Category: Development and Beyond

Two Paths to Development

Some twenty miles down a rough cobblestone path through the forests of rural Guatemala, visitors like myself will find a community-based organization (CBO) called Sindicato de Trabajadores Independientes de la Finca Alianza, El Palmar (STIAP). Its self-constructed office is equipped with internet and displays development awards for achievements from alternative energy to coffee exports. …

In Petén, Interesting Times

I first came to Petén in the 1970s, reading a found paperback of The Exorcist to pass a long, dreary bus ride on pocked roads from Belize. Stepping off at Tikal, breathing the jungle air, I immediately felt the rainforest’s richness, its promise of discoveries to come. Later, the night called mysteriously with cries of birds and unseen animals. “There is no place like this on earth,” I thought. Archaeologists and workmen outnumbered …

Development Strategies and the 1996 Peace Accord

The civil war ravaged Guatemala’s social and political fabric for over three decades. It came to an official end with the signing of the 1996 Peace Accords and a sense of anticipation for the country’s future. The Accords gave rise to optimism that a reduction of violence and social injustice could be achieved through development. Yet, more than a decade after the signing and the implementation of subsequent national …

Central America Competitiveness Project

Harvard University has played a key role in developing a “culture” of competitiveness in the Central American region and especially in my country, Guatemala. The 1996 Guatemalan Peace Accords were a turning point in creating an environment of peace for the first time in more than one hundred years, and bringing hope for social change and economic growth in our region. With the war over, it was time to face the challenges …


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