Cristosal Global School: Honduras

Root Causes of Migration
June 8-13, 2024 | San Pedro Sula, Honduras

The Leir Institute is pleased to sponsor three Fletcher students’ participation in Cristosal Global School Honduras: Root Causes of Migration. This week-long seminar held from June 8-13, 2024, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, examines the evolving dynamics of forced migration. Immersion in the Honduran context will help participants better understand the role of governments, civil society, and the international community in protecting the rights of people who are internally and externally displaced. The seminar will explore US immigration policy and the capacity of the Honduran state to protect citizens and guarantee rights through the lens of international human rights norms and the experiences of migrants and asylum seekers. Participants will meet with human rights defenders, academics, legal professionals, and community leaders from Honduras and the United States. Spanish language skills are NOT required to participate.

Participants will: 

  • Deepen their understanding of country conditions in Honduras and the unique struggles of Honduran refugees and migrants 
  • Analyze root causes of forced migration and internal displacement in Central America 
  • Analyze shortcomings of the asylum system with an intl. human rights perspective 
  • Develop human rights-based strategies to respond to the refugee crisis and support the rights of migrant populations, especially Honduran asylum-seekers in the U.S. 

Participants will learn by:

  • Engaging with expert speakers and facilitators.  
  • Participating in activities to deepen the understanding and application of new ideas to your own experiences and contexts.  
  • Sharing your knowledge, perspectives, expertise, hopes, and plans with peers from Honduras and around the United States.  
  • Experiencing the food, daily life, sites, and people of Honduras. 

Seminar Dates and Location: The program runs June 8-13, 2024 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. 

Travel Dates: Participants will depart for Honduras on June 7, 2024 and return to their preferred destination on June 14, 2024. 

Cost: The Leir Institute will cover seminar fees ($1250) and a travel stipend (determined by market rates) for three students selected by an application process. Seminar fees include lodging, transportation, three meals a day, coordination and logistics, interpretation and trip guide, speaker honorariums, and community activities.

Itinerary: An itinerary has not yet been finalized, but interested applicants can view a sample itinerary from the 2023 program, which was held in Tegucigalpa.  

Application Process: Interested students should apply by end of day March 3, 2024. Selected (3) and waitlisted (3) applicants will be notified by March 18, 2024. Selected applicants must confirm their participation by March 25, 2024 in order to complete registration by Cristosal’s deadline. Selected applicants who commit to the program but do not attend may be asked to reimburse the seminar fee ($1250) and/or the travel and lodging stipend. 

Questions? Please contact Marcela Millan, Leir Project Manager, at

Special Thanks to Beth McFadyen (F22)

The Leir Institute would like to thank alumna Beth McFadyen (F22), a member of Cristosal’s board of directors, whose generous contribution enables this experiential learning opportunity.

Beth, a recent Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance graduate from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, leverages her education and experience in international development, human security, board leadership, and organization development to serve the nonprofit community. Her region of focus is Central America.

Beth has worked extensively in Guatemala, the birthplace of her youngest child. For nearly 20 years, she has supported Natün Guatemala’s development work in the program areas of education, nutrition and health, and economic development. After completing her term of service as Board Chair, she founded and currently leads their Sustainability Circle, a community of donors committed to long-term, unrestricted giving. Most recently, she was elected to Cristosal’s board of directors, a human rights organization working for justice, the protection of human rights, and the advancement of democratic societies in Central America.

In addition to her MAHA, Beth holds a Master of Science degree in Organization Development and Training from Lesley University. Beth earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. Beth and her husband, Jay, reside in the suburbs of Boston and are parents to four remarkable children by both birth and adoption.