On the ground with US Marines in Guatemala


I’m writing from Los Olivos, Guatemala where Spirit of America is supporting US Marines on SOUTHCOM’s Beyond the Horizon (BTH) mission. BTH is an annual training program that develops US and partner nation’s ability to deliver assistance in times of crisis and provide tangible benefits to the people of Guatemala.

The US Marines are tasked with helping local partners build a trained, educated and highly competent workforce in Guatemala. Spirit of America is supporting their mission by providing professional auto mechanic equipment to a local vocational school, The National Institute of Diversified Education (INED).

On Monday, I had the pleasure of watching Gunnery Sergeant Vargas present INED’s director, Hugo Gomez and his students (pictured below) with their new air compressors, auto scanners, welding gear, car jacks, and more. To this point, these students had no equipment — only textbooks — to learn from.

GySgt Vargas Showing Hugo and his students their new equipment

Low employment is a major driver of illegal immigration to the US from Guatemala, which recently became the largest source of illegal immigrants at the southern border. The equipment Spirit of America and US Marines are providing will help over 100 students get the hands-on training they need to get good jobs, grow their economy, and in turn reduce migration.

The students and instructors at INED were incredibly grateful for Spirit of America and the US military’s support.

Spirit of America is providing US troops and diplomats around the world with support no other organization can. You can learn more about other US missions we’re supporting in Latin America and beyond here.

Thank you for supporting our mission to support the safety and success of Americans serving abroad and the local people and partners they seek to help.

Dan Hewitt
Regional Program Manager – Latin America

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