Creative launches two subsidiaries in Central America
By Evelyn Rupert
August 29, 2018
Development organization builds on decades of work in El Salvador and Honduras
TEGUCIGALPA and SAN SALVADOR — Creative Associates International has launched two subsidiary companies, CREA Consultores, in Honduras and El Salvador that build on its robust experience implementing sustainable programming over three decades in Central America.
Inaugurating the Honduras office in Tegucigalpa on Aug. 14, Creative Chief Operating Officer Pablo Maldonado noted the organization’s history in the country—beginning in the mid-1980s when it assessed the training needs of Honduran women in business—and described CREA as a continuation of that long-standing commitment.
“Our promise is to work arm in arm with our Honduran colleagues, empower Hondurans and find new solutions to the many problems that we face,” he said. “I think that together we can do important work for the benefit of this beloved country.”
The Honduras and El Salvador subsidiaries will draw upon the evidence-driven expertise of Creative in the region and serve as agile, flexible and innovative implementers of development programs, collaborating with a variety of donors and partners to tackle the region’s most pressing challenges.
As Creative opens and closes offices based on the life cycle of programs, CREA will lend a more permanent presence and allow Creative to continue to build its relationships in the region.
Leading CREA Honduras is Susana Ferrera, an economist and experienced international development practitioner who has worked extensively in workforce development initiatives with a variety of donors, NGOs and private sector partners.
“As CREA, we have the mission of supporting people, their communities, their countries and the entire Central American region so they can achieve the development and positive change that we all want,” she remarked. “And we have the responsibility of bringing the principles, the quality and the experience of our parent company Creative.”
COO Maldonado opened the CREA Consultores in San Salvador, El Salvador, on Aug. 16 with an event attended by some 75 people.
CREA Consultores El Salvador is spearheaded by Harold Sibaja, who has decades of experience working with Creative in the region.
“Creative is in El Salvador to contribute with its experience of more than 40 years in more than 90 countries, to work with local organizations, private sector, universities, the government and a variety of donors,” Sibaja said. “Creative is in El Salvador to stay and to remain here for decades to come.”
Sibaja noted that Creative has worked in El Salvador since 1990 through some of the country’s most crucial transitions, including projects working on community development for displaced families; demobilization of former combatants and security forces after the 1992 peace agreement that put an end to a 12-year civil war; strengthening democracy and civic participation; and the current efforts to tackle gang violence and promote peace through community-based violence prevention approaches.
Creative is currently implementing seven projects across the region, including in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and the Caribbean. These projects focus on preventing crime and violence, improving technical education and training, raising incomes for small-holder farmers and more.
Holistic development solutions
CREA Consultores will manage their own portfolios of projects and have already begun implementing violence prevention initiatives and working on migration issues.
CREA Honduras piloted an innovative prevention program in collaboration with the Honduran government’s Deputy Secretariat of Security for Prevention.
CREA El Salvador is currently implementing a project for the Central American Integration System (SICA) to prevent violence in 14 border municipalities in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama. In addition, both subsidiaries will be supporting the implementation of another regional program, working with German consulting firm GOPA in the implementation a GIZ project, working with youth to address the root causes for migration in El Salvador and Honduras.
COO Maldonado said that as Honduran and Salvadoran communities grapple with issues of gang violence, unemployment, poverty, climate change and more, Creative – and CREA Consultores – will continue to respond with innovative, holistic solutions.
“Our work is focused on responding to serious social problems, difficult situations and things that require curiosity, agility, flexibility, experience and discipline,” Maldonado said. “There are profound challenges that require a great curiosity and a certain amount of courage, and these inaugurations is our promise to address them.”