The Migrant Peacebuilding Project

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Final Blog Post

Posted by migrant.peacebuilding.project on September 7, 2013 at 5:40 AM

All of us at the Migrant Peacebuilding Project are extremely pleased to report that Sunday’s job fair was a complete success! From 1-6 at the Grand Tikal Futura Hotel we hosted 12 businesses and migrant aid services offering employment and support, and we estimate around 200 job seekers attended. In addition to employment services, we offered a resume building station, talks on interview tips, a place where people could obtain and print their police records (a requirement for many jobs in Guatemala), among other services. Additionally, we also presented our research on labor discrimination in the migrant community, and even appeared on Guatemalan national television, both of which we hope will help to spark the public discourse on why reintegration is so difficult for many migrants. While directly finding people employment is incredibly important and amazing to witness, with hundreds of migrants being forcibly returned every week, we believe that starting a dialogue will hopefully go on to create an effect that will persist long after we have left Guatemala. This is not to say that this week’s job fair, which to my knowledge is the first specifically designed for deported migrants, had a huge impact on the lives of many. The story of participant in particular, who we had met previously in the week while handing out fliers, really stands out in my mind. He and a friend arrived over an hour early for the fair, saying to the end and attending every event we offered. Over the course of the day, he received a resume built for him by one of our volunteers, a subsidized copy of his police report, won a scholarship to receive training on computer skills, and had scheduled an interview with a call center company which our team had previously verified to have excellent working conditions and a strong commitment to social responsibility. Being able to witness this success and many others like it was truly a privilege and an honor for all of us.

As our mandate in Guatemala comes to a close, I would like to thank all of our partners and volunteers, without whom this project would not have been possible. To everyone who supported us (if you are reading this blog, that includes you), we cannot thank you enough. The opportunity was an experience none of us will ever forget, and one which exceeded all expectations for success. Hopefully we will be able to return to Guatemala next year to expand on the project and build upon what we have achieved this summer. In the meantime, we plan to work with our partners to continue offering what services we can, while continuing our studies outside of Guatemala. In the next few days we will also be releasing or final study on stigmas and labor discrimination among Guatemalan migrants, so make sure to check back if you are interested in learning more about the issue in depth. The report will also be available in Spanish by September 5th. Again, we are absolutely thrilled with the way this project turned out, and we could not have done it without the generous support we received from countless people who believed in us and our mission.

Sincerely, the Migrant Peacebuilding and Reconciliation Project:

Sam Chase, John Bengtson,  Joe Long, and  Javier Monterroso Montenegro

Categories: Reconciliation (2013)

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