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Global Journey to Guatemala

Date: May 04, 2025 - May 09, 2025

Location: Guatemala

Global Journey to Guatemala Register

May 4, 2025 May 9, 2025 UTC+0


“I have been on several Global Journeys with [Forward Global] as a member, including Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Colombia, Canada and Brazil. Each one made a significant impact in my learnings and my experiences getting into the field with partners. It was also transformational for me in building close relationships with other Forward Global members; sharing those kind of experiences builds bonds and trust that underpins this community as a whole. This is the best of what [Forward Global] has to offer.” – Forward Global Member & Global Journey Participant

Why Guatemala?

Migration defines human history. During this current moment of conflict & mass displacement, climate change, populism and economic stagnation, the way we think about human rights, migration and economic development affect us all. 

Our migration systems, mostly set up in the mid 20th century, are no longer fit for purpose. The news typically focuses on what is happening at U.S. and European borders, revealing only part of a much bigger picture. This turns a human rights issue into a security issue, and means the response often focuses on humanitarian aid rather than systemic solutions. 

Guatemala’s geography, culture and politics make it geopolitically significant, and a fascinating place to learn about global challenges and opportunities for these interconnected issues that drive migration. Part of the Northern Triangle of Central America, alongside El Salvador and Guatemala, Guatemala is a country of both origin and transit for migrants moving towards Mexico and the United States. Displacement is caused by violence, climate change, poverty, and food insecurity, and certain groups, including Indigenous communities and women from lower-income families, face particularly high risk. 

Why now?

The 2024 Mexico and US elections will significantly impact the region’s migration, human rights and development.

Guatemala itself is in a unique moment in its history. June 2023 marked the first time in half a century that Presidential elections were won by a candidate from outside the highly conservative and largely corrupt political establishment. These developments make Guatemala an interesting case study for countries across the world who are taking on the challenges of corruption and good governance, themselves crucial for a broad range of social and environmental outcomes.

In a twist of history, the US Government has been active in protecting the democratic transition in Guatemala, having played a leading role in overthrowing the elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in 1953. Guatemala now plays a leading role in the global conversation on migration; in May 2024, it hosted the US Secretary of State and 22 other world leaders to discuss a coordinated international approach to migration. 

“The theory is important, but actually seeing it makes such a difference. I knew it intellectually but actually being in the place and meeting the leaders has been a real eye-opener.”
– Forward Global Member & Global Journey Participant

Who should join a Global Journey?

Forward Global strongly encourages all members to join Immersive Learning Journeys for a simple reason: the importance of proximity. Whether it is for learning, connections or inspiration, nothing compares to being physically in the communities on the frontlines of change, and speaking with leaders with huge potential but little visibility. 

This Global Journey is ideal for all members looking to learn from real-life case studies of how funders can empower communities and protect the planet, while getting out to the field and building strategic connections with practitioners and peers. We will cover a range of approaches, including movement-building and advocacy, social enterprise and impact investing, and community organizing. Given the community and systems focus, the program is relevant for all members regardless of cause area or geographic focus.

What will this Journey cover and what will I get out if it?

The Global Journey will focus on what is working on a policy, market and community level to support human rights and sustainable development in the region, and reduce the multiple harms caused by displacement and traumatic engagement with migration systems. Migration will be an entry point for us to explore other intersectional social and environmental challenges, including poverty alleviation and livelihoods, violence prevention, climate adaptation, women’s rights, food security and anti-corruption. 

By participating in this program you will:

Develop communication and due diligence skills in global contexts, including how to build an understanding of organisations’ strategy, approach and impact, and of the context they work within.
Build an understanding of how to work in partnership with local communities.
Better understand how systemic interventions work in practice: including network building, advocacy, storytelling and research. 
Understand the role of philanthropy and social investing in supporting systems change in countries with a different history and culture 
Make strategic connections with peers and practitioners that can take your social investing to the next level.
Leave with practical next steps.

Where will it be and what would we do?

We would fly into Guatemala City before travelling north towards the highlands and meeting with Indigenous communities.

The agenda is to be confirmed pending a field scan, but would likely follow the below flow:

  • Sunday May 4: Arrival and opening meal
  • Monday May 5: Context-setting and site visits to community-based organizations in Guatemala City
  • Tuesday May 6: Travel to Guatemalan highlands
  • Wednesday May 7: Site visits to Indigenous and community-led initiatives in highlands 
  • Thursday May 8: Return to Guatemala City and meetings with Government officials
  • Friday May 9: Meetings with movement-leaders, debrief & close
When should I register and how much does it cost?

The Global Journey will have a strict registration cap of 20 people with places given on a first-come first-served basis, so we encourage you to register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. 

The registration fee for the Journey is $7,750 USD. A discount of 10% is available if registering before 31 October, 2024, bringing the fee down to $6,975.

The cost is inclusive of all hotels, food and internal travel (including domestic flights) from the night of Sunday May 4, until Friday May 9. It does not include the price of international flights.

Registration can be cancelled with a full refund of the program fee up until 31 October 2024, or with a 50% cancellation fee between 1 November and 31 December 2024. We unfortunately cannot offer refunds after 1 January 2025, though can provide registrants with the same value in credit for future Journeys.

If you have any questions, please contact community@forward-global.org.