The 2017 Central America Donors Forum will take place October 25 – 27, and will feature plenaries, concurrent sessions, networking events and receptions. 

“Reimagining Partnerships” is the theme that guiding this year’s sessions. The challenges facing Central America are inextricably linked, for example: food security and climate change, economic growth and gender equality, and health and education. A successful, sustainable development agenda that addresses these challenges requires innovative partnerships between government, the private sector, donors, and civil society. Now is the time to think anew about how partnerships can effectively combine individual strengths for maximum impact. Through a multi-stakeholder approach we can tackle issues which require multi-party solutions. Check back soon for agenda updates.

7:30am - 9:00am
8:30am - 8:40am
Opening Remarks
8:40am - 9:00am
Plenary Presentations


AllBank Philanthropy

Presenter: Carlos Arauz, Executive Vice President and General Manager, AllBank Corp

9:00am - 10:00am
Plenary Session | Miami Conference on Prosperity and Security: Reinvigorating Partnerships with the Private Sector in Central America

Panelists: Felipe Bosch, FUNDESA, Guatemala (invited)

Mauricio Ibarra, Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Relations Director General for North America (invited)

Roberto Lorenzana Salvadoran, Technical Secretary for Planning, The Presidency, El Salvador (invited)

Georges de La Roche, Ambassador, Director General of Bilateral International Relations, Ministry of External Relations, Guatemala (invited)

Rocio Tabora, Vice Minister for Public Credit, Honduras (invited)

10:00am - 10:30am
Plenary Conversation | Mesoamerica Health Initiative
10:30am - 11:00am
Coffee Break
11:00am - 12:00pm
Concurrent Sessions: Education | Health | CSR

Session 1: What promise does SDG 4 Hold for Education in Central America?

Sustainable Development Goal 4, inclusive and equitable quality education for all, remains elusive for Central America’s youth. Moreover, problematic gender norms pose additional challenges. This panel features speakers involved in two examples of innovative, multisectoral partnerships to expand the reach and quality of secondary education. Glasswing’s Community School program leverages local and international cross-sector support to develop youth life skills, resilience, and address gender norms and violence. PASMO’s Chicas en Conexión project focuses on preventing early marriage and pregnancy and providing opportunities for continuing education, spurring collaboration with local officials and the Ministry of Education.

Moderator: Diana Pacheco, Doctoral Student, University of California, Berkeley

Panelists: Perla Alvarado Reyes, Program Manager, PASMO Honduras, Pan American Social Marketing Organization

Meg Cushing, Associate Director, Tinker Foundation

Sara Doris Sambulá, Departmental Education Director of Cortés, Ministry of Education of Honduras

Maritza Trejo, Regional Education & Youth Director, Glasswing International


Session 2: Leveraging Cross-sectoral Partnerships to Tackle Complex, Regional Challenges in Public Health

In this panel, representatives of private, public, non-profit, and academic institutions will share their experiences working in cross-sectoral partnerships to address complex, regional challenges in health and healthcare in Central America. Recognizing that these challenges are complex and cannot be solved by any one entity, panelists will discuss the role of alliances in creating and sustaining system-level changes to improve the health and quality of life for Central Americans. Panelists will discuss examples of successes, challenges, and their perspective on existing and emerging opportunities for partnerships in the region.


PanelistsMaria Eugenia Arosemena, Advisor Minister of Health, Panama Ministry of Health (invited)

Vivian Bronsler, Senior Manager for Mexico And Central America, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, Regional Office For Latin America And The Caribbean (J-Pal Lac)

Carlos Alberto Faerron Guzmán, Director, Centro Interamericano para la Salud Global


Session 3: Gender Equality is Good Business: Launch of Women’s Economic Empowerment Principles

Moderator: Luiza Carvalho, Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean, UN Women

Panelists: Aimee Sentmat de Grimaldo, CEO, Banistmo (invited)

Copa Airlines representative (invited)

Procter and Gamble representative (invited)


12:00pm - 1:30pm
Networking Lunch
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Concurrent Sessions: Education | Health | CSR

Session 1: Leveraging Partnerships for Community-based Development


Session 2: Social Franchising: Sustainable Health Care Solutions 


Session 3: Corporate Social Responsibility: Central America Case Studies 

2:30pm - 3:00pm
Coffee Break
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Closing Plenary
4:00pm - 4:30pm
Closing Remarks

Bill Clapp, Founder and President, Seattle International Foundation

7:00pm - 9:00pm
Closing Reception

Join us for drinks and d’oeuvres at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence. Shuttle service available from the Sheraton.

7:00am - 9:00am
7:30am - 8:30am
Breakfast Briefing (invite only)

Sorry, this entry is only available in European Spanish.

