Upcoming Events:

The US Foundation annually hosts events in the United States to introduce our mission to new friends, greet old friends and update all on the progress and work of the Foundation and of the University. These events often focus on the successes of the students as well as highlight interesting programs and research at the University. While these are invitation-only events, we welcome your attendance. Please send us an email if you would like to be notified of upcoming events and/or have suggestions of others who would enjoy an invitation.

Recent past events have been held in Washington DC, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. There are no events planned at this time but check back shortly as the 2019 event schedule is currently being finalized.

USFUVG also periodically organizes a group trip to Guatemala. This behind-the-scenes tour is a unique opportunity to see many parts of this wonderful country, visit the UVG Altiplano-campus in the Highlands, and participate in basic-needs mission work to help local families improve their living conditions. A once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Are you already traveling to Guatemala? Wonderful. We welcome the opportunity for you to include a visit to UVG and witness firsthand the effect of your charitable donations as well as meet with scholarship recipients. There are three campuses throughout the country: in Guatemala City, in the Highlands near Lake Atitlán and on the South Coast. We would gladly arrange this unique opportunity for you to incorporate it into your pre-planned itinerary.

If you are interested in learning more about either travel opportunity, contact us.

2019 Events Planned:

You are invited! This fall USFUVG is hosting two invitation-only cocktail reception events. On Wednesday, October 9th, we will be hosting a cocktail reception and program in Los Angeles, California, “Lasers in the Jungle”, which will present advances in Mayan archeology due to Lidar technology and showcase the UVG archeological program.

On Thursday, October 17th, in Washington DC, we are pleased to be returning to the Organization of American States to present: “The Road to STEM Education at UVG, from Beginning to … Outer Space!” Come hear about how UVG is putting science at the service of society, and the first-ever Guatemala satellite set for launch into outer space from the International Space Station and the UVG undergraduate students that designed it.

We would welcome your joining us–or your recommendation of someone whom you know that might be interested in our work. Please contact us. for more information. It would be our pleasure to issue an invitation.

Past Events:

Washington, D.C. October 2018


USFUVG returned to Washington this October for an exciting event: A New Age of Discovery – Lasers in the Jungle Enrich Our Understanding of Mayan Civilization – an evening cocktail reception. As recently reported in the New York Times and National Geographic, a revolutionary technology known as Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) has revolutionized Maya archeology over the last few years, challenging and vastly expanding our understanding of pre-Columbian civilization as far more complex and interconnected than previously thought.

Attendants heard about the revolutionary application of Lidar technology to archaeological research in Guatemala and how UVG is part of the largest Lidar survey project in the Maya area organized and funded by the Foundation for Maya Cultural and Natural Heritage (PACUNAM) in 2016. Dr. Tomás Barrientos, Chair of UVG’s Department of Archaeology and the Director of the Centro de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Antropológicas (Center of Archaeological and Anthropological Studies) and Dr. Marcello Canuto, a USFUVG board member and Director of Tulane’s Middle America Research Center led a virtual visit to their archeological site deep in the Petén jungle, where they shared their discoveries and showed how UVG is training its students in the digital technologies of modern 21st century archeology and providing exclusive access to the most recent findings and interpretations of Guatemala’s Pre-Hispanic past.

Overhead view of Mayan ruins


We are pleased to share a Spanish-language press release from the Embassy of Guatemala to the United States about the above past event:

Nov 9 2018 Press Release

New York, NY April 2018

Picture of Guatemalan-born entrepreneur Luis von Ahn On April 17, 2018, USFUVG returned to New York City to host its second New York event (first was 2016). Guatemalan-born entrepreneur Luis von Ahn (graduate of the Colegio Americano, an affiliate of UVG, and USFUVG board member) gave the evening’s special presentation. He shared the story of developing his companies, Duolingo and then Captcha, and spoke about how his work takes advantage of the ever-growing Web-connected population to achieve collaboration in unprecedented numbers and how his projects aim to leverage the crowd for human good. We were pleased to also give an update on the scholarships at UVG-Altiplano funded from the success of our first NYC event in 2016, the Philip Herrera Endowment Fund as well as the University and our mission at the US Foundation. It was our special privilege to have Rector Roberto Moreno join us from Guatemala in hosting 150 friends that evening.
Luis von Ahn is an entrepreneur and Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. While his accomplishments are many, he is widely know for inventing CAPTCHAs, being a MacArthur Fellow (“genius grant” recipient), and selling two companies to Google in his 20’s. Named one of the 10 Most Brilliant Scientists by Popular Science Magazine, one of the 20 Best Brains Under 40 by Discover, a Top Young Innovators Under 35 by MIT Technology Review, and one of the 100 Most Innovative People in Business by FastCompany Magazine, Luis is the co-founder and CEO of Duolingo, a language learning platform created to bring free language education to the world with more than 500 million users. Duolingo is currently estimated to be the most widely used way to learn languages worldwide. A Guatemalan by birth, von Ahn is a graduate of the Colegio Americano and recipient of an honorary doctorate from UVG. Luis has served the Board of the US Foundation of the University of Guatemala since 2016.

