Every year, thousands of people flee their homes in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, looking for a better life in the United States. This phenomenon is widely due to corruption, poverty, violence, and lack of opportunities for millions who find life in these countries unbearable. In partnership with República, one of the largest digital newspapers in Guatemala, Concordia hosted a conversation that touched on crucial issues facing the Northern Triangle today, and how foreign aid, investment & trade, and the rule of law are critical in addressing mass migration into the United States.
“I am optimistic. There are a lot of challenges but room for opportunities, and we are working together more than before. The challenge is big, but if we work together, it will be great.” – José Miguel Torrebiarte
“We must always be sure that we are keeping the communities in mind who are being served by all of these efforts… It’s not just about national and international government, but it’s about communities, and we need to engage them in these conversations so that everything we do addresses their needs.” – Anu Rajaraman
“The Congressman and his office are committed to driving the agenda forward and do our part to promote change. Everyone is invested and will continue to collaborate to work on these issues.” – Louise Bentsen
The promise of a better future for Guatemala and Central America lies at the heart of this conversation. The panelists of this discussion discussed how increased opportunities, voluntary migration, and various ways to develop humanitarian pathways are crucial in addressing mass migration from Central America to the United States.
This Concordia Live examined the concrete strategies and goals that address the needs and issues of Guatemalan communities that yearn to migrate to the United States in search of a better life. The skilled speakers of this panel included Jose Miguel Torrebiarte, the President of Calzado Coban, Vice President of Progresso & Director of Fundesa ; Anu Rajaraman, Mission Director of USAID Guatemala; and Louise Bentsen, the Chief of Staff for Congressman Vincente Gonzalez (TX-15). Rodrigo Arenas, the CEO of Republica, moderated this discussion.