8:30am - 9:00am
Welcome and Opening Remarks
9:00am - 10:00am
Opening Plenary | Effective Partnerships for Promoting Community Asset Mobilization: Expanding Local Resources for Community-led Development

For five decades the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) has been engaged with local Latin American partners to promote community-led development and has reimagined its partnerships in order to expand local resources to civil society organizations. This session highlights three successful models in Mexico, Colombia and El Salvador:

  • Community foundations: Philanthropic institutions that mobilize local resources for the benefit of a community.
  • RedEAmérica (REA): Network of corporate foundations that promotes best practices.
  • Diaspora philanthropy: Connections between immigrants and their communities of origin, enhancing the effectiveness of collective remittances.

The IAF supports these efforts through: grantmaking, learning, and technical assistance. The IAF is considering work with partners in Central America on similar initiatives.


Moderator: Steve Cox, Managing Director for Networks and Strategic Initiatives, Inter-American Foundation

Panelists: Elmer Arias, President and Founder, Foundation for Social, Economic and Cultural Education

Margareth Florez, Executive Director, RedEAmérica

David Perez Rulfo, Executive Director, Corporativa de Fundaciones A.C.


10:00am - 10:30am
Plenary Conversation

Brian Winter, Editor-in-Chief of Americas Quarterly and Vice President of Americas Society/Council of the Americas, interviews Mauricio Ramos, CEO of Millicom (TIGO).


10:30am - 11:00am
Coffee Break
11:00am - 12:00pm
Concurrent Sessions: Philanthropy | Youth | Environment

Session 1: Social Responsibility: The Role of the Elites in the Construction of Democracy in Central America

Hosted by El Faro with support from Ford Foundation

Despite the end of the civil wars two decades ago, Central America seems to be stuck in the simultaneous search for a sustainable and equitable development model, and the political processes that consolidate democracy. The responsibility tends to concentrate with political leaders, but what support can or should other economic or intellectual elites have in the construction of a region that is more equal, more inclusive, and more prosperous?

This session will look at the relationships between different actors of power and influence, the course of public debate on key themes, the impact of social corporate responsibility, the role of philanthropy, and the articulation of long-term solutions based on minimum consensus.

Session panelists who are experts on these themes and come from diverse backgrounds (academia, the private sector and journalism), and different countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, United States), will share their experiences and analysis of the situation.


Session 2: Ending Endemic Violence Against Children: Challenges and Opportunities On and Offline


Panelists: José Bergua ,  Regional Adviser on Child Protection, UNICEF LACRO (invited)

Zaira Navas, Executive Director, Consejo Nacional de Niñez y Adolescencia (CONNA) – El Salvador (invited)

Rachel Samrén, EVP Chief External Affairs Officer, Millicom (TIGO)


Session 3: To mine or not to mine?  A contentious question for Central America

This panel will discuss the current status of metal mining in Central America. It will present case studies from El Salvador and other Central American countries, with attention to the legal and political context. Panelists will touch on hot button issues, including opportunities and risks to communities. Can metal mining contribute to building prosperous, equitable, sustainable and peaceful societies? If so, how? The panel will also look at the longer-term benefits and costs of metal mining in the region – environmental, social, economic, and political.

Moderator: Keith Slack, Global Program Director, Extractive Industries, Oxfam America

Panelists: Ana Dubón, University Student, National Roundtable against Metallic Mining in El Salvador-MNFM

Iván Morales, Country Director, Oxfam El Salvador

Lourdes Palacios, Undersecretary of Participation, Transparency and Anti-Corruption of the Presidency of the Republic, El Salvador

Omar Arnulfo Serrano Crespín, Vice-rector of Social Protection, Central American University José Simeón Cañas (UCA), El Salvador


12:00pm - 1:30pm
Networking Lunch
1:30pm - 2:00pm
Plenary Conversation

A conversation with Laura Gonzales, Social Impact Manager, Conservatorio

2:00pm - 3:00pm
Concurrent Sessions: Philanthropy | Youth | Environment

Session 1: Family Philanthropy


Session 2: Strategic Partnerships to End Child Marriage 

ModeratorPerla Vazquez, Project Manager, Central America and Mexico Youth (CAMY) Fund

PanelistsRamatu Bangura, Program Officer, NoVo Foundation (invited)

Neus Bernabeu, Gender and Youth Advisor, UNFPA Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (invited)

Emma Puig de la Bella Casa, Regional Gender and Inclusion Specialist, Regional Office of the Americas, Plan International (invited)


Session 3: Sustainable Commodity Production: is it Possible in Central America? The Case of Palm Oil

Mesoamerica is a promising frontier for oil palm expansion as suitable land in Asia becomes increasingly limited and global demand for palm oil grows. Industry, producers, governments, and civil society who depend on agricultural commodities must play a critical role in ensuring the economic, social and environmental sustainability of traditionally mono-cultures crops. Bringing together diverse perspectives, this panel will explore how innovate partnership models can transform palm and other sectors by accelerating the uptake of best practices, create unprecedented engagement in private-sector sustainability initiatives, close certification gaps, and bring innovation and improved visibility to Central American farmers, communities and industry.

