Category: Uncategorized

This Week in Immigration: Reducing Poverty by Making the Most of Existing Migration Pathways

LaMP Strategy Lead Jason Wendle joined the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Senior Advisor Theresa Cardinal Brown and Associate Director Jack Malde for an episode of their podcast This Week in Immigration. They discussed how to facilitate migration from lower-income to higher-income countries by increasing the use of existing migratory pathways and how such initiatives can benefit all involved – those on the move, the countries that welcome them, and the countries they (often temporarily) leave behind, without the need to change immigration law.


GAREX: A New Association for Responsible Recruitment in Guatemala  

GAREX (“Gremial de Agencias de Reclutamiento y Empleo en el Extranjero”) is a new industry association of responsible recruiters operating in Guatemala. GAREX was established in 2023 and aims to create a platform for responsible recruitment agencies to professionalize and differentiate within the market, develop mutual accountability among members, and address systemic inefficiencies that hamper Guatemalan workers’ access to international employment opportunities.  

Currently, GAREX is comprised of over 10 responsible recruitment agencies that promote international labor opportunities for Guatemalans. GAREX members identify as professional recruitment agencies that are legally compliant, embrace transparent and responsible practices, and respect the rights of migrant workers. GAREX members recruit primarily for jobs in the trade and services sectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S — and collectively support labor mobility for over 20,000 Guatemalans. 

Alongside GAREX founding members and institutional partners, LaMP catalyzed the emergence and legal consolidation of the association. We continue to provide technical and capacity building support to GAREX to help the association sustain momentum, achieve stability, and advance in its development. We believe that bottom-up industry efforts such as GAREX are critical to achieve fully responsible international recruitment pipelines for the H-2 visa program and other labor mobility pathways. Ultimately, our vision is an international labor mobility ecosystem that increases access to life-changing job opportunities for Guatemalans and ensures worker wellbeing from community to worksite and back.  

This initiative has been supported through funding by the Walmart Foundation. The findings, conclusions and recommendations presented here are those of LaMP alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Walmart Foundation. 

Please find more details of this initiative here 



For more information, contact:

Melissa Saucedo Huerta

GuateCruises: Training for Guatemalan workers to open job opportunities in the cruise industry

Labor Mobility Partnerships (LaMP) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has initiated an intervention to catalyze the creation of a labor migration pathway from Guatemala to the cruise industry.  

This project consists of a 14-month pilot program for 100 Guatemalan workers. At its core, this project seeks to tackle the persistent shortages of skilled labor within the cruise industry, while simultaneously offering transformative opportunities to Guatemalan workers. Through participation in this program, workers stand to gain not only economic benefits for themselves and their families but also invaluable international experience, fostering personal growth and professional development. Central to this endeavor is the utilization of the US C1/D visa pathway, providing a legal and secure channel for circular labor mobility that provides a quality alternative to irregular migration.  

Our work focuses on growing a pool of cruise-qualified workers via cruise readiness training to open this new pathway. We work alongside the cruise industry to develop solutions that are aligned with their needs, while simultaneously preparing workers for the job and setting them up for success. Running in parallel to this training is a strategy to create a favorable recruitment ecosystem and a sustainable financial mechanism for future investment in cruise readiness training.  

The project encompasses a multifaceted approach designed to activate labor opportunities within the cruise industry and bolster the Guatemalan labor force. The results of this project will lay the groundwork for a larger pilot and the establishment of a stable, large-scale pathway that will help address the root causes of irregular migration. 

Please find here a short description of the program in English and Spanish. 


LaMP is currently looking for a consultant to coordinate this program. Click here for more information.


This project is implemented by LaMP in cooperation with the International Office of Migration (IOM) in Guatemala, under the project “Addressing the Root Causes of Irregular Migration” which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).





For more information, contact:

Melissa Saucedo Huerta

Unlocking Cruise Jobs for Central American Workers

This brief outlines a pilot project to catalyze a new labor mobility pathway for the cruise industry in Central America. This proof-of-concept project will eliminate immediate constraints to training and labor mobility for Central American cruise job candidates. Project components include an industry designed training program, safe and efficient job placement activities, and a solution for long-term financing of the total training and certification costs required for working aboard cruise ships. In doing so, this pilot can demonstrate the viability of a Central American program to meet cruise labor needs and showcase the economic potential that cruise jobs offer to workers from this region. The project will lay the groundwork for placing tens of thousands of cruise workers from Central America in years to follow.

It was developed as part of LaMP’s scoping and assessment project focused on development of a pipeline of proof-of-concept projects in the Ibero-American region that can demonstrate quality labor mobility with the potential to mature into long-term, large-scale pathways.

You can download the full version in English or Spanish.









Learn more about LaMP’s further work in the cruise industry on the project’s page here.




GAREX: A New Association for Responsible Recruitment in Guatemala

The one-pager below provides key information about the Guatemalan responsible recruitment association (GAREX), which LaMP helped to establish as an organization affiliated with the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce in 2023 to develop mutual accountability among members, help affiliated recruiters differentiate within the market, and address systemic inefficiencies to make Guatemala a more competitive source country.


