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Hivos in Latin America, a colorful, diverse and combative history

The history and work of Hivos in the Latin American region has a long history. For some 40 years we have worked in a region marked by inequality, fighting to realize the dream of just, diverse and sustainable societies for all people. Over time, our work has evolved in response to changing social, political, economic and cultural needs.

In these 40 years, we have tackled a wide range of issues, from promoting fair trade practices to being the first organization in the region to support people with HIV from a human rights perspective. From our “Mujer Sí” program in Nicaragua to get abortion legalized, to working with organizations on post-armed conflict transitional justice in Guatemala. Our Cinergia fund for Central American and Caribbean films made cinema a tool for social change. And more recently, our coordinated efforts with civil society organizations in Bolivia led to the approval of the country’s present gender identity law.

Inspired by this collaborative work with partner organizations, activists, human rights defenders, journalists, artists, state institutions and the private sector, we have remolded our projects and programs to fit a new strategic compass. This will help us continue putting our creativity, innovative thinking and dogged perseverance at the service of those seeking to overcome the many challenges Latin America faces.

Our calling is to learn, collaborate and bring about change together with all those who share our dream of a sustainable, diverse, inclusive Latin America that upholds true social justice for all.

Tanja Lubbers

Director Hivos Latin America

Tanja Lubbers has 25 years of experience in international cooperation and communication for change and social innovation. She started her career as a foreign affairs editor at VPRO, one of the public broadcasters in the Netherlands. Her work took her to the Balkans, where she produced a television series for VPRO. Then she decided to move into the international cooperation sector as a country representative for Pax Christi in Macedonia. On her return to the Netherlands, she was Head of Campaigns at Oxfam Novib for five years.

Tanja became the regional director of Hivos in Southern Africa at our Zimbabwe office in 2013. In October 2020 she assumed the leadership of the Hivos Hub in Latin America.

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