Environmental organizations will come together in Guatemala in August to pool their experiences, insights, and efforts in order to shield their regions from the negative impacts of development projects.

This week in Guatemala, International Rivers joins Reencontramos en la Resistencia, a historic gathering of environmental organizations to foster collaboration and share crucial information to combat destructive development projects threatening the environment and communities in Mesoamerica and South America. This in-person event, held August 4 and 5, and coordinated by Guatemala’s Frente Petenero and Otros Mundos Mexico, will serve as a platform for knowledge exchange, mutual support, and joint strategies.

The gathering aims to form a united front against harmful development initiatives. During the conference, participating organizations will provide updates on the pressing situations in their respective countries, shedding light on specific development projects that endanger the environment, local communities, and Indigenous populations. The agenda includes roundtable discussions on mining, rivers, energy, women’s leadership, Buen Vivir and more.

Monti Aguirre, International Rivers’ Latin America Program Director and a leading advocate for the Rights of Rivers, will be presenting permanent river protection topics during the gathering.

“I am honored to participate in the Encuentro Mesoamericano de Movimientos Sociales in Guatemala. Addressing the urgent issue of the permanent protection of rivers to safeguard these life-giving waterways is crucial for future generations and for fostering sustainable harmony between human communities and nature. Together, we can strive for a powerful ripple effect of positive change across Mesoamerica and beyond”

Monti Aguirre, Latin America Program Director at International Rivers. 

In March 2002, International Rivers participated in the First Mesoamerican Forum on Dams together with 300 dam-affected people and activists from Mesoamerica. Participants in this first meeting exchanged experiences and information on the dam building process, financing, and impacts, and developed an action plan for the Mesoamerican network. In the following years, a series of additional Mesoamerican forums in Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama strengthened the movement in the region.

Together, these environmental organizations strive for a powerful ripple effect of positive change across Mesoamerica and South America. Their collective efforts will play a crucial role in preserving the region’s natural resources and seeking a sustainable future.

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Photo courtesy of DasNadin Chen.