World Affairs Council of Charlotte




WACC Speaker Series: May 24


Dr. Rafael Espada 

Former Vice-President of Guatemala

Interactions Between the United States and Its Neighbors: A Political View



Over the last few years, the world’s most developed economies, the United States and Western Europe have struggled with their respective economies and economic growth, while countries in Central and South America have been experiencing growth rates between 3 and 4 percent. The CAFTA-DR Free Trade Commission (FTC) meeting held in January earlier this year reported that trade between the U.S. and Central American partners grew from $44 billion in the first eleven months of 2010 to $54 billion in the equivalent period in 2011, facilitating sustainable and competitive broad-based economic growth throughout the region. In fact, President Obama’s recent remarks at the Summit of the Americas last month clearly outlined the importance of the region to the U.S. referencing shared prosperity and economic cooperation, joint security and the advancement of democracy and human rights between both nations. 

Date: Thursday, May 24

Venue: Westin Charlotte (601 S. College St.)

Reception and General Networking: 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.   

Lunch & Presentation: 12:00  - 1:30 p.m.  

Cost: $45 (WACC members) / $60 (Non-members) - lunch included


RSVP online via PayPal or you may call 704-687-7762 for credit card payments over the phone. If you prefer sending a check, please make it payable to "World Affairs Council of Charlotte" and mail it to our office.  


All reservation cancellations must be completed at least 3 business days prior to an event in order to receive a full refund.

WACC Speaker Series: May 24 with Dr. Rafael Espada

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Dr. Rafael Espada earned his medical degree from Guatemala's San Carlos University and later trained under the noted heart surgeon Michael E. DeBakey in Houston. He eventually became deputy chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Methodist DeBakey Heart Center, which is affiliated with the Baylor College of Medicine.


A lifelong philanthropist, Espada raised money for a charity hospital in Guatemala and currently is building a state-of-the-art facility specifically designed for cardiothoracic surgery. He is board-certified in General Surgery and Thoracic Surgery and has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout the course of his medical career including: Honorary Doctorate from the University of Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala, Honorary Professor from Universidad La Salle in Mexico City, Governors Award from The Chest Foundation, Paul Harris Award from the International Rotary Society, among many others.


Dr. Espada stepped down from his position at Houston's Methodist Hospital/DeBakey Heart Institute and returned to his native Guatemala. There, he successfully ran for Vice President of Guatemala. On 14 January 2008, he took office alongside the President, Álvaro Colom