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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

SERES Global

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Civil Rights, Economic Development, Environment, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Youth Development Programs

Mission: SERES mission is to cultivate and catalyze youth leaders to build more just and sustainable communities.

Results: For the past 11 years we have has worked with youth-at-risk in Central America to build a movement of democratic civil society leaders. We have empowered more than 5,000 young leaders, facilitated over 110 programs, and supported hundreds of community action plans that address the most pressing global challenges. We have been recognized internationally as leaders in engaging young people to tackle the UN Sustainable Development Goals and build a more resilient and equitable future.

Target demographics: at-risk youth from low-income, marginalized areas in Guatemala and El Salvador, where climate vulnerability, environmental degradation, economic exclusion and limited opportunities are placing youth vulnerable to gangs, violence, and migration

Direct beneficiaries per year: 665 at-risk youth through 16 multi-day programs, who in turn reached over 2,722 people

Geographic areas served: Guatemala and El Salvador

Programs: leadership development, sustainability education, capacity development, mentoring, entrepreneurship training

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SERES exudes the energy of the young people they work with and the passion with which they do their work. I have been asked to collaborate with them on different occasions to lead workshops with young people from Guatemala and El Salvador, and one of the workshops I remember (this one was in person) was part of several days of training in a beautiful, green and open space. Participants could share with each other, eat together, play, explore different issues and then go back to their communities to share what they had learned. I felt the movement, energy and excitement of young people, and their openness to learn about gender and storytelling. SERES provides these kinds of spaces for young people they work with; spaces for sharing, growing and collaborating, and they will continue to do so.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have followed and supported SERES for over 10 years and during that time have watched its continued growth and success. SERES is an award-winning organization that trains youth leaders to build more sustainable and just communities in Guatemala and El Salvador. I personally donate monthly to SERES and chair a scholarship committee for my Montana Soroptimist organization which selects youth leaders for educational scholarships. Each year we fund two candidates from SERES. We maintain personal contact with them and witness the effectiveness of their program. I share their resumes and responses in our club's monthly newsletter and at our regular meetings. These young people form actions plans to address reforestation, environmental education, support women, develop family and community gardens and much more.
I support SERES for several reasons: the training process has received international recognition for empowering youth to become leaders in their local communities and to seek further training in order to train others, the administrative costs are minimal, so a large percentage of funding goes directly to the program and participants, and their impact is extensive. Since 2009 they have engaged over 5,000 young leaders and facilitated over 100 programs.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love what SERES GLOBAL does with youth in Guatemala, and other central American countries. I was part of one of the hikes in El peñon at Escuintla. I had the honor to hike this mountain along with young teenagers. The experience was just AMAZING. I came home with so much lessons like when you are are a leader, you have to be the first one putting the example, you have to be the first one opening new ways. But over all you have to be humble to accept when you don't know things or when you are scared that you trust the people around you to express it and ask for help. I am so thankful to have seen so much interaction and this community growing to be good people in this world.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are extremely pleased to have SERES as ConnectED’s local strategic partner, supporting us with the recruitment of our Fellows from its extensive network of youth leaders, facilitating workshops on leadership and soft skills, and managing the funds destined to the educational projects that the Fellows implement in their communities.

1 Katie B.18

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The work that SERES does with youth through their leadership programs is truely amazing and an important piece of the puzzle in creating a better future for all Guatemala. They are also an organisation that actively promotes collaboration within the local NGO sector and work alongside other projects to support Guatemalan communities.

1 Victor M.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The last 3 years I had the opportunity to collaborate with SERES, the experiences has been amazing, what surprises me the most is how they promote critical thinking in youth, it is an example of a 21st century organization.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was given the opportunity through my University position and the organization CECI to have a work volunteer experience with SERES – Guatemala. After training and virtual discussions with SERES, I ventured on my life changing experience in January 2020.

My task was to prepare a Crisis Management Plan- at the conclusion of my 3 weeks, SERES received 5 Risk Assessments entailing both a Communication and Action Plan, in addition to 17 recommendations.

The SERES staff also had me partake on a few site visits (Tecpan Youth Center, the Finca and La Dignidad, Escuintla) -- this experiential learning enriched my perspective of the country and this non-profit organization, as I learned environmental and cultural challenges yet witnessed successes due to the programs SERES supports in the community.

