EntreMundos • Guatemala
Guatemala is a country full of beautiful, truly grassroots efforts – communities and groups working courageously to fight for their rights, preserve their natural resources, and keep their indigenous cultures and traditions alive. However, these small community-based movements and organizations tend to struggle to fund their efforts as most lack the necessary contacts, skills and language requirements to be able to apply to international foundations and larger grant-making institutions. As a result, the majority of funding in Guatemala funnels into the largest NGOs in the country, which coincidentally are the institutions with the least need for such funds, and with the highest overhead costs.
EntreMundos was established in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala in 2001 to shift this power imbalance and elevate the smaller, local organizations, associations and grassroots groups. With its database of over 900 local NGOs, EntreMundos helps give these resilient groups the opportunity to defend and promote human rights of the most marginalized populations in the country.
Through several core programs, EntreMundos provides a diverse range of services that seek to elevate local voices, develop and strengthen the skills of community groups, and encourage collaboration and the development of networks and partnerships
Training Program: This program offers computer informational technology courses at a range of levels, covering important skills like the creation and management of web pages. The program also runs certificate courses offering skills-based workshops on topics such as gender, environment, political impact, project development and fundraising.
Volunteer Program: The Volunteer Program acts as a bridge between worlds or “entre mundos” – connecting skilled volunteers from around the world with local, practical projects in need of support. The program also arranges longer-term internships for those with specialized knowledge and skills.
EntreMundos Magazine: Established in 2001 when EntreMundos was founded, the bilingual magazine works to elevate local voices and highlight issues surrounding development, culture, the environment and human rights. The publication offers a space, alternative to mass media, for social organizations, independent writers and civil society groups to share their stories, experiences, lessons learned and opinions on problems facing society. The magazine adheres to a “Peace Journalism” approach, which analyzes the root causes of issues rather than simply their effects. The magazine also focuses on solutions and pathways to peace and justice. In 2018, the EntreMundos magazine celebrated the publication of its 100th edition!
Grant Program: When funding allows, this program provides direct support to start-up organizations conducting small, yet impactful projects that lack access to international funding and support.
WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP
GoPhil and EntreMundos joined forces in 2017 to better support Guatemalan communities working together to achieve their visions for change.
- GoPhil has provided support for EntreMundos’ community grant portfolio. Each year, EntreMundos receives more than 100 innovative applications for the Small Grants Program and funds 20 to 25 of those proposals. The applications for funding vary by field and include key topics like health and hygiene, education, human rights of indigenous populations, community development and many others. GoPhil helps fund promising projects that match our priority areas. Additionally, GoPhil has participated in EntreMundos’ grant-making process, from the initial call for proposals all the way through to the grant completion and reporting.
- After Volcan de Fuego erupted in June 2018, our GoPhil Community contributed to EntreMundos’ disaster relief efforts, getting funds directly into the hands of community members rather than large organizations with excessive overhead costs and limited transparency.
- More recently, GoPhilanthropic has invested in EntreMundos’ local capacity-building efforts for rural, impoverished, and mostly indigenous Mayan communities in Guatemala, including the piloting of virtual trainings. Virtual trainings offer an incredible opportunity to reach groups that don’t have the financial ability to travel to the EntreMundos headquarters.
WHAT MAKES ENTREMUNDOS UNIQUE?
EntreMundos’ integration with the communities they serve means they are extremely well placed to identify the specific needs of their beneficiaries and to implement effective projects and programs to address them.
EntreMundos employs a “bottom-up” approach to rural development based on the needs, expectations, ideas and initiatives of local populations. With a contact database of more than 900 registered NGOs, EntreMundos is well-known nationally, and has become a leader and reference point for NGOs and community groups throughout Guatemala. In their model, the communities, local activists and grassroots participants are actively involved in the decision-making about local development. This approach is successful in sustainably promoting social, cultural, environmental, economic and political development, as well as the fulfillment. and defense of the human rights in Guatemala.
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