IRI Hosts Regional Exchange between Mayors from Guatemala and Honduras

IRI hosted mayors and town council members from Guatemala and Honduras for a week-long exchange mission in Guatemala.  Mayors and town council members from the departments of Totonicapán, Guatemala and La Paz, Honduras met in Guatemala City for training sessions on communications strategies, using the internet to promote municipal projects, web-based social networking and local economic development.

The delegation also visited two model municipalities in Guatemala, Villa Nueva and Santa Catarina Pinula.  From their visit to Villa Nueva, the group was able to learn from the mayor and his staff about innovative solutions to engaging youth and women in community projects, job training programs and successful models for municipal communication and publicity.  In Santa Catarina Pinula, the group met with the mayor and learned about that municipality’s success in fostering a culture of local taxation, as well as in incorporating technology and eco-friendly building practices in local infrastructure projects.

The mayors and town council members also participated in the annual conference of the Federation of Central American Municipalities (FEMICA) in Antigua, Guatemala.  As part of the Institute’s efforts to link practitioners of good governance regionally, participants engaged in two days of proceedings on sustainable development for the future with their colleagues from all over Central America.  The participants also showcased their municipalities in exhibition booths at the conference to raise awareness of their development goals and to attract private investment.  

This week-long effort provided mayors and town council members from IRI’s four partner municipalities with the chance to share their lessons learned in working on common problems, such as connecting with constituents and providing basic services like clean drinking water.  From the trainings, model municipality visits and FEMICA conference, members of the delegation were able to extract ideas on how to improve their communications with their communities and to organize certain social and economic development programs back home.

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