One key desire is to elevate women and youth in the various SERES activities, as this was evident throughout discussions, and particularly on the site visits. SERES is about empowering younger folks so they develop influential leadership skills to impact their communities. One young man who took the Youth Leadership program impacted/impressed me with his goals, and I have since applied for a grant with the hopes to fund training for his Conservation of Local Watershed project in La Dignidad.

Non-profits like SERES are forced to think outside the box and spark excitement in external visitors like myself with a passion to continue my connection while introducing new partnership opportunities. I hope you find that SERES will spark that same interest in you.

I couldn’t possibly express my respect for this organization in such a short review, so I am sharing a link to my blog which expands on this experience.
Leave for Change (L4C) - Guatemala: https://l4c-2020-ekilbourne-guatemala.blogspot.com/

1 Gary Anthony T.

Board Member

Rating: 5

SERES has done an excellent job in anticipating the need for environmental leadership among the young people of Central America. Their programs empower youth from Guatemala and El Salvador to be community leaders bringing sustainable change to their communities.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Mi experiencia con esta organización ha sido muy placentera, los lideres que han sido formados en el proyecto muestran un cambio significativo, esto es resultado del gran trabajo de los colaboradores del proyecto.

Desde mi experiencia puede decir que el modelo de SERES es innovador ya que permite que los jóvenes construyan su liderazgo de una manera interactiva. El experimentar desde la visión de los jóvenes y el entorno con la naturaleza es algo que considero fundamental para este proyecto.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

SERES is a very special organization. It operates under a very open, egalitarian process that honors all staff. We transitioned from a white E.D. to two Guatemalan women as co-directors. With a small budget, SERES develops youth leaders in two countries (Guatemala and El Salvador), using a sustainable development framework. As a U.S. board member i have been deeply impressed and moved by SERES' programs, support, camaraderie and impact. The team walks the talk more than most any organization I've been involved with.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience as an exalumny of the award-winning curriculum, Transformative Leadership in Sustainability of SERES, by UNESCO 2015 and Hundred 2021, has been a journey full of adventure and learning from my self-identity as a Tz'utujil woman, it has allowed me to be a sustainability educator, entrepreneur, and leader.

SERES doing an amazing job to offer a safe space for positive development, mostly for indigenous women.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They are making big impact with the youth. They work really hard to help others. I really belive in them. Keep it up!

1 Christa P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked with SERES as a volunteer for the last 5 years. It has been a rewarding experience to support them in building a strong, dynamic, and fresh branding through my passion for storytelling and technical design skills.

Working with the SERES team and learning about their impact on the youth of local communities in Guatemala and El Salvador inspires me personally and as a professional to keep on supporting and empowering others into achieving and developing their potential as a starting point of cultural change in Central American societies.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The impact SERES is making on its young beneficiaries is impressive. SERES is cultivating an abundance mentality in them. And through young people SERES is moving vulnerable communities in Central America towards development. If you can, join and donate to SERES. You will make a difference.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SERES is a fantastic organisation driven by strong leaders. I’ve worked closely with them on fundraising and various projects and campaigns and have had the opportunity to meet their developing youth leaders and view and support their projects and programming. The passion is visible and this translates into action which is creating positive sustainable change in their communities. It was both a wonderful feeling to be able to work with and support SERES, and an incredible learning experience.

1 hsaralicia

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SERES is an organization that has the youth right at the center. That is one of the things I like the most, besides their leadership model and how innovative they are in facilitating safe and creative spaces for young leaders to find their voice, co-create and put forward local projects that benefit their communities.

2 Nick.ImpactMarathon

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been working with SERES since 2017 and have been inspired and humbled by them throughout. There are so many ways to set up and focus on healing current, or short-term challenges - but it is only when we zoom out that we see that our biggest challenges need long term, systemic solutions. By training the future leaders, from a diverse array of backgrounds to be community leaders, to be driving change. It is a privilege to have worked alongside them for 3 Impact Marathons so far, and hopefully many more to come.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The transformation I have personally witnessed in marginalized young people in Guatemala and El Salvador over the past 5 years becoming leaders in their communities, standing up for their rights, facilitating opportunities for their peers to do so as well, creating safer, healthier more sustainable communities is astonishing! These young leaders are my heroes and heroines and have much to share with their peers around the world. Stand up, believe in yourself, find your leader within, stay home and change the world!