Washington, D.C. October 2017

Picture of two guatemalan students in front of poster board presentations In October 2017, the US Foundation gave its annual update to a crowd of partnership organizations, friends, donors and colleagues at the Organization of American States. The evening’s special presentation hosted two alumni from the UVG-Altiplano campus in Sololá who spoke about their experience of life after and, in part, as a result of a UVG education. Andrea Archila graduated as a Technician in Tourism in 2009 from UVG-Altiplano. After working with Mancomunidad de Municipals Tzolojya to develop products and community tourism in the upper basin of Lake Atitlán, she returned to UVG in 2014 as a Licenciatura student in Administration of Tourism Enterprises. Upon graduating summa cum laude, crediting her advanced studies and previous work experience, Andrea obtained her first consultancy in community tourism for a local NGO and has been working locally ever since with tremendous passion and success. Angel Tzapinel graduated summa cum laude from the UVG-Altiplano School of Education with a degree from the Teaching Program, specializing in EFL (English as a Foreign Language). During his time as a student, Angel gained practical teaching experience in the UVG Access Program as an Assistant English Teacher.Angel now works as an EFL teacher at both UVG and a local private school in Sololá, teaching secondary school students. He has applied to continue his studies next year in UVG’s Licenciatura degree program in Education. The evening also hosted a special presentation of the Berkley Cone Scholarship Fund, a commemorative endowment honoring the exemplary 20-year service of outgoing board member Cone.

Washington, D.C. October 2016

In partnership with H. E. Gabriel Aguilera Peralta, the Permanent Representative of the Mission of Guatemala to the Organization of American States, the Foundation hosted 150 friends for an evening event. UVG Rector Roberto Moreno presented an update on UVG’s efforts to promote the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) throughout Guatemala. Our guest speaker for the event was Guatemalan Luis von Ahn, a graduate of the Colegio Americano, which is affiliated with UVG. An entrepreneur and Associate Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, von Ahn pioneered crowdsourcing. As co-founder and CEO, he is currently working on Duolingo, the most popular language learning platform in the world, with over 150 million users. His past projects include CAPTCHA, reCAPTCHA and The ESP Game. von Ahn’s work takes advantage of the ever-growing Web-connected population to achieve collaboration in unprecedented numbers. His projects aim to leverage the crowd for human good.

New York, NY October 2016

USFUVG welcomed 75 new friends to an in-home fundraiser co-hosted by two board members to introduce our work to those in the New York City area. UVG Rector Roberto Moreno was joined by colleagues pleased to also greet longtime supporters and partners. Guests enjoyed an update on Guatemala today, the University educational programming and the work of the U.S. Foundation. The Altiplano campus and our mission to increase the availability of scholarships to qualified Guatemalan students, in particular the Maya and other rural poor, were highlighted. We look forward to returning to the City and keeping new friends up to date on our progress.

Washington, D.C. October 2015

USFUVG returned to the Organization of American States to host an evening event for USFUVG friends and supporters. The program consisted of an overview of our work, the University, and Guatemala, however, the highlight of the evening were the two student presenters.Washington Event 1 Amabila Soledad Puac Saloj and Salomón Ajiquichí Pecher made the journey all the way from the UVG-Altiplano campus in Sololá to speak firsthand about what it is like to receive a UVG education and the impact that this opportunity has had on their lives. They talked about their studies, as well as their hopes and aspirations for their future. Amabila highlighted her experiences as a 4th-year degree student in the tourism and hotel management bachelor’s degree program. A high school graduate of UVG, Salomón spoke about his decision to continue his education. He is now a bachelor’s degree student of agroforestry. Dr. Monica Stein, the Director of UVG’s Research Institute, complimented their presentation in providing an overview of STEM education methodologies and curricula at the University. It was a wonderful evening.

Washington event 2

None of this would have been possible without a scholarship. Many of my dreams have been realized thanks to the support I have received.

Guatemala In-Country Trip, December 2014


The first inaugural Friends of USFUVG Trip hosted a group of 26 participants in-country December 2-6, 2014. We had an incredible trip with a very engaged and interesting group! Seen through the University of the Valley of Guatemala (UVG) lens, Friends of USFUVG trip participants experienced “the land of eternal spring” through … its rich cultural heritage of the timeless Maya who today constitute 23 ethnic groups, … the Spanish legacy of colonial grandeur that is Antigua,2014trip2 … the hustle and bustle of a colorful open-air indigenous market, … the uncommon geography of volcanoes, coffee estates and the majestic jewel that is Lake Atitlán, … an archeological site just being unearthed and ‘discovered’ and, of course … its dynamic people. We went behind-the-scenes to meet students in their homes and experience their daily lives through their eyes. We visited the former military base in Sololá that has been converted by the University of the Valley of Guatemala into a thriving, remote campus serving the Mayan communities. We saw firsthand the promise and opportunity gained through education. An outline of activities and general information for that trip is here.

