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Más que Desarrollo: Organizando Sistemas Comunitarias en Guatemala
3ra Conferencia Bienal Hacia “Un Futuro Colectivo”
18-20 octubre 2013
Patzún, Guatemala

Conference Description:
“Mas que Desarrollo” is a biennial international conference whose focus is to bring together international, regional, and local community actors involved in grass-roots development work and research in Guatemala. A major focus of the conference is translating the research and the experience of participants and attendees into new creative and practical solutions to community problems. This is not just a conference for researchers or development professionals. It is specifically meant to bring together participants from diverse perspectives, especially participants who are engaged in direct community based action.

In 2012, calls for organized and creative solutions to complex community problems in Guatemala were frequently heard in the news and in official policy statements from the newly elected Guatemalan government and from international agencies. At the same time, the ongoing financial recession, coupled with inadequate access to health, education, and local infrastructure, continued to undermine the viability and security of communities of all sizes. Nevertheless, community organizing, and the formation of effective partnerships with international and regional aid organizations, private enterprise, and local government, continued unabated, particularly around core issues, such as child nutrition, infrastructure development, and environmental advocacy and land rights.

We plan a wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary conversation on community organizing and overcoming barriers to development in Guatemala. Participants can propose talks on whatever themes are of interest to them, however we are particularly interested in addressing the following questions:
 - How can we overcome the urban-rural divide in Guatemala, which segregates human service resources in urban centers, often making them inaccessible?
 - How does violence and political insecurity affect community life, and what can we do about it?
 - What is the role of private industry and philanthropy in fostering community development, and how can we improve its effectiveness?
 - Are their examples of effective collaborations between community leadership and larger regional or international entities, and what can we learn from them?
How to submit proposals:
Proposals should consist of an abstract of 150 words or less and should be sent by email to prior to June1, 2013. Notification of proposal acceptance will be prior to June 15, 2013.

Any questions should be addressed to Peter Rohloff ().
Conference costs: Attendance at the conference will be free of charge for Guatemalan community participants and community-based organizations.International attendees and representatives of international and national nongovernmental organizations, both presenters and non-presenters, should submit a nonrefundable payment of $75.00 at the conference website This payment will be used to offset costs of attendance for community participants.

Travel and Lodging: Conference attendees are responsible for arranging their own transportation and lodging. A list of local accommodations and travel resources will be sent out at a later date.

Prior conferencesThe first “Mas que Desarrollo” conference was held in 2009 in Santiago Sacatepéquez. Proceedings from that conference in Spanish and Kaqchikel are available for download from the conference website. The second conference was held in 2011 in Patzún. Proceedings from that conference in Spanish, Kaqchikel, and Chuj will be available at the 2013 conference and subsequently for download.

The “Mas que Desarrollo” conference series was begun in 2009 by Wuqu’ Kawoq | Maya Health Alliance, a nonprofit organization committed to high-quality development work in Kaqchikel and K’ichee’ speaking communities in Guatemala.

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