FCA’s projects in Honduras ended in 2015, and the final Women’s Bank project in Guatemala ended in 2016. Operations since the mid 1990’s focused on community resilience, human rights, disaster risk reduction and environmental protection. Advocacy work in the region also affected countries beyond FCA’s direct operational area.
When did FCA start work in the country and how many years was it present?
FCA started working in the Central American region approximately in 1996. Operations in Honduras ended in 2015. One Women’s Bank project continued in Guatemala until the end of 2016.
In which geographical areas have we worked?
FCA operating areas in Central America included the departments of Alta Verapaz and Petén in Guatemala, and the departments of Choluteca, Copán and Olancho in Honduras. To some extent, FCA’s operations have targeted the region more broadly (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua), mainly in advocacy work and capacity building.
What did FCA concentrate on specifically?
The main programmatic issue of the Central American programme was promoting the realisation of human rights and the participation of women and men through increased capacity and skills to participate in community matters.
The vulnerabilities in Central America are extremely high, and one of the key programmatic areas has been strengthening the resilience of local communities. FCA supported sustainable livelihood opportunities, disaster risk reduction, preparedness and adaptation measures, as well as environmental protection in order to reduce climate-related risks in the region.
Special attention was given to social and economic empowerment of rural women in Guatemala, but overall both women and youth have been included in projects due to the lack of existing sustainable means and incentives to enable livelihoods for the poor.
Under the Right to Education theme, various skills trainings, including literacy training and basic accounting, have been the key issues. In addition to promoting citizens’ understanding on their rights and improving their capacities to community participation, a programmatic priority has been in strengthening the local capacities for violence prevention and informal conflict resolution through increased dialogue between right-holders and duty-bearers. Promoting a holistic approach to citizen security and prevention of violence is very important due to the high rates of violence and organised crime in the region.
What are the most important accomplishments during these years?
- Women are playing more diverse roles in the public sphere and have assumed responsibilities at the community level.
- Youth groups have been actively engaging in human rights related actions, violence prevention and promotion of sustainable use of natural resources and environmental protection.
- Local populations are more aware of the vulnerabilities present in their environment and have improved skills and knowledge to respond to these vulnerabilities.
- 600 rural indigenous women in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, trained in business skills and diversification of agricultural production in order to increase their income.
- 700 families trained in sustainable farming methods and are diversifying their production.
What happens to the work we have been doing?
Roughly half of the projects ended with our exit. Some projects are still running with funding from other donors (Lutheran World Federation, CIPRODEH) but these projects have gone through cuts in activities and target communities due to our exit.