Photo by Sandra Sebastián for Plaza Pública.
Goal: Advance a democratic, inclusive, and sustainable Central America
El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are young democracies, struggling to build strong and accountable public institutions that provide effective governance and support the aspiration of prosperity for all. The Fund supports efforts of civil society, independent media, social movements, multilateral institutions, and other partners to strengthen democratic practice, advance reconciliation and peace, and promote sustainable and just resource use.
- Fostering transparency and anti-impunity efforts to bolster the rule of law and democratic governance.
- Strengthening constituencies to advance democratic culture and equitable civic participation.
- Promoting transitional justice, reconciliation, and innovative approaches to conflict transformation.
- Supporting sustainable development and climate change initiatives, especially regarding soil resilience and water security.
- Read the Full Guidelines
The people and nations that call the isthmus linking North and South America home have long endured political, environmental, and social instability, including devastating periods of violent conflict. The persistent and growing impacts of corruption, impunity, and climate change undermine its citizens’ efforts to secure justice, peace, and sustainable futures. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund believes the region’s diverse cultural traditions and ecosystems, its proven resilience, and its young and creative population are a strong basis for constructing a future of peace and shared prosperity.
Recognizing the United States’ role in Central American history and its responsibility as a powerful neighbor, the RBF allocated a portion of David Rockefeller’s 2019 bequest to develop a grantmaking program focused on Central America. This program recognizes Mr. Rockefeller’s longstanding interest in Latin America and in building positive relations throughout the western hemisphere.
The countries of northern Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras) are young democracies. Still in transition from decades-long civil wars and authoritarian regimes, they are struggling to build strong and accountable public institutions that provide effective governance and support the aspiration of prosperity for all citizens. These societies have come a long way, but political exclusion, racism, corruption, violence, impunity, and extreme inequality limit progress and confine large portions of society to the precarious margins, driving irregular migration. These conditions have worsened in recent years due to climate change effects and the deterioration of fragile local ecosystems. These challenges need to be addressed in coordination with the United States and Mexico for the countries of northern Central America to become just, peaceful, and sustainable societies.
The Fund focuses on Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, a subregion that shares an interdependent history and ecosystem and that will benefit by taking a regional approach to its most pressing issues and important international engagements. The Fund endorses a deeper, cross-sectoral, bilateral relationship between Central America and the United States. The region’s rich ethnic, gender, age, cultural, and racial diversity is the basis of the dynamism needed to address contemporary challenges and find innovative solutions, including social justice initiatives rooted in the region’s artistic community. The Fund supports the efforts of inclusive civil society groups, independent media, social movements, multilateral institutions, and other partners to strengthen democratic practice, advance reconciliation and peace, and promote sustainable and just resource use.
The Fund prioritizes support for organizations based in Central America.