and Spain.
“We are very grateful that the ties between our two nations… more »