El Salvador

Calle La Mascota #533, Colonia San Benito.
San Salvador, El Salvador
El Salvador

+503 2257 0900

+503 2257 0901

Key contacts:

Regional Managing Partner: Armando Arias
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Co-Managing Partner: Lilian Arias
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Partner: Zygmunt Brett
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Partner: Ana Mercedes López
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Partner: Morena Zavaleta
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Co Managing Partner & Regional Counsel Member: Roberta Gallardo
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Partner: Luisa Rivas
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Partner: Eduardo Ángel
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Partner: Jaime Rodríguez
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Partner: Carolina Lazo
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Partner: Luis Barahona
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Regional Marketing Coordinator: Eugenia Sermeño
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Quick facts:

Number of lawyers: 48
Partners: 11
Staff: 50
Languages: English, Spanish, French

Since 1942, Arias has been a trusted name throughout the Central American region and abroad, offering local market knowledge and impressive global reach.

We deliver a full complement of global legal and business solutions through our 7 Central American offices. As pioneers in the regionalisation of the Central American legal market with fully integrated offices spanning six countries: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras (Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula), Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, with over 150 attorneys, highly specialized in more than 30 practice areas.

Arias has been characterized as an innovative, pioneering and most highly respected law firm; a leader in providing legal solutions to its clients globally. Arias has always reached top standards in effective solutions, award-winning client service and unparalleled innovation to the region’s legal market, representing a wide array of clients doing business in the region, from major multinational corporations, to medium and small businesses, start-ups and individuals. Due to the vast experience our team has, dealing with multijurisdictional cases that present high levels of complexity and sophistication, which involve not only the participation on our regional team, but also contain important regulatory aspects that need to be handled with local authorities (regulators), clients trust our expertise in their most important matters. 

At Arias, we work under the conviction that every client is important, and we ensure that all clients receive our best service in an efficient manner. Our legal practice includes large multi-billion and multi-jurisdictional transactions as well as day to day legal work. We are certain that our transaction experience and our dedication are highly valued by our clients.



Arbitration & Litigation: We advise companies facing litigation of various types before administrative or judicial forums. This includes out-of-court settlements, alternative mechanisms for dispute resolutions and skilful litigation. Our team also has vast experience in international and local arbitration. 

Antitrust: Advice in concentrations, competition-related litigation, clearance, cartel investigation and litigation, compliance, counselling and training programs, antitrust disputes, commercial disputes and judicial reviews, among others. 

Banking & Finance: Structuring finance projects with development and international commercial banks and counselling financial institutions and multinational companies in corporate and financial transactions.

Corporate & Commercial: Start-up projects, establishment of operations, corporate governance, due diligence, contracts, corporate immigration and day-to-day legal needs.

Intellectual Property: Trademark registration, patents, oppositions and all matters related to intellectual property protection.

Labour Law: Drafting and execution of labour contracts, internal labour regulations, registrations with employment authorities, changes in employment terms and conditions, terminations, labour controversies and negotiations of out-of-court settlements, labour dispute mediation, litigation of employment-related matters and corporate immigration.

Mergers & Acquisitions: Negotiations and closings in selling and acquiring companies, acquisition of minority and controlling interest, businesses due diligence process and identifying legal contingencies.

Tax Planning & Litigation: Tax structuring, tax planning, tax litigation, Transfer pricing, Free trade zones and fiscal grounds, municipal taxes, customs, among others related. 

Regulatory: Through our extensive knowledge of local regulations, we provide regulatory advice in Consumer protection, Data protection & privacy, Energy, Environment, Finance matters, Telecommunications, media and technology, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, among others. 

Energy: We provide advice on the successful development of energy generation projects, from the initial investment phase to the beginning of operations, as well as in the distribution sector and electricity market. We have vast experience in public tenders, regulatory compliance issues before different public entities, power purchase agreements, supply and other agreements necessary to enable the participation in the energy market.

Other practice areas: Administrative law, aviation, compliance, anti-money laundering and anti-corruption, franchising, government procurement, international trade, foreign investments, insurance and reinsurance, oil and gas, project and infrastructure finance, public private partnerships, real estate, among others.

