A Seed of Hope

In the early 1980s, a group of forward-thinking Central American leaders founded SEMILLA Latin American Anabaptist Seminary in the heart of Guatemala City. The word semilla means “seed” in Spanish. Starting a peace-and-justice teaching organization at that time and place was an act of faith and vision. SEMILLA’s story began at the height of regional violence. In response to the devastation around them, church leaders from various Anabaptist-related mission traditions discovered and claimed the peace witness of their theological tradition as a guide.

They founded and built SEMILLA, a completely Latin American owned and governed institution.


The founders sought to transform their communities through theological studies and practices that reflected the strong commitment to faith, peace, community building, and social justice that are core teachings of the Anabaptist faith tradition. Today SEMILLA serves over 700 students and church leaders across Latin America.

Over the decades, this initial seed of hope has also grown to serve thousands of students and guests from around the globe through SEMILLA’s CASAS (Central American Study and Service) program. Today, CASAS offers Spanish language education, cultural immersion experiences, guided learning tours, and guest house accommodations for college, university, and seminary students as well as church groups, pastors, families, individual travelers, and explorers.

SEMILLA’s beautiful campus, located in zone 11 of Guatemala City, includes classrooms, meeting rooms, a library, staff offices, garden, outdoor recreation area, dining hall, balcony patio, laundry, and Casa Emaús guest house inside a secure private area that is accessible with a visitor or student pass.