2014trip3If you are interested in visiting UVG on your next trip to Guatemala or on a trip with USFUVG as your host, please email us at: today and we will gladly share with you ideas to see our programming and this amazing country. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in Guatemala!

Washington, D.C. October 2014

oct2015eventUSFUVG hosted an evening event at the Organization of American States for our friends and supporters to learn about our work, the University, and Guatemala. With 100 people in attendance, we were honored by the participation of H. E. José María Argueta, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Guatemala to the Organization of American States, and H. E. Julio Ligorría, Ambassador of Guatemala to the United States of America. The program included a presentation of the work of USFUVG and its mission to extend the benefits of high-quality education more broadly within Guatemalan society. It is always our pleasure to update Friends of USFUVG on the ever-evolving work of the Foundation, and to highlight different aspects of the array of educational offerings and opportunities at UVG’s three campuses around the country.

Los Angeles, CA September 2013

Pic of Lake Atitlan

Photo by Emilio Piovesan

USFUVG was pleased to return to the Bel Air Bay Club in Pacific Palisades, CA to host an evening lecture and reception on Thursday September 26, 2013 from 6:30-9:00 pm (doors open at 6pm).

The evening featured three speakers:

  • Monica Stein, Dean of Research at the University of the Valley of Guatemala (UVG), presented an overview of the complexities of the Lake Atitlán basin, one of Guatemala’s most emblematic and multifaceted areas, where UVG has built a relationship with the community and is spearheading exciting projects with great potential for positive impact.
  • World-renowned Stanford University archeologist, John Rick, spoke about a joint archeological dig with UVG at the Mayan site San Andres Semetabaj – one of the oldest Mayan villages in the highlands of Guatemala, occupied from the pre-classic period (approx. 600 BC).
  • University of the Valley of Guatemala President, Roberto Moreno, shared news of UVG’s growing success extending opportunities for higher education – at many levels – for the Maya and other rural poor of Guatemala throughout the country and – more specifically – in the Lake Atitlan region.

Washington, D.C. September 2012

Students in Free Enterprise We returned to the Cosmos Club to host an evening event for friends and supporters of the University and its US Foundation. We had nearly 100 in attendance and were glad to see familiar faces but also to welcome new people to our work and the educational opportunities at UVG. The evening program included a talk by UVG’s Rector Roberto Moreno, as well as a presentation by six current students who represented UVG’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) group – an international organization that promotes entrepreneurship while working to improve their communities. Earlier in the year they had won a national competition with their project presented: “Zero Contamination, Zero Inequality, Zero Unemployment, Zero Malnutrition”. Conceived and managed by the students, the students work with Guatemalan women in the slums to have them design and create handicrafts made from recycled materials that the students source from local companies. The students then find access to markets for the crafts, paying the women an improved income from what they otherwise would earn. The students had come to compete in the world championship with their project. Two days after presenting to us, they placed in the top 16 countries competing. Students in Free Enterprise

Los Angeles, CA September 2011

Pic of a stone fountainWe celebrated Guatemala’s Independence Day with a lecture series and reception at the beautiful Bel Air Bay Club in Pacific Palisades, CA. World renowned Stanford University archeologist, John Rick, spoke about Mayan archeology at San Andres Semetabaj – one of the oldest Mayan villages in the highland area of Guatemala occupied from the pre-classic period (approx 600 BC); award-winning photojournalist, Peter McBride, gave a picture presentation of Guatemala and the Mayan people as featured in National Geographic Traveler; and University of the Valley of Guatemala President, Roberto Moreno, shared news of the University’s growing success extending opportunities for higher education – at many levels – for the Maya and other rural poor of Guatemala throughout the country. Outdoor shot of the Bel Air club

Seattle, WA May 2011

USFUVG hosted a reception at the offices of SH Worldwide to share with the Seattle community interested in Guatemala news of the University’s growing success extending opportunities for higher education to students from outside Guatemala City. UVG Rector Roberto Moreno was present, and spoke during a short program.

Washington, D.C. September 2010

An evening reception was held at the Cosmos Club in the nation’s capital to acquaint friends and supporters of Guatemala and USFUVG with the work being done by UVG to provide Guatemalan society with high-quality education. The evening program included a talk by UVG’s Rector Roberto Moreno, as well as a presentations by two current UVG students – a young man in his third year of the ITEC program, studying agriculture at the Central Campus, and a young woman in her fourth and final year of the ITEC program, studying tourism at the Altiplano campus. (ITEC is a strong academic program providing students with 2 years of high school and 2 years post-secondary education with options of applied learning in the areas of forestry, agriculture, tourism, industrial electronics, mechanical electronics, and industrial maintenance – learning that will given them a job, and their communities the skills they need for development, or enable them to pursue further advanced learning opportunities.)


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