We are a regional firm of multiple specialties. Since 1942 we have had the opportunity to accompany our clients in the implementation of thousands of projects that contribute with the economic growth of our countries through the creation of jobs, productive infrastructure, access to credit for entrepreneurs, implementation of new energy sources, execution of millionaire development projects and many other actions that have filled us with satisfaction.

However, our commitment to society does not end there. Corporate Social Responsibility is embedded in Arias' DNA since its inception. We believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to infuse and create positive changes in our environment to achieve a common good and ensure a better life for future generations. 

The firm also understands the importance of Pro Bono work for the community. Having a team of specialists in different areas of law, our employees at Arias are able to offer legal assistance to individuals and organizations with limited resources. 

In the region, Arias supports more than fifty organizations and dozens of individuals in proceedings related to the legalization of their operations, consultancies in labour issues, personal and family matters, and other areas of law in which they require assistance.  

In 2016, our firm was recognized as one of the 55 "Leading Lights" of Latin America, thanks to the Pro Bono work and social responsibility activities preformed throughout the years. This recognition issued by Latin Lawyer and the Vance Center reflects the commitment and social impact that Arias has as a national and international organization (

Arias promotes equal opportunities for men and women within the firm. Recruitment, appointments and professional growth are based on individual merits above any other reason. At Arias, over 50% of the lawyers in the region are women.

47% of our partners are women

50% of our associates are women

77% of our Managing Partners are women

Adding to this, the firm also supports several regional initiatives that promote diversity and support for women in vulnerable situations.  In Nicaragua, our lawyers are part of the Entrepreneurs Women Network of Nicaragua (REN according to its acronym in Spanish) and they work actively to strengthen the growth, management and business dynamics for women and their personal and collective leadership, among others.

  • Asset finance
  • Banking
  • Capital markets: Debt
  • Competition
  • Investment funds
  • M&A
  • Private equity
  • Project finance
  • Real estate finance
  • Real estate funds
  • Restructuring and insolvency
  • Securitisation
  • Structured finance/securitisation

1. Practice areas:

M&A, TAX, Regulatory and Corporate Law.


Juan Montero

Director of the Competition, Regulatory Law and Privacy Units of Telefonica

+34 914 82 33 86


Highlight Work:

Arias acted as local counsel to Telefonica Centroamerica Inversiones, S.L. (TCI) in the sale of its business in the Central American region (except Honduras, where Telefónica does not have operations), advising in corporate, M&A, tax, and regulatory (telecommunications and competition) matters. The deal was separated into two transactions: the first one involving the sale of the business in Guatemala and El Salvador to America Movil, and the second one referring to the sale of the operations in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama to Millicom. As any multijurisdictional transaction governed by foreign law, this one represented several complexities; being one of them the timeframe within which the agreements were negotiated and signed. In the case of El Salvador and Guatemala, the negotiations lasted nearly three weeks, during which the agreements related to the transaction and their schedules and annexes were prepared, reviewed and agreed. For the second part of the transaction involving Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, the timeframe was reduced to nearly two weeks.

Additionally, and specifically concerning El Salvador, Arias is advising the sellers in the approval process of the transaction before the Competition regulator, Superintendencia de Competencia. The deal exceeds the economic thresholds either in revenues or in assets stated by the Competition Law, for which the regulatory approval is required. Although the parties agreed that America Movil as purchaser shall lead the process before the authority, Arias is assisting Telefonica, TLK Investments and Telefonica Centroamerica, as the seller group, in the provision of all the information and documents required to comply the filing requirements for the petition to be admitted and the transaction analysed from an economic and efficiencies perspective. The transaction also gains relevance considering several issues, such as the fact that it will imply the reduction of competitors in the market from four to three telecom providers, and that the regulator knowing of the case is relatively new since the change of Government led by President Nayib Bukele and the newly appointed Competition Superintendent. Although not advised by Arias, there are precedents in a previous transaction whereby the Competition regulator conditioned and then denied America Movil the concentration with another competitor alleging the disappearance of a “maverick”. In this transaction, America Movil is pursuing an investment in improved bandwidth technology that will allow 4G and 5G connectivity, improved access to wireless connectivity, and access to information, the creation of an important amount of skilled employments.


