Fund for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean

Fund for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean

The Fund for Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin American and the Caribbean (Indigenous Fund) promotes, orientates, facilitates and coordinates development processes within the framework of Indigenous Peoples´ identities, along with the recognition, respect and full exercise of their rights, cultures and identities.

Founded as a cooperation program of the Ibero-American Community of Nations, through a constitution agreement signed in Madrid, Spain on July 24, 1992 on the occasion of the 2nd. Ibero American Summit, the Indigenous Fund has operates as a Public Law International Organization from its Technical Secretariat located in the city of La Paz, Bolivia since 1993.

One of the fundamental characteristics of this international organization is the peer arrangement of its governmental functions between state and indigenous representatives. Currently, the Indigenous Fund is composed of representatives from 18 Latin American countries and 3 extra – regional members. Cuba and the latter do not have an indigenous representative.

At the last General Membership Meeting held in July in Bogotá, Colombia, a new Governing Council was elected for 2015-2011. Pedro Santiago Posada Arango, a Colombian government representative, was elected as President, and Myrna Cunningham, an emblematic leader of the indigenous women is the first Vice President. The Spanish Delegate, Eva Buendía, was elected Second Vice President. The three of them make up the current Executive Committee.

At a Glance

Members 0
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Organization Type

  • Multilateral Entity


AV. 20 de Octubre 2287 esq. Rosendo Gutiérrez, La Paz, Bolivia 

T : 591 2 2423233
E :

Organization Mission

Indigenous Peoples recognized and respected in the full exercise of their rights, cultures and identities; with solid organizations, strengthened in their administrative, technical, economic, political, social and cultural capacities through their own sustainable development processes that at the intercultural convivial level can incorporate their identities within the development, and economic and democratic administration of the national States of Latin America
To promote the political, economic, cultural and social strengthening and development of the Indigenous Peoples, as well as of indigenous communities and organizations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean through resource management and channeling, conciliation and political dialogue, technical and financial assistance to development programs and projects, specialized information, knowledge generation and transfer, advice, follow up and evaluation of public policies on the subject and active participation in regional as well as global areas of interest for the main beneficiaries of its institutional operations.


Five institutional policy areas have been defined:

  1. Conciliation and Participation in Development with Identity
  2. Support to programs and projects
  3. Fundraising and mobilization of resources
  4. Communication
  5. Information and Studies on Indigenous Development

These policies are currently executed through institutional programs and processes that have been called Emblematic Programs, as of a recent institutional restructuring process.


Area of Focus


Within the framework of development and conciliation, focusing on favoring the construction of development processes with Identity, the Indigenous Fund has created five Emblematic Programs. These programs are rooted in institutional policies and represent institutional thematic work areas that are implemented through projects.

The Dialogue and Conciliation Program is implemented through the location of National Consulting Offices in each one of the member countries. These offices are first instance to discuss the agenda between the government, indigenous representatives, and if necessary, international development cooperation agencies, with the possibility of developing into a scenario for public policy generation on behalf of Indigenous Peoples, as well as a venue where programs and projects favoring development with an identity can be consolidated.
The Indigenous Intercultural University: (UII) has been one of the long-coveted projects by indigenous peoples. The IIU is a regional initiative, lead by the Indigenous Peoples Fund, together with 26 Universities and educational institutions of the Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. In the last 30 years, the indigenous peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean have condemned the situation of educational exclusion they have suffered, particularly at higher education levels.  It is a new and innovative proposal for higher education.

The UII’s objective is to contribute to the qualification of indigenous professionals and their training in leadership capacities, so as that once they have built capacity, and after having gained access to adequate tools and resources, they can actively take part in, and lead, decision-making processes from an intercultural approach.

There are indigenous peoples all over Latin America and the Caribbean. The question of who is and who is not ethnically indigenous has been a matter of intense debate. From that start point, knowing how many there are and where they are would allow for the improvement of public policies beneficial to the Indigenous Peoples. Therefore it is necessary to clarify this panorama, and thus construct an Information System on Indigenous Peoples –SIPI- will cover that need. SIPI will work (it is still in the designing stage) in three areas of information: socio-demographics and census; physical territorial atlas, and the general situation of indigenous peoples.

This is a program seeking to support and integrate governmental management and development incorporating identity processes of the indigenous peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean through institutional consolidation and the constitution of an interactive system, as well as the relationship between indigenous peoples, their organizations, national states and international agencies
This program aims to consolidate, extend coverage area, and institutionalize the Andes, Amazon, Mesoamerica and Southern Cone sub-regions, with actions to both promote awareness and action to prevent, mitigate and advocate on decisions and regional plans aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, based on the ancient wisdom of indigenous peoples.
Under this flagship program, the Indigenous Fund seeks to incorporate the Indigenous Fund´s approaches within the Agenda of Indigenous Women of the Region, and to establish mechanisms to improve their participation in the their development, together with organizations and networks of indigenous women, and a training program with a view to develop capacities in rights, governance and political participation.

Indigenous and governmental representatives from the 18 countries of the Region (Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela) as well as  three extra-regional states (Belgium, Spain and Portugal) participate in the Indigenous Fund. Cuba does not have an indigenous delegate.

Its highest representative organ is the General Assembly, composed of 22 governmental representatives and 18 indigenous representatives, whose delegates are responsible to the Governing Council for supervision, and assigns operating responsibilities to the Technical Secretariat, which executes plans, programs and projects along with States, international cooperation agencies, and indigenous peoples and their organizations in the region.

The Governing Council is composed of six governmental representatives and six indigenous delegates; the Executive Committee is composed of the President, one indigenous Vice President, and one extra-regional Vice President. The Technical Secretariat is located in La Paz, Bolivia and is operated under the Technical Secretary, with the support of a 10-member professional team.

Areas of Expertise

Government Relations, Policy, Advocacy