11:00—12:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) 4:00—5:00pm BST / 5:00—6:00pm GMT

Labor Migration and Development in Central America


  • Virginia Negro, Project Officer CD4MM, IOM / Mexico 
  • Ana Paola P. Lobos, Public Policy Coordinator, Creando Oportunidades Económicas, USAID / Guatemala, Affiliate Researcher, Fundesa / Guatemala
  • Margarita Beneke de Sanfeliú, Director, Center for Research and Statistics, FUSADES / El Salvador
  • César Augusto Castillo Pérez, Professor, UNAH - Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras / Affiliate of FLACSO-Honduras


  • Michael Clemens, Director and Senior Fellow, Migration, Displacement and Humanitarian Policy Program, CGD


  • Ariel Ruiz Soto, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute

This event will be broadcast in Spanish and English.

Almost all migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras apprehended at the US border have no accessible, lawful option to migrate. Some are fleeing danger, some are seeking economic opportunity, and for many, the two are inextricably linked. Labor migration offers a lawful alternative, with potential to benefit not just destination countries, but the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as well. 

Migration can bring increased remittances and skills transfers; improve institutional coordination; provide opportunities for foreign investment; provide multilateral support for education and training infrastructure; and build capacity.

This event, hosted by the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) will discuss the main challenges faced by countries of origin and destination in ensuring mutual benefits through labor migration and strategies moving forward. It will address how to promote migration from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras for mutual benefit, regional efforts for improved cooperation, and addressing inequities in the current recruitment system. The panelists will discuss in depth the current situation of labor migration programs in the three countries, and what the future of the programs may look like to ensure returns to development. 

If you have questions for our panelists, please submit them to [email protected], tweet @CGDev #CGDTalks, or submit your comments via YouTube.

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