Central America Dialogues: A Conference Series on Regional Realities

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Walls. Caravans. Migrants. Immigrants. Asylum. Refugees. Border. Security.

What is the current reality in Central America? How is that reality being addressed locally, regionally, and internationally? And where do we go from here?

Migrant caravans and border walls have captivated the media and paralyzed the government of the United States. Lost in this focus on the U.S. border is the reality that many are living with or trying to escape in Central America, and the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced and regional migrants who have no intention of crossing the U.S. border.

The Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD), part of the University of Notre Dame’s new Keough School of Global Affairs, seeks to bring together academics, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss the current reality in Central America, if and how past efforts have ameliorated any “root causes” of migration, and to imagine, debate, and propose what form future efforts might take. 

The conference will be organized around the themes of migration, security, economic opportunity, and governance in Central America, with a focus on Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The conference committee welcomes the submission of working papers, policy briefs, and manuscripts on these themes to inform the dialogue. The committee is particularly interested in evaluation of policies and programs, position papers, and policy or program recommendations. Select papers will be cited in the policy brief emanating from the dialogues, and will be considered for publication in a potential edited volume following the conference.

Two participatory dialogue sessions will address these questions: 


On June 14, 2019, the findings and recommendations developed at the participatory dialogue sessions will be released and presented at a public forum in Washington, D.C. Additional details about this public event will be released no later than April 10, 2019. 

For questions or additional information, please contact Tom Hare at thare@nd.edu, or +1 (574) 631-0075.

Speakers and Agenda

Final dates, times, venues, invited speakers, and materials will be published on this page no later than April 10, 2019.

View the Tentative Agenda

Session 1 (Antigua Guatemala) Speakers

  • Ismael Moreno, S.J., known as “Padre Melo,” director of Radio Progreso and the social action and analysis center, Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación (ERIC) in Honduras.
  • Axel Romero, Guatemalan deputy minister of the interior for citizen security and violence prevention.
  • Hon. José María Argueta, former ambassador and permanent representative of Guatemala to the Organization of American States (OAS) and co-author and implementer of a conflict resolution method that was instrumental in the peace processes of Guatemala and El Salvador.

Session 2 (Washington, D.C.) Speakers

To be announced.