3:00pm - 3:30pm
Coffee Break
3:30pm - 4:00pm
Partnership Spotlight
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Plenary Session | Migration
5:00pm - 6:00pm
Opening Reception

Join us for drinks and hors d’oeuvres at the Sheraton.

6:00pm - 7:00pm


7:00pm - 9:00pm
Evening Networking Opportunity | Dinner in Panama City

Enjoy dinner in Panama City. Shuttle departs Sheraton at 7:00pm.

RSVP and payment required for this additional networking opportunity. Please reference the networking email to register. 

1:00pm - 2:00pm
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Pre-Forum Briefing | Rule of Law, Security, and Economic Development in the Northern Triangle: Assessing Assistance and Evaluating Progress

In 2014, the Northern Triangle governments developed a multi-year strategy to address the underlying conditions driving outward migration. The U.S. and other donors responded with robust foreign assistance packages, which provide a unique opportunity for donors, policymakers, civil society, and the private sector to better coordinate around much needed reforms. The panel will evaluate major advances and challenges concerning the rule of law, transparency, violence, and widespread poverty. It will highlight the importance of oversight and present the Central America Monitor, an innovative tool to track foreign assistance and evaluate progress on the ground through measurable indicators.

Briefing includes presentations on the Washington Office on Latin America’s Central America Monitor, World Justice Project’s Central America Rule of Law Index, and more to be confirmed.


4:30pm - 6:00pm
Networking Opportunity | Tour Casco Viejo with Fortaleza Tours (optional)

Take a walking tour of former gang territory in Casco Viejo, led by ex-gang members who share the history of their former stomping grounds. Each tour guide has graduated from Esperanza’s 10-week intervention program and has taken their entrepreneurial spirit, formally, back to the street. Gain a local perspective of Panama City’s past with some of those who know it best.

  • Meet in lobby at 4:30 for shuttle to tour.
  • RSVP and payment required for this additional networking opportunity. Please reference the networking email to register. 
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Welcome Reception

Join us for wine and hors d’oeuvres at the American Trade Hotel.

Return shuttle service provided from the American Trade Hotel to the Sheraton at 8:00pm.

7:30pm - 9:00pm
Networking Opportunity | Dinner in Casco Viejo (optional)

Enjoy dinner in Panama City’s Casco Viejo.

RSVP and payment required for this additional networking opportunity. Please reference the networking email to register. 


9:00pm - 11:00pm
Evening Networking Opportunity | Danilo’s Jazz Club

Enjoy jazz at Grammy-winning Panamanian jazz pianist and composer Danilo Perez’s lively lounge and bar.

  • RSVP and payment required for this additional networking opportunity. Please reference the networking email to register.


Wednesday, October 25


1:00pm – 2:00pm Registration

2:00pm – 4:00pm Pre-forum Briefing on the Northern Triangle

4:30pm – 9:00pm Networking Activities (optional)

Thursday, October 26


7:00am – 9:00am Registration

7:30am – 8:30am Breakfast Briefing (invite only)

8:30am – 9:00am Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:00am – 10:00am Opening Plenary: Philanthropy

10:00am – 10:30am Plenary Conversation

10:30am – 11:00am Coffee Break

11:00am – 12:00pm Concurrent Sessions: Philanthropy | Youth | Environment

12:00pm – 1:30pm Networking Lunch

1:30pm – 2:00pm Plenary Conversation

2:00pm – 3:00pm Concurrent Sessions: Philanthropy | Youth | Environment

3:00pm – 3:30pm Coffee Break

3:30pm – 4:00pm Partnership Spotlight

4:00pm – 5:00pm Plenary Session: Migration

5:00pm – 6:00pm Opening Reception

6:00pm – 7:00pm Performance

7:00pm – 9:00pm Networking Dinner (optional)

Friday, October 27


7:00am – 9:00am Registration

7:30am – 8:30am Breakfast Briefing

8:30am – 8:40am Opening Remarks

8:40am – 9:00am Plenary Presentations

9:00am – 10:00am Plenary Session: Prosperity and Security

10:00am – 10:30am Plenary Conversation

10:30am – 11:00am Coffee Break

11:00am – 12:00pm Concurrent Sessions: Education | Health| CSR

12:00pm – 1:30pm Networking Lunch

1:30pm – 2:30pm Concurrent Sessions: Education | Health| CSR

2:30pm – 3:00pm Coffee Break

3:00pm – 4:00pm Closing Plenary: Philanthropy

4:00pm – 4:30pm Closing Remarks

7:00pm – 9:00pm Closing Reception