In the 2006 issue of the Grassroots Development journal, we feature stories on the rewards and challenges of IAF’s small transnational portfolio, including the development of hometown associations and investment in grassroots organizations by yesterday’s migrants.
Letters from Our Readers
“Migration and Development: Encounters and Disconnects”
While the connections between migration and development seem straightforward, the practical nature of those linkages is unclear. This article describes the ways in which the IAF is well-positioned to contribute to this incipient momentum by supporting capacity-building, field-testing and learning about those grassroots initiatives that take migration into account.
“The Universe of Hometown Associations in the United States”
Here we explore how Mexican hometown associations have grown from informal, isolated groups into a consolidated structure of migrants working in the United States. With cross-border fundraising and investments in home community infrastructure, these more systematic associations have increased their visibility and encourage civic and political participation in Mexico and the United States.
“Local Heroes: How Mexican Immigrants Improve Living Conditions Back Home”
This article showcases the impressive three-for-one matching remittance structure of the oldest and most successful collection of Mexican hometown associations. The Federación de Clubes Zacatecanos del Sur de California (Federation of Zacatecan Clubs of Southern California) helps generate a growing annual investment for social infrastructure projects in the central Mexican state of Zacatecas.
“Postcards from IAF’s Roundtables: Grantmaking in the Era of Transnationalism”
Through a series of roundtable discussions, IAF staff met with U.S.-based hometown associations of migrants from across Latin America and the Caribbean to share knowledge about migrant-funded development. In this article, we discuss the ongoing obstacles these organizations face and solutions to obtaining funding from grantmakers in the U.S. The IAF’s grants must be awarded to groups living in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The IAF and Transnational Communities in El Salvador”
Hundreds of thousands of Salvadoran families benefit from remittance income that can be dedicated to immediate needs and long-term aspirations. In this article, we consider whether family remittances could be the means to transnational community development and whether hometown associations could be partners in grassroots development based on several approaches that have yielded sufficient results.
“Transnational Highlights from the IAF’s Mexico Portfolio”
This article describes the IAF’s motivation for taking on the inherent risks that come with funding transnational projects that aim to address the economic needs in targeted areas and provide alternatives to migration.
Photo Essay: “A Grassroots Group Taps into a Nostalgia Market”
These vibrant scenes depict a California “nostalgia market,” which supplies migrant consumers with the products they grew up with.
“Native Baja Californians: Deep Roots, High Hopes”
Though the Yuman nations are separated by the U.S.-Mexican border, these groups are related, but their ways of life can be strikingly different. This article describes the younger generation’s interest in rediscovering its heritage and developing ties of kinship and culture across borders. A three-year grant from the IAF has helped consolidate a network of grassroots organizations in support of these efforts into the Alliance for Sustainable Development in the Indigenous Communities of Baja California.
“Crossing a Border in the Andes”
IAF grantee partner Asociación de Mujeres Warmi Sayajsuqno has extended 1,500 microcredit loans over a 40,000 square kilometer expanse of the Puna in Argentina. Here we explore the organization’s approach to taking its services into Bolivia.
“Wyclef Jean: A Hip-Hop Mega-Star Works toward Change in Haiti”
In a time when many organizations–including the IAF–were unable to reach Haitians desperate for assistance, a hip-hop artist from Brooklyn found a creative way to help improve conditions. This Q&A tells the story of Wyclef Jean’s work to raise money for his non-profit organization Yélé Haiti.
“Ayacucho’s Super Savers: Village Banking Pioneers in the Peruvian Andes”
This article features Foundation for International Community Assistance-Peru, a microfinance institution that has worked to energize women from an impoverished and violence-torn corner of the Andes into a network of community banks in an effort to combat growing socioeconomic inequality.
“After Mitch, Local Development”
After Hurricane Mitch caused unprecedented destruction in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua in 1998, the IAF allocated funding specifically for the grassroots response. This article describes the impact that these grants made to help victims recover and reconstruct their communities.
- “Weaving a Future: Tourism, Cloth, and Culture on an Andean Island”
- “Maya Intellectual Renaissance: Identity, Representation and Leadership”
- “The Community Forests of Mexico: Managing for Sustainable Landscapes”
- “Neither War nor Peace: International comparisons of children and youth in organized armed violence”
- “The Sixth Section,” a film about a hometown association of migrants from Boquerón, Mexico, who left after drought crippled the economy.
- “The Remittance Sending Practices of Haitians and Jamaicans in Canada”
In Memoriam: Bill Perrin
The IAF remembers Ambassador Bill K. Perrin, the IAF’s fourth president, whose vision and business acumen helped pioneer the IAF’s engagement of the private sector in supporting grassroots development.