There was a big crowd representing Washington NGOs working on a range of health, environmental, and development issues across Central America. We heard from organizations with programs in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, and Costa Rica. Among the different areas of focus there was one shared value: a passion for working for social justice in Central America through giving people the tools and support to solve their unique problems.
The event was moderated by the Executive Director of Global Washington, Bookda Gheisar. She shared that part of Global Washington’s mission is to bring together members of the local development community to share information, network, and determine ways to collaborate. She welcomed the Global Washington members attending and encouraged other attendees to consider membership. We were offered some background by Enrique Gonzalez on our host location, the Centro de la Raza, a Latino community center that asks “What kind of world do we want to leave our children?” Enrique suggested that “A lot of organizations run in parallel and it’s not until we have meetings like this we realize it.” Everyone was invited to attend monthly “Café y Pan Dulce” gatherings the first Thursday of each month. More information about the Centro de la Raza and these events can be found
Next, Mauricio Vivero, Executive Director of the Read More(SIF) shared information about his organization, including its history, mission, and areas of focus. We learned that the objectives of the foundation include promoting the Seattle & Washington non-profit environment as a model for the rest of the US through support of Global Washington, as well as a Small Grants Program that provides grants to internationally-focused NGOs based in Washington. Mauricio expressed that SIF’s support of Global Washington comes from a desire to build connections