Guatemala’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Manuel Espina?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Manuel Espina

Manuel Alfredo Espina Pinto, an entrepreneur with no previous diplomatic experience, presented his credentials as Guatemala’s ambassador to the United States on September 8, 2017.

Espina’s father, Gustavo Adolf Espina Salguero, served as Guatemala’s vice president from 1991 to 1993 under President Jorge Serrano Elías. The elder Espina even served as president for a few days after Serrano was sent into exile because he attempted to suspend the constitution and dissolve the Congress and the Supreme Court. Espina, however, was found to also have been involved in the coup and he too fled the country. He later returned and paid a small fine.


Manuel Espina studied political science at Guatemala’s University of Francisco Marroquín. He was a real estate investor and was involved in the fashion industry.


More recently, Espina founded Guatemala Prospera. The organization’s goal is to instill moral and cultural values in Guatemalans, based on the teachings of American evangelical pastor John Maxwell. Guatemala Prospera sponsors a prayer breakfast, similar to the U.S. National Prayer Breakfast.


Espina is close to many Republicans, such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Those ties are seen in Guatemala as a major reason for Espina’s appointment.


Espina and his wife, Lisa Arizpe de Espina have two children: Anika and Juan Michael.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Official Biography

Nuevo Embajador en EEUU: Empresarios, Conservadores y Neopentecostales (Centro de Medios Independientes)


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