2 Lucia Solorzano T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became part of the ecosystem of SERES 6 month ago and so far, this amazing organization has unlock so many hard and soft skills so helpful for my professional development.
SERES is really progressive organization, that makes sure to bring safety, healthy and brave spaces for youth at-risk to unlock their best potential that helps them to thrive in their own communities.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My expirience with SERES has been amazing and wondeful, I love the way on how SERES includes the voices of young leaders from Guatemala and El Salvador, also the inclusive work with women.

3 Emily Neil

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the incredible opportunity to work with SERES as a communications officer from Nov. 2016 until Dec. 2017.

I cannot say enough about the depth and quality of the programming and network that SERES offers, which activates youth leadership in communities in Guatemala and El Salvador by empowering young people to ask what sustainability means to them, and then work together to create those changes that they want to see in their own communities, cities, regions, and countries.

Guatemala and El Salvador are two of the countries of the Northern Triangle that suffer high degrees of violence, the blunt and devastating effects of climate change, and countless other forces that have driven many to come to the U.S. Working with SERES for a year gave me an opportunity to not only better understand the challenges young people my age in the region are facing, but also witness firsthand what they are accomplishing and building in their local communities and at the broader national and regional levels.

As an organization, SERES is truly transparent, and practices what it preaches. Many of the staff members and leaders are youth that have gone through the program, and the network of youth leaders have a voice in decision-making at all levels, including representation on the Board of Directors.

I have learned so much from the youth leaders of SERES and am continually inspired by what the organization and every person who is a part of the SERES network are able to address and accomplish.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Focusing their energy on youth, SERES is making an impact on thousands of lives in Guatemala and El Salvador.

Through their programs, activities and initiatives they are catalyzing teens to nurture their leadership and entrepreneurship skills that will impact in their own lives, families and entire communities.

Thank you for your passion and love for youth!

2 Jacob Carter

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first learned about the innovative work of SERES from their Board Chair, Sherry Miller, on a consulting trip to Guatemala. Their commitment to education for sustainability, youth leadership skills, and ground-up development struck me as unique within Guatemala and internationally. Then, in 2015, they were recognized by UNESCO as a leader in their field and they have only become more sophisticated and exceptional in the years following.

While living in Guatemala during 2015, I attended one of their three-day Actívate workshops where I witnessed youth coming together to form action plans that would transform their communities. On the third day, local government representatives came to hear presentations from participants on topics ranging from clean water and air to reproductive health. In this public format, the local government representatives responded to the project ideas with interest and invited these youth participants to join formal governing bodies in the town. It was clear to me that SERES was on to something big and, when invited to be on their Board of Directors, I humbly welcomed the opportunity to support this dynamic organization.

Since 2016, it has evolved in intentional ways, responding to experiences, data and feedback from their primary stakeholders all the while maintaining true to their core values. I encourage anyone interested in innovative and comprehensive programming related to youth leadership, regenerative design, sustainable development, and education and training to check out the website, learn more and to support this remarkable organization.

2 David158

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For the last 7 years I have been continuously heart warmed by Project SERES. It's mission, staff and ever growing group of young people. 50 years ago I helped start a much smaller version of this super program in San Diego, CA. Project Seres is everything I had hoped for and more. Onward and upward SERES. I am very proud of you!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with countless NGOs in Guatemala. SERES Global is ahead of the pack on so many levels. Excellent leadership, truly genuine, transparent, selfless. This is one group I will continue to support and follow indefinitely. Thank you, SERES, for your incredible work.

2 Mark M.5

Donor

Rating: 5

Inspiring organisation creating a huge impact across communities in Guatemala. Having spent time with the SERES staff, their passion for creating positive change is incredible.

Their attitude towards development and how they work closely with people on the ground, lead by example and strive to do their best is amazing.

2 Corrina G.

Advisor

Rating: 5

The dedication and commitment of SERES' staff never fails to take my breath away. They are an incredible team of local leaders and knowledge brokers working tirelessly for a better future for Central America. I am especially excited by what the future may hold now that it is under the leadership of these two phenomenal women!