LGBTIQ+ Justice: The TransLives Project

Cristosal invites you to imagine a world in which all LGBTIQ+ people not only survive but flourish. We believe this world is possible. For human rights defenders, especially transgender and non-binary people, this requires access to justice in hate crimes and access to opportunities as professionals with the skill and experience needed to defend LGBTIQ+ rights.  

Crimes against transgender people regularly go uninvestigated and unprosecuted in the northern of Central America. Cristosal’s strategic litigation program and criminal investigation unit puts our tools to work within the criminal justice system to end this impunity. We partner with LGBTIQ+ organizations to build cases against perpetrators of hate crimes and we challenge the complacent legal systems to do their job.

We also recognize the need to develop highly skilled professionals to continue this work. But, due to prejudice, the barriers to higher education and job opportunities are often insurmountable for transgender and non-binary people who seek to defend human rights in Central America. 

Cristosal is committed to building a team of professionals that is inclusive, diverse, and rooted in the communities we serve.

That is why in 2021 Cristosal launched a one-of-a-kind professional internship program for transgender and non-binary human rights advocates. The interns work alongside our team of internationally recognized human rights defenders from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Our teams are stronger and more committed than ever to defending LGBTIQ+ rights when we do it together.


How to Support TransLives

Your financial support for Cristosal’s TransLives Project makes you part of a gender diverse transnational team standing with trans, non-binary and LGBTIQ+ individuals and communities in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in the face of wave after wave of brutal killings and targeted violence.

Together we can:

  • Partner with LGBTIQ+ community organizations to identify and accompany victims of targeted violence
  • Employ cutting-edge forensic techniques to gather evidence 
  • Provide legal representation for victims and survivors to seek justice 
  • Amplify the voices of trans people through creative communications on social and traditional media platforms
  • Build a gender diverse pipeline of human rights professionals in northern Central America

Victims, survivors and investigators particularly need your support to allow for safe travel between the often remote and insecure areas where hate crimes occur and the capital cities where Cristosal’s offices and the offices of governmental and international human rights authorities are located.


It was an important moment for me when I could deliver humanitarian aid with my colleagues and see firsthand that people feel this is a real life opportunity. I saw their gratitude and how this sparked a dream to have a place to live in peace that is not the street, to see a future with this help, to start their business, or to have their children with them. Listening to their stories and knowing that you are doing your bit for them. Being able to be the one to give the opportunity of a better life to a friend/sibling from the LGBTIQ+ community has been the most important thing for me.


Intern Cristosal

Learn, Attend & Advocate

Did you miss it?

Watch our Field Notes: Lessons from the LGBTIQ+ Community in Central America on Human Rights and Access to Justice here:

Cristosal is committed to being inclusive, which means learning from and with the people they serve.

Watch the Field Notes event where we listened, learned and engaged with Cristosal’s Interns and other Trans and Non-Binary activists to understand the importance of providing spaces and paths of safety so all people can live in the wholeness of their identity. We also discussed expectations for the international community and what advocacy could look like.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Sunday, November 20, 2022

International Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence and also to draw attention to the continued violence endured by transgender people.

Guatemala – LGBTIQ+ Right Defenders & Access to Justice: An In-Person Seminar of Cristosal’s Global School of Human Rights

Location: Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Dates: April 23 – 28, 2023
Cost: $995
Registration Deadline: February 3, 2023

*The Seminar Fee includes lodging, transportation, three meals a day, coordination and logistics, interpretation and trip guide, speaker honorariums, and community activities. Does not include airfare.

Join us as we listen, share, and learn with the Guatemalan LGBTIQ+ community and their experiences. LGBTIQ+ rights are not protected in Guatemala. But, Guatemala is a society with a diversity of actors willing to change that reality. You will meet and interact with key players in that struggle. LGBTIQ+ rights are human rights. Together with Cristosal staff, TransLives interns and activists and analysts we will explore the reality of the LGBTIQ+ community in Guatemala and the paths forward towards a Guatemala where every human being can flourish.

 To learn more or to register for this course – connect with the Global School Team.

If you have a specific question related to this trip – please contact –

Rev. Claire Ranna, who recently visited Guatemala during a Cristosal Global School Seminar reflects on her own learnings from the LGBTQ community.

The Cristosal staff and interns were so generous in sharing from their own experience. So, if we were talking about healthcare, for example, almost everyone in the room ended up wanting to share a personal story, which really gave us a sense of this isn’t just an idea, this notion of protecting human rights, it’s not just an abstract theoretical concept. These are real, brilliant, beautiful, strong, articulate, smart people who are not able to access adequate health care because of their identity or because of how they present to the world, because of all kinds of discrimination. I felt like the generosity that everyone who worked with Cristosal brought in terms of sharing their personal stories and really making these issues real for us as supporters and allies and advocates alongside them, was really quite remarkable.

From a recent Global School participant and supporter of the TransLives project

I am grateful to life for having had the opportunity to participate in the Global School and meet such wonderful people. It gave me the chance to learn about two things I really care about in life:  my career in psychology because I want to contribute my part to mental health in the future;  and my spirituality because I found answers to the doubts that I think my fellow interns and I have had about spiritual life. Thanks to this internship opportunity, I am discovering that these things are very valuable to me and I thank those who make this program possible for giving me those experiences.

From one of Cristosal’s interns who participated in the recent LGBTIQ+ Justice Seminar