LaMP Manager Melissa Saucedo’s Remarks on Launch of GAREX

LaMP Manager Melissa Saucedo delivered speech at a launch event, introducing the Guatemalan responsible recruitment association (GAREX) – the first responsible recruiter’s association in the Latin America region. LaMP helped to establish GAREX as an organization affiliated with the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce in 2023 to develop mutual accountability among members, help affiliated recruiters differentiate within the market, and address systemic inefficiencies to make Guatemala a more competitive source country.

In her remarks, Melissa stressed GAREX’s potential to bridge the gap between worker and opportunity and that the association has been already contributing to the prosperity of thousands of Guatemalans. GAREX is uniquely positioned as a private-sector solution to promote the Guatemalan workforce and bridge that gap with the private sector abroad. GAREX is a trailblazing solution paving the way in increasing Guatemala’s competitiveness as a source country for seasonal employment.



The launch of GAREX has been supported by a variety of policymakers:

The Undersecretary Against Sexual Violence and Trafficking in Persons (SVET) posted on Facebook that “This initiative contributes to the generation of safe work opportunities, as well as prevention of sexual violence, exploitation, and human trafficking in contexts of labor mobility.

Congresswoman Carolina Orellana posted “I see a lot of potential in this great business alliance between countries for our Guatemala and above all, it fills me with pride to see that many women are the promoters and protagonists of this important platform.”


The initiative also sparked attention of major media within the region such as Diario de Centro América as well as Guatemala’s largest newspaper Prensa Libre


Find more information about GAREX in our one-pager here.

Inspire Project Closing Event Report

Our Knowledge and Influence Lead Salvatore Petronella represented LaMP at the INSPIRE Project‘s Closing Event held by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in Brussels. In his remarks, Salvatore emphasized a ground-up approach, advocating for projects rooted in the real-world contexts of migrants and involved countries. He also highlighted the importance of multi-stakeholder engagement and economic arguments that showcase the mutual benefits of labor mobility.

The event concluded the INSPIRE project that focused on two incubated initiatives:

1) The Georgia-France-Germany Germany skills partnership scheme aimed at advancement of Georgia’s technology and innovation ecosystem,

2) The Ghana-Germany skills partnership scheme designed to implement a scalable and adaptable framework that aligns the skills supply in Ghana with the demand in Germany.

More key messages from the event can be found in the summary report below.

SSIR: Betting on Migration for Impact

The following is en excerpt from the original article by LaMP’s Strategy Lead Jason Wendle published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) on February 8th, 2024. The full article can be found here


Migration is often framed as a crisis: When the issue makes headlines, it’s portrayed as a burden, threat, or tragedy, and almost always politically intractable. In reality, migration represents an opportunity and a solution, and it needs to be disentangled from electoral politics. Indeed, we are at the beginning of a multi-decade, global trend of human movement, a trend which can be harnessed to unlock tremendous good for the world. And while the world’s attention is on the most visible symptoms of today’s broken systems, a small but scrappy group of actors is already working to build a better future for people on the move, the countries that welcome them, and the countries they (often temporarily) leave behind.

To understand why we need more and better migration, start with a basic fact: Never in history has there been such a strong link between global income inequality and demographic differentials. If you are in a country like Uganda, with a median age of 16, you are likely to be poor by global standards; if you are in a country like Germany with a median age of 45, you are likely to be rich. For decades, the best predictor of economic prospects is the country a person was born in, accounting for nearly two-thirds of global income inequality. But the gulf between rich and poor countries has also become a gulf between old and young: Even countries in Africa and South Asia with high economic growth rates are still not generating enough jobs to keep up with the youth entering the workforce. Labor Mobility Partnerships predicts that by 2050, 590 million of the 1.4 billion additional working-age people in low- and middle-income countries will have limited employment prospects, even as youth in these countries have an unprecedented awareness of the standard of living on the other side of the global tracks. Throw in the disproportionate effects of climate change on subsistence livelihoods and the fact that workers are paid 10 or 20 times their current wages for equivalent jobs in high-income countries, and little wonder that hundreds of millions across the Global South aspire to migrate to the Global North.

On the other side of the issue, broadly speaking, the Global North is characterized by low birth rates, unprecedented numbers of retirees, and looming, structural labor shortages that threaten economic and political stability. While immigration policies have prioritized high levels of education or family ties—and the political conversation tends to presume a basic scarcity of jobs—critical jobs in construction, agriculture, hospitality, and the care economy, including elderly care, cannot be automated. Even the transition to renewable energy is threatened by a shortage of some 7 million workers needed to do things like install solar panels on roofs. The workers who could solve these problems remain on their side of the global tracks.

Migration is not a problem in search of a solution; it is a solution waiting to be unlocked by thoughtful investment of resources and effort.


Read the full article here