US$650 million approximately in Guatemala and El Salvador, US$1,650 million in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

Lead Partners: 

Lilian Arias and Roberta Gallardo from El Salvador, Luis Pedro Del Valle Partner from Guatemala, Ana Teresa Rizo and Gustavo-Adolfo Vargas from Nicaragua, Andrey Dorado from Costa Rica, and María Cristina Fábrega from Panama

Other Team members involved: 

El Salvador: Zygmunt Brett, Morena Zavaleta and Luis Barahona (partners), Fidel Márquez (Senior Associate), Marcela Deras (Associate), Flor de María Cortez (Senior Associate), Rolando Alvarenga (Associate), René García (Associate), Roberto Bonilla (Associate), Adriana López (Paralegal).

Guatemala: Ximena Tercero and Liz Gordillo (partners), Rosa María Arenales (Senior Associate), Cindy Arrivillaga (Senior Associate), Florencio Gramajo (Associate), Jorge Ordóñez (Associate), María Elena Barrientos (Senior Associate), Francisco Zuluaga (Paralegal).

Nicaragua: Roger Pérez (Partners), Rodrigo Ibarra, Ivania Paguaga, Maryeling Guevara, Paola Gutierrez (associates), Leonardo Maldonado, Catalina Perez, Yara Aleman, Jeanette Franchini (paralegal).

Costa Rica: Carlos Ubico, Melania Dittel and Carolina Flores (partners), Tracy Varela, Alonso Miranda, Jorge Rodríguez, Ignacio Flores, Vivian Gazel, Sebastián Solano, Jimena Chinchilla, Irene Chaves, Estefanía Batalla and German Rojas (associates), Alberto Carrillo and María Pía Calvo (paralegals).

Panamá: Siaska SSS Lorenzo (partner), Mayrolis Parnther and Ricardo Rocha (associates) and Dominique González (paralegal).


2. Practice Area:

M&A, Corporate and Labour Law


Andre Bordini

Director, General Counsel Latin America

Energizer Holdings

+1 (212) 6264427


Arias assisted Spectrum Brands in all of the Central American countries, in the sale of the battery business of Spectrum Brands, under the brand and corporate name “Rayovac”, under the coordination of Baker & McKenzie. 

The legal advice provided by Arias in El Salvador included corporate and M&A matters, as well as labour advise related to the restructuring with respect to the separation of the non-battery business into a newly incorporated local entity, and the sale of the local entity owning the battery business as part of the global transaction. As part of the transaction, labour related matters were also addressed.

This deal entailed different aspects of local law which respect to the separation, which involved the coordination among several Central American jurisdictions in order to complete the phase prior to the sale to Energizer.

Lead Partner:

Roberta Gallardo

Other team members:

Eduardo Ángel (Partner), Fidel Márquez (Senior Associate), Flor de María Cortez (Senior Associate), Fernando Montano (Senior Associate), Efrain Marroquin (Senior Associate)

Global Coordinator:

Baker & McKenzie - Global Coordinator


3. Practice Area:

Banking & Finance


Mario Ayala

Energía del Pacífico


Highlight Work:

Arias is advising Energía del Pacífico, Ltda. de C.V., (subsidiary of Invenergy Clean Power LLC), in the execution of a Loan Agreement with International Finance Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH and Finnish Export Credit.  Arias is providing advice for the execution of the Loan Agreement and local guarantees. These financings are going to be used to develop, construct and operate a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) power generation project in El Salvador with a capacity of 378MW. This transaction is important because of the direct impact on the environment, and the development of this project reinforces the progress of the renewables energy sector in El Salvador.  The project is currently at the end of its development phase. The construction stage will last approximately three years and the operation phase will begin in 2021.

The project will have a total cost of US$850 million; it is the largest investment in the history of El Salvador. This achievement, combined with the fact that the project will supply around 30% of El Salvador's electricity demand.

This deal is very complex since requires the agreement of all the lenders and because of the size of the project, all the decisions are been carefully reviewed by all the parties; therefore, it is complicated to find a middle ground.

