IOA Webinar: Learn About Seasonal Farm Labor through H-2A Migrant Worker Program

On Monday, March 4 at noon CST, IOA will host a webinar about the H-2A program with members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and USAID including Gerardo Perez, Luis Soto, and Dr. Rodrigo J. Seda. During their presentations, they will discuss the history and impact of the Salvadorian H-2A program and provide resources for organic producers interested in hiring seasonal employees. Register below to learn more about how H-2A provides an opportunity for workforce collaboration and international partnerships between El Salvador and the Iowa Organic community!



The H-2A program was created in 2019 to address temporary hiring needs for US agricultural producers and to provide economic opportunities for seasonal employees across the world. While the H-2 program recruits migrant workers from dozens of countries, this webinar will focus specifically on the H-2A agricultural program in El Salvador, which started with just 60 participants and has since expanded to over 60,000. The $62 million project now connects over 370 employers with over 8,500 Salvadorian workers with H-2 visas, including members of the Iowa Organic community. Through partnerships between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, USAID, and the Government of El Salvador, H-2A offers a (free) professional recruitment program and provides ongoing support for both employees and employers to help facilitate ethicality and transparency throughout the entire process. 

You can learn more about H-2A on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website and through the US Department of Labor. 

If you’re interested in hiring, email [email protected].



Gerardo Perez is the Director of Diaspora and Development for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A career diplomat with the rank of Second Secretary, Mr. Perez was formerly the Minister Counselor at the Embassy of El Salvador in the UK (concurrent with Ireland), and in France (concurrent with Portugal, Monaco and Algeria). He received a bachelor's in business administration from the International Business School and University of Yorke.




Luis Soto is the Chief of Party for the USAID El Salvador Economic Competitiveness Project. Mr. Soto is a top-level private investment strategy and business development consulting executive with a breadth of experiences with investment and trade promotion, institutional strengthening and economic development projects in Latin America's volatile markets and globally. He has worked for both the private sector and regional and international economic development institutions such as the World Bank, the Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), the Andean Development Corporation (CAF), the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). His current work focuses on private sector development, business promotion, entrepreneurship, and institutional development and strengthening.




Dr. Rodrigo J. Seda is the Program Economist and Foreign Officer for USAID. After obtaining his Ph.D. in economics in 1998, Dr. Seda has had a diverse and impactful career. Starting in 1999, he taught and held multiple faculty appointments at several universities in Chile (Pontifical Catholic University Santiago, Los Andes University and Gabriela Mistral University). From 2002 to 2009, he taught various economics courses and directed a petroleum economics program at the American University in Cairo. 

In 2011, Dr. Seda joined USAID to work on project appraisal, including designing and teaching courses and conducting Cost Benefit Analyses. In 2012, he became the Mission Economist for USAID/Haiti, where he focused on improving fiscal capacity and collaborating with donors for institutional strength. He also oversaw activities to improve the Haitian Tax Revenue Agency and Treasury. In 2015, Dr. Seda moved to the USAID Mission in Afghanistan as an Education Officer, overseeing higher education support and leading comprehensive evaluations of the American University of Afghanistan. He then served in Jordan, managing a major tourism project and adapting it to deal with COVID-19. As of November 2021, Dr. Seda leads the Competitiveness Team in El Salvador, managing a portfolio of over $70M. This includes a major competitiveness project, a cooperative agreement to return to agricultural projects, initiatives for youth employment and education, and designing a significant follow-on project.

March 04, 2024 at 12:00pm - 1pm
Kenna Bell · · 3194483081
Patricia Pinto Francisco Avelar Katy Calderón Gerardo Pérez Kenna Bell Martin Hansen Alice Runde Ted Shambaugh

Will you come?