Indigenous youth in Guatemala’s western highlands often lack meaningful avenues for civic engagement and economic opportunity, which contributes to weak communal ties and often pushes them to leave their communities in search of a better life. At the IAF, we support community-led solutions to strengthen inclusive governance and promote alternatives to irregular migration. Asociación Para el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Juventud (ADESJU) manages a leadership program for 1,500 youth across several departments of Guatemala and El Salvador that provides youth with life skills such as entrepreneurship, leadership, dependability, and public speaking. These activities strive to keep youth in school, out of gangs, and away from substance abuse. Through leadership workshops and community congresses, ADESJU provides youth with opportunities to apply acquired skills to the betterment of their communities.
This grant is part of the IAF’s efforts to address the root causes of irregular migration in Central America.