Lead Partners:

Luisa Rivas, Lilian Arias and Carolina Lazo

Other Team members involved: 

Luis Barahona (Partner) and Adán Araujo (Senior Associate)



4. Practice Area:

Regulatory, Compliance, Corporate, PPP


Alejandro Echeverria

Chief Executive Officer

Aeromantenimiento, S.A.


Arias acted as legal counsel to Aeromantenimiento, S.A. in the process of negotiation and legal formalization of the construction agreements for this phase of the expansion master plan of the company. The firm also advised and accompanied Aeromantenimiento, S.A. in the relationship with the Comisión Ejecutiva Portuaria Autónoma (CEPA), the government authority in charge of the administration and construction of the airport (where Aeroman is based) and its infrastructure, acting as legal counsel in the process of negotiation and approval of CEPA for the construction of the infrastructure. 

Aeromantenimiento, S.A. has continued with developing its expansion master plan in the facilities of El Salvador’s International Airport, which included the construction of its 6th hangar and other related airport infrastructure, necessary for the operations and provision of maintenance, repair and overhaul services of the company to all its national and international clients. The deal had certain complexity due to the negotiations with the government authority CEPA with respect to the legal formalization of the investments made by Aeromantenimiento, S.A. in airport infrastructure. The deal was formalized as an innovative type of public private partnership.   

With respect to the contracts with the different providers, being Aeromantenenimiento, S.A., a corporation under a special tax and customs regime as a “Centro de Servicios” (services center) under the International Services Law (Ley de Servicios Internacionales), it is very important from a legal perspective to carefully address this regime in the executed contracts with its providers.

Also, the deal had great significance for the country due to the fact that with the start-up of operations of hangar 6, Aeromantenimiento, S.A. became the biggest and most important maintenance, repair and overhaul services station in America, increasing the employment rate and having a positive impact in El Salvador’s economy. The inauguration of the 6th hangar was the first public event of the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, after assuming office on June 1, 2019.US$25 million, approximately

Leading Partner: Roberta Gallardo

Other Team members: Ernesto Sánchez (Senior Associate)


5. Practice Area:

Banking & Finance


Joseph T. Lumley | Associate

t: +1.212.701.3538


Advise Citibank N.A. as arranger of the issuance of bonds on behalf of the Digicel International Finance Limited (“DIFL”). Advised Citibank N.A. as administrative and collateral agent under DIFL refinancing of $600 MM thru the issuance of bonds by DIFL, amendment to Credit Agreement and guarantees of bonds secured among others by local collaterals. Advised Citibank N.A. in relation with the appointment of Banco Cuscatlán El Salvador as Co-Collateral Agent.

Execution by DIFL of an issuance of bonds in the international capital markets for 600 MM, the proceeds of the bonds were used in part to refinance the loans outstanding under DIFL's First Lien Credit Agreement dated as of May 25, 2017 with Citibank N.A, as agent. 

The bonds were guaranteed by DIFL´s subsidiaries, including its Salvadoran subsidiaries. Citibank N.A, acted as the administrative and collateral agent under the credit agreement, and Deutsche Bank Trust Company, as trustee for the holders of the Bonds, transaction documents were governed by New York law. Banco Cuscatlán El Salvador was appointed by Citibank N.A. as Co collateral Agent for local securities, which were governed by Salvadoran law.

Lead Partner:

Zygmunt Brett

Other Team members involved: 

Mariana Nochez, Associate, Leading Lawyer in this matter.




