Central America


CGE has operated in Central America since 1981. We have developed and maintained contacts with broad sectors of society, with a special emphasis on the social movements of women, Indigenous peoples, peasants, students, and community-based organizations. Groups meet with universities, business organizations, entrepreneurs, human rights advocates, sexual rights groups, and local churches. We have contacts with international NGOs, donor organizations, multilateral banks, alternative credit organizations and other professional development workers.  Participants also have the opportunity to meet regularly with the U.S. Embassy, USAID, local political scientists and analysts, and international journalists.

A note on accommodations:  In Nicaragua, CGE operates a study center with a patio, computer room, dining area, and shared rooms; some groups stay in this facility. For all other locations in the region, in addition to many groups in Nicaragua, lodging is provided in modest hotels and guest

Central America: Country Options


Our programs are based in the capital city of Managua but often involve travel to Matagalpa, Esteli, the Atlantic Coast, and other rural areas.

Possible Program Themes

  • Post-revolution and democratic transition
  • Civil society versus political parties
  • Health care
  • Alternative development models
  • Poverty reduction, economic growth, and human development
  • Women in post-revolutionary Nicaragua
  • Role of churches in peace, justice, sustainability, and rights for marginalized groups
  • Land tenure and agricultural issues
  • Plight of street/working children
  • Worker’ rights
  • Fair trade products
  • Micro-credit


CGE has four program staff permanently based in Nicaragua.

Costa Rica

Our programs to Costa Rica generally include time in the capital city of San Jose as well as a rural component or travel to a nature reserve.

Possible Program Themes:

  • Ecotourism and the environment
  • Sustainable development
  • Health and education as a human right
  • Migration


We do not have permanent staff based in Costa Rica.  Program staff from El Salvador and Nicaragua design seminars to Costa Rica and accompany groups there.


Our programs are based in Guatemala City and Antigua, but usually also travel to the highlands.

Possible Program Themes

  • Human rights – Indigenous rights, workers’ rights, and children’s rights
  • Land rights
  • Globalization
  • Peace Accords
  • Post-war transition and reconciliation
  • Eco-tourism
  • Mayan history and ancient civilization
  • Mayan spirituality
  • Educational system


CGE has one program staff permanently based in Guatemala.

El Salvador

Our programs are based in San Salvador and usually include trips into rural areas.

Possible Program Themes

  • Political parties and civil society
  • Human rights
  • Gender issues
  • Environment
  • Globalization
  • Continued relevance of the martyrs of El Salvador
  • Current role of churches and liberation theology
  • Post-war mental health
  • Democracy and citizen participants
  • Immigration and family remittances
  • Natural disasters: droughts, hurricanes and earthquakes


CGE has program staff  based permanently in El Salvador.

Program Planning Checklists

Program planning checklists are available for some Central American countries, which provide more programming detail.   You may be asked to complete these checklists during the planning stage.

El Salvador Checklist

Guatemala Checklist

Nicaragua Checklist

Visit our Overview and How-To page to learn more about developing a seminar in Central America with CGE, step-by-step.