Founder of Trabajando Unidos, Guatemala
For over a decade, Marlon Gonzalez has worked at Working Together (Trabajando Unidos), an organization that he founded based in Huehuetenango, Guatemala with a regional presence in Mexico and Costa Rica. Trabajando Unidos (TU) is a civil society organization committed to advocating for the rights of the LGBTQI+ community. Their main objective is to create spaces free of stigma and discrimination in which there is access to basic services, education, health and recreation for LGBTQI+ people. The work of the organization is led by members of these populations to create peer-generated strategies that enable the active participation of and are repsonsive to the need and realities of LGBTQI+ Guatemalans.
Through his work with Trabajando Unidos, Marlon also collaborates with the Quetzeltenengo-based Xela Support Group (Grupo de Apoyo Xela, GAX), raising awareness around the lack of data and visibility on violence against the LGBTQI+ community. Marlon also leads TU’s active support of movements working to defend the rights of women and Indigenous populations.
Marlon is a longtime partner of CEPPS/IRI and has been an invaluable ally in capacity-building and citizen participation initiatives in CEPPS programs supporting electoral processes in Guatemala since 2018. He was an active supporter of “Culture of Peace”, an activity which strengthened local institutions’ and communities’ ability to identify, respond to and mitigate root causes of violence, as well as the “Youth Beyond Elections” activity, supporting youth from across the country in coming together to identify common needs, challenges, and priorities to advocate for greater youth participation in political processes while developing their own leadership skills.