6. Practice Area:

Competition Law


Carol Colorado

Legal y Asuntos Corporativos 


Ivonne Medrano de Cader

Legal Sr. Manager ES

T +503 2209-7316 ext 7316

C +503 7747-1843


Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV filed an authorization request before the local antitrust authority in order to merge its beer business with the beer and soft drinks business of SABMiller, which is by far the main player in El Salvador for the above-mentioned businesses. Before the filing and until the global transaction closed, ARIAS advised SABMiller in different areas related to the transaction and especially in connection with the request of authorization filed with the Salvadoran Antitrust Authority for the local implementation of the transaction. Once the global transaction closed, our Firm continue to provide advice and formally representing Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV in the remaining stages of the authorization procedure before the local Antitrust Authority, until the clearance of the authorization and the recent approval of the purchaser of two of its main local beer brands (Regia and Suprema), in compliance with the divestiture required by the Antitrust Authority among the conditions to authorize the transaction.  This case is relevant for being one of the largest transactions submitted to authorization from the Antitrust Authority and the first case where a divestiture of this nature has been requested and actually implemented as a condition to authorize the transaction. It also represents the first time that the Antitrust Authority appointed a Monitoring Trustee (“Duff & Phelps B.V.”) to oversee the divestiture procedure and the execution of the operational agreements between Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV local subsidiary (“La Constancia”) and the purchaser of the beer brands during the transition period.

Leading Partner:

Eduardo Angel

Other team members:

Fernando Montano


7. Practice Area: 



Ana Carol de Benedetti

General Counsel

MRO Holdings, Inc.

+(503) 2537-6451


Arias assisted LifeMiles Ltd and Deutsche Bank AG New York Branch (DBAG) as Salvadoran counsel to the Loan Parties in the second incremental Amendment dated January 31st, 2019 to the Credit Agreement dated August 18, 2018, for the amount of US$100 million also assisted with the structuring of the collateral located in El Salvador in benefit of the Lenders. 

Leading Partner: Ana Mercedes López

Other Team Members: Rafael Burgos (Associate)


8. Practice Area: 



Jorge Law 

Corporate and Commercial Banking Senior Manager Credit Solutions

The Bank of Nova Scotia

(507) 2975422


Our firm is in charge of reviewing the Terms and conditions stablished in the Credit agreement, under the Law of New York, drafting of negotiation of all the security documents, governed under Salvadoran law, amendments of the mortgages and a complex negotiation process (negotiations have been going on for two months and are near the closing stage).  Important to highlight in this matter is the fact that The Bank of Nova Scotia approached Mario Lozano because of his negotiation skills and banking knowledge.  He was involved in the sale of its operations in El Salvador to Imperial Continental Inc., matter still ongoing. Additionally, the holding in Canada has an interesting credit portfolio of clients in El Salvador and Mario has started to lead this transactions as requested by the client BNS.

The destiny of the funds will be to debt restructure and working capital to broaden the operations of INFRA.  Grupo INFRA is formed by a conglomerate of 30 companies and more than 4,000 employees, and it is one of the most important manufacturers of industrial gases in the world. In El Salvador they are the largest medical oxygen and hospital equipment providers.

The loan has been stablished to refinance in full the exiting BNS loan.  To assist with the financing of acquisition of transportation equipment and for general corporate expenses.

Leading Lawyer: Mario Lozano, Associate

Partner in charge: Ana Mercedes López.


9. Practice Area:

Energy, Financing


Mrs. Jessica Kraig

Associate General Counsel


+1 (312) 2241400


Arias advised Invenergy Clean Power El Salvador Ltda. de C.V., who has the capacity of lender, in the signing and execution of an equity holder loan agreement in which has agreed to make several disbursements to the borrower with respect to the borrower’s obligations. Arias provided legal advice in the negotiation and execution of the shareholders loan agreement and the collateral guarantees such as account pledge and shares pledge.

This deal was complex because there were many tasks that need to be done in order to close the equity holder loan agreement, Arias conducted the negotiation stage with the borrower, and the preparation of all guarantees granted in order to protect the interests of the lender. Invenergy Clean Power El Salvador Ltda. de C.V.

US $29,000,000.00

Lead Partner: Luisa Rivas

Other team members: Carolina Lazo (Partner), Maximiliano Pimentel (Associate) and Adán Araujo (Senior Associate)


