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Program Themes


Coffee Beans

Our program themes have emerged from our partners’ concerns and concrete work in the region. Themes are based on extensive research, consultation, and experience in the field. Gender equality, violence against women, bilingual education, HIV/AIDS, ancestral medicine, and food security are among the themes of our diverse projects. 

Gender Equality

Full and equal participation of women is among the best ways to empower whole communities. Ensuring that women and men benefit equally from our support is a vital part of what we do.

Violence Against Women

Violence against women is a stark reality in Mesoamerica; it includes rape, abuse, harassment, forced prostitution and murder. Femicide – the systematic killing of women based on their gender – is the most extreme form of violence against women, and it is on the rise in Mexico and Central America.


Official UNAIDS statistics tell us close to 200,000 people currently live with HIV/AIDS in Central America. However, local organizations say the actual numbers are double or closer to 400,000 people.

Food Security

When farming becomes an international business, it can hurt small-scale farmers who can’t compete with agribusiness monopolies and the policies that sustain them. In Mesoamerica, where 60% of people live in rural areas, this can translate to migration, long-term malnutrition or even starvation.


Up to 40% of Central Americans have had to leave their homes to seek low-paying jobs in the United States and Canada just to survive. Many of them will never make it there.

Afro-descendent and Indigenous Peoples Rights

Estimates are that more than 150 million people of African descent live in Latin America. Disproportionate numbers live in conditions of poverty or extreme poverty. Afro-descendant peoples in the Americas share many wonderful cultural traditions, but their common experience of discrimination and poverty is nothing to celebrate.

Intercultural Bilingual Education

With over 60 distinct cultural linguistic groups, Mesoamerica is a multicultural region. But it has only been within the past decade that this reality has begun to be reflected in the laws and constitutions of the region. 

Ancestral Medicine

In many parts of Mesoamerica, public health systems are severely limited and under-resourced. Within this context, traditional Indigenous medicine continues to play a key role in assuring the well-being of Indigenous communities.