Guatemala: The Challenges of Reconciliation and Dealing with the Past

Thursday, June 20
7:45 pm
Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1725 Rhode Island Avenue, N.W.

An evening of discussion led by Virginie Ladisch regarding the process of building peace in countries recently emerging from civil war. Virginie, a graduate from Haverford College, was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for one year to conduct independent research in South Africa and Guatemala. On her year abroad, Virginie focused on cross-cultural approaches to reconciliation and dealing with the past. Virginie will expose some of the main challenges facing countries seeking to rebuild peace after long internal conflicts, with a particular focus on the case of Guatemala. After 36 years of civil war, opposing factions in Guatemala finally signed a UN-brokered peace accord in December 1996. The violence was primarily ended but the challenges of building a lasting peace had just begun. At present, Guatemalans are struggling to rebuild their country and to find ways to foster reconciliation. This evening of discussion will highlight some of the approaches taken to promote reconciliation and some of the core components of this process. Contact: Susan Gunn at (202)667-4050 or