10. Practice Area:

Finance, Energy, Corporate, Tax, Regulatory

Arias successfully advised Ventus, S.A. de C.V. (subsidiary of Grupo Centrans [Guatemala] and Grupo Luz y Fueza [Honduras] two groups dedicated to the construction and operation of electric energy generation projects in the region), in the execution of a syndicated Loan Agreement with Banco Agromercantil de Guatemala, S.A., and Banco G&T Continental, S.A. as Lenders Banks and Bancolombia as the Structuring Bank.  The funds of the loan are going to be used to develop, construct and operate the first photovoltaic wind power project in El Salvador, called  Parque Eólico Ventus,  with a total capacity of 52MW.  Arias provided legal advice in the negotiation, drafting and execution of the Loan Agreement and the guarantees required in connection with the disbursement of the loan (Trusts, Pledges, Mortgages, Assignment of Rights and Debenture).This transaction is important because of the direct impact on the environment, the diversification of the Salvadoran energy production matrix since is the first wind power generation project in El Salvador, and the development of this project reinforces the progress of the renewables energy sector in El Salvador.  Some of the benefits of these project execution brings to El Salvador are the reduction of the oil bill of approximately USD $ 14,000,000 annually, the diversification of the energy matrix and the generation of 20 direct and 300 indirect jobs. In addition, it favours the compliance with environmental measures and agreements acquired for renewable energy.

As part of the social responsibility work of the company, it will allocate three percent of the total investment for local development projects in Metapán, a very needed area of El Salvador, and its area of direct influence.

This deal was innovative because is the first deal related to wind power generation in El Salvador, and it was very complex since it required the agreement of lenders, structuring bank and the sponsors of the borrower; and also,  because of the size of the project, all decision had to be carefully reviewed by all the parties; therefore, it was complex to find a middle ground in some conditions. Additionally, the involved lawyers had to find the right resources and use a different kind of knowledge and legal expertise of higher complexity than other renewable energy projects, being a wing power generation project required different and new conditions.  For example, the  amount of land that they need in order to comply with industry standards (Ventus’ Plant  is going to use more than 100 plots of land which were included in to the guarantees of the Loan), therefore  Arias needed to file for the approval of the registration of the different kind of guarantees (Trusts, Pledges, Mortgages, Assignment of Rights and Debenture) before governmental institutions and explain the structure of the project in order to obtain it’s approval and comply with the conditions established in the Loan and the perfection of the Loan’s Guarantees.

Amount: US $85,000,000.00

Jurisdiction: Honduras, Guatemala, Panamá, Colombia and El Salvador.

Leading Partner: Luisa Rivas

Other team members: Luis Barahona (Partner), Maximiliano Pimentel (Associate), Adán Araujo (Senior Associate), Oscar Anduray (Associate)

  • Accounting
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Banking
  • Construction and materials
  • Consumer goods and services
  • Energy
  • Financial services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Food and beverage
  • Forestry
  • Gaming
  • Government and public policy
  • Healthcare
  • Industrials
  • Insurance
  • Investment management
  • Media
  • Mining
  • Natural resources
  • Oil and gas
  • Pharm and life sciences
  • Real estate
  • Shipping
  • Social infrastructure
  • Tech and telecoms
  • Tourism
  • Transport
  • Utilities


Address line 1: Diagonal 6, 10-01 Zona 10, Centro Gerencial Las Margaritas, 

Torre II, Oficina 402 B. Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala

Address line 2

City, Postcode

Country: Guatemala

T: +502 2382 7700

F: +502 2382 7743




Address line 1: Centro Comercial El Dorado 6° Piso, Boulevard Morazán.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras

T: +504 2221 4505

F: +504 2221 4522




Address line 2: Edificio Park Plaza, Local 19, Barrio Guamilito,

San Pedro Sula, Honduras

T: +504 2550 2202

F: +504 2557 6488


City, Postcode

Country: Honduras



Address line 1: Pista Jean Paul Genie, Edificio Escala, Piso 3

Managua, Nicaragua

Address line 2

City, Postcode

Country: Nicaragua

T: +505 2298-1360




Address line 1: Avenida Escazú, Torre Lexus, 4to piso. Escazú, San José, Costa Rica

Address line 2

City, Postcode

Country: Costa Rica

T: +506 4036-2800

F: +506 4036-1268 




Address line 1: Torre Global Bank, Piso 24, Oficina 2401, Calle 50, Ciudad de Panamá.

Address line 2

City, Postcode

Country: Panamá

T: +507 282-1400

F: +507 282-1435