Proyecto Acción Transformadora

Proyecto Acción Transformadora


Proyecto Acción Transformadora developed representative cohorts of promising future political leaders, strengthening their capacity to address some of Guatemala’s most pressing challenges.

By preparing future political leaders and connecting them to traditionally isolated youth advocacy efforts, our network of leaders engaged in transformative solutions, ethical practices, and critical analysis. The network worked to build renewed trust in the democratic process, reduce disenfranchisement, and institute policies that contribute to a more equitable and prosperous country.

This cooperative agreement with USAID targeted youth ages 16–35 to activate potential leaders, strengthen and mobilize developing leaders, and support leaders in action as they catalyzed change within the country’s most marginalized communities.

Through project activities, participants prepared to address Guatemala’s volatility, lack of government accountability, and political system, which often overlooked the needs of many youth who desired improved opportunities for inclusion, education, and employment.

Quick Facts

  • Approximately 70% of the population of Guatemala is under 30 years old.
  • While the project was designed to work with youth up to the age of 35, it especially focused on youth ages 16–24, since this age group disproportionately faced violence and migration.
  • The project worked to activate potential youth leaders across Guatemala, beyond the capital city. Young leaders nationwide had opportunities to participate in educational programs and the project network.


  • Activate potential leaders: Youth from all parts of Guatemalan society who demonstrate leadership aptitude and political interest build their leadership skills and engage in local political networks.
  • Strengthen and mobilize developing leaders: Youth with demonstrated leadership skills and high potential build and apply advanced political leadership skills and engage in broader political activity networks.
  • Support leaders in action: Youth and youth-led organizations that demonstrate high levels of political interest and involvement work collaboratively with others to promote political change.

Project Activities

  • Youth-led project advisory committee: A dynamic, diverse, and highly motivated youth advisory committee guided the project throughout its implementation. This helped to ensure that the technical team heard representative youth voices at every stage.
  • Foundational political training: The project’s training curriculum for potential leaders focused on key elements of leadership in the Guatemalan political realm, while also exploring the context of politics in Guatemala based on history, government structures and processes, and the political system. Other USAID-funded youth programs have since adapted the curriculum for a variety of contexts.
  • Scholarship opportunities: The project developed leaders through scholarships and partners’ courses. These courses positioned developing leaders for leadership roles and connected participants to a network of peers.
  • Organizational strengthening: IREX worked with partners to provide key resources to youth groups and youth-led organizations as they strengthened their organizational capacity. Subgrants with the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy and the Pan American Development Foundation identified organizations and provided support.
  • Building networks of young political leaders: IREX created a strong, multilayered network of youth civic and political leaders that reached youth, provided mentoring, connected members to opportunities for civic and political participation, and amplified traditionally marginalized groups.


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