Media CenterAddressing Challenges and Solutions in the First and Last Mile: Cities, Local Governments and Migration in the America

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Kim Pozniak
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]

Thursday, October 6, 2022
9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.



Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its partner, The Inter-American Dialogue (IAD), are co-sponsoring an event focused on addressing the perspectives, experiences and solutions local and sub-national governments across the Americas have confronted amid the ongoing migration crisis in Central America and Mexico. The event brings together local leaders and experts to explore the root causes of migration and the integration of migrants into local communities. The gathering comes on the heels of IAD’s new Cities Initiative, a program that recognizes the critical impact local policy has on daily lives, as well as the important role subnational innovations can play as a catalyst for national policy change. The goal of the initiative is to provide a forum for the productive sharing of ideas, challenges and ultimately solutions to the pressing problems facing cities and towns today.


9:15 – 9:30: Welcome remarks: Enhancing the Declaration of Migration Locally

  • Rebecca Bill Chavez, Inter-American Dialouge
  • Sean Callahan, CEO and President, Catholic Relief Services

9:30 – 11:15: How Cities Are Dealing with Migration: Addressing Informal Economies, Gender Inequality and Trust in the Rule of Law

  • Orisval Fuentes, Head of Mancuerna, Mancomunidad de Municipios de la Cuenca del Río Naranjo
  • José Gomez, former Deputy Mayor of San Juan Ostuncalco, Quetzaltenango
  • Aracely Martinez Rodas, Director of the master’s in development program, Universidad del Valle
  • Milaydi Guilarte, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID

Moderated by: Manuel Orozco, program director, Migration, Remittances and Development, Inter-American Dialouge

11:30 – 1:15 p.m.: Cities and Migrant Incorporation and Integration: Fostering Inclusion, Services and Opportunities

  • Yamileth Lopez Obregon, Mayor of Upala, Costa Rica
  • Lucrecia Oliva, Project Officer, Catholic Relief Services Guatemala
  • Ana María Saíz, Senior Specialist, Migration Unit, IADB

Moderated by: Frank Mora, professor, Politics and International Relations, Florida International University


Thursday, October 6, 2022
9:15 a.m. – 1 p.m. EST


Register for the livestream here.


Migration is a local phenomenon. The decision to migrate is directly linked to how cities and towns are performing their duties and providing for their citizens. Circumstances at the local level can result in people choosing to leave their community in pursuit of a better quality of life. Similarly, the incorporation of migrants into a host country begins in the new city or town where they settle and adapt to a new life. As a result, local leaders are the ones who are developing creative and inclusive solutions as they are the first line of response for the assistance and integration of migrants into their communities.


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For four decades, the Inter-American Dialogue has engaged our network of global leaders to foster democratic governance, prosperity and social equity in Latin America and the Caribbean. Together, we work to shape policy debate, devise solutions and enhance cooperation within the Western Hemisphere.


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Kim Pozniak

Director of Communications

Kim Pozniak
October 3, 2022

Based in Baltimore, MD

As the Director of Communications, Kim oversees the communications and social media teams working with journalists and the media to connect them with engaging stories about relief and development programs that are making a tangible difference in people’s lives around the world.

Her previous work at CRS includes handling emergency...More