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Ford Foundation Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide

Mexico and Central America

For Grant Seekers

The Mexico and Central America office supports organizations and projects that contribute to the implementation of seven foundation initiatives.

We work in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador. In some exceptional cases the office provides support to organizations based elsewhere.


Promoting Transparent, Effective and Accountable Government

What We Fund

We fund projects that use transparency and accountability approaches to clarify the relationship between migration and related security policies and to monitor the impact of Mexican and Central American policy implementation on migrants. This work complements our Protecting Immigrant and Migrant Rights work.

Additional Selection Criteria

We do not provide funding for local governance, public security, training programs for government officials, or other issues unrelated to migration policy or security policy affecting migrants.

Protecting Immigrant and Migrant Rights

What We Fund

We support efforts to promote and defend the rights of migrants through documentation, advocacy and strategic legal efforts. This work is complemented by our Promoting Transparent, Effective and Accountable Government initiative. Both initiatives support the development of alternatives to restrictive policies.

Additional Selection Criteria

We do not fund work in the following areas: human trafficking, organized crime, and humanitarian assistance to migrants.

Reducing HIV/AIDS Discrimination and Exclusion

What We Fund

We support programs that strengthen the ability of affected populations to defend and promote their human rights and gain greater access to care and treatment. The goal of this initiative is to create conditions for meaningful participation of those infected, affected and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in decision and policymaking processes. It also provides support to reduce HIV transmission to migrants and their partners.

Additional Selection Criteria

We do not fund medical treatment, care or services; school-based prevention programs; or any other general prevention campaign not targeted at migrants and their families.

Expanding Livelihood Opportunities for Poor Households

What We Fund

We fund projects that support rural development, including strengthening agricultural and trade policy to better meet the needs of small producers and artisans; small business development and access to markets; region-wide network building for advocacy, agriculture, or migration issues; and specific initiatives that target women, indigenous groups, and other vulnerable populations regarding economic development.

Additional Selection Criteria

We do not provide support for income-generating activities not linked to a wider livelihood strategy or activities that may limit or negatively influence food security of local communities.

Expanding Community Rights to Natural Resources

What We Fund

We primarily support projects related to demarcation, titling, governance, and natural resource management in indigenous and Afro-descendent territories. The emphasis is on work designed to influence policies and whose reach goes beyond the local level. We also fund projects focused on ensuring that climate change policies related to forests and biofuels favor rural communities and avoid negative social impacts. These projects are coordinated by the foundation's New York office, in close collaboration with the office in Mexico.

Additional Selection Criteria

We do not provide support for projects related to reforestation, water management, environmental education, watershed management or soil conservation, protected areas management, sanitation and waste management and pollution control.

Supporting Diverse Arts Spaces

What We Fund

We provide support for programs that empower marginalized groups and expand diverse cultural practices. In particular, the office provides funds for technical assistance and capacity-building for cultural organizations and networks of indigenous and Afro-descendant populations, especially women. In some limited cases the office provides funding for arts spaces of migrants.

Additional Selection Criteria

We do not fund arts programs unless they serve the interests of the aforementioned marginalized groups.

Promoting Reproductive Rights and the Right to Sexual Health

What We Fund

We support organizations and projects that promote the reproductive rights of marginalized groups. This initiative focuses on improving access to reproductive health services and decreasing the impunity in tens of thousands of cases of murder and sexual abuse of women in the region. Special attention is focused on mobile populations because migration further accentuates vulnerability to violation of women's reproductive and sexual rights.

Additional Selection Criteria

We do not fund projects related to sexuality education, maternal mortality prevention (unless associated with death as a result of illegal pregnancy interruption), direct provision of reproductive health services, gender-based violence prevention (except to address femininicide).

To Apply for a Grant

Follow these steps:

  • Review the Initiatives most relevant to your work.
  • Read our Grant Application Guide, in English (PDF) or Spanish (PDF), which describes our grant-making process.
  • If you determine that your work aligns with our priorities, submit a Grant Inquiry. (While we welcome submissions, please keep in mind that our funds are limited in relation to the large number of worthwhile inquiries we receive. In a typical year, less than 1 percent of unsolicited inquiries result in a grant.)

Please Note:

It is important that you use our grant inquiry form—and refrain from contacting program officers directly. Given the volume of inquiries we receive, this allows us to log, track and respond quickly to your application.


The vast majority of foundation grants go to organizations. Historically, we have provided a very limited number of fellowship opportunities for individuals, including the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP).

Unfortunately, IFP is no longer accepting applications. The final cohort of fellows has been selected.

The foundation does not have any other active regional fellowship opportunities at this time.


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