U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Stephen McFarland: U.S. - Guatemala Relations

December 23, 2008

Following remarks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Stephen G. McFarland shares his thoughts on the U.S.-Guatemalan relationship.

The United States and Guatemala have an excellent relationship, and that relationship includes not just the official relationship between two governments, which is really good, but it also encompasses the broader people-to-people relationship. And you see it really every week in Guatemala. You have the – be it through trade, be it through private voluntary groups and religious groups that are coming down to visit and to assist, all sorts of ways. There’s a very deep relationship there.

In terms of people-to-people, there are many, and I’d hate to – and I don’t mean to exclude by singling one out, but I will single one out.

About two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to delivery the commencement address at the Universidad del Valle in Soledad, which is the campus that is – where the student population is primarily indigenous – not entirely. And it’s a private university, but it’s received a lot of United States support over the years, and it’s also received through scholarship programs support, not just from the United States Government but also from U.S. private groups.

And to go there and to see these students – there are about 80 of them. They had received their degrees. They were there with their parents, in some cases their grandparent. In many cases, they were the first in their families to receive a degree, if not the first in their village. It was very moving. And what was particularly impressive was that a number of these students were able to do this thanks to scholarships that have been provided by United States private voluntary groups. And they had their representatives; they took time out of their lives to come down to Guatemala and see them, to go visit them. And that was certainly – it certainly makes you very proud to be an American.



james h.
United Kingdom
December 24, 2008

James in the U.K. writes:

Merry Christmas to the boys and girls in the State Departmnent.

December 28, 2008

Isaac in Mexico writes:

i really like how Ambassador talks about his work in Guatemala, I hope Ambassador to Mexico could talk about his work in my country.


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