Guatemala

60%

of the Guatemalan population is under 25 years old

62%

of the population live on under £1.45 a day

101

murders are reported each week on average

74%

of the population work in the ‘informal economy’ (e.g. street vending, undeclared domestic work etc)

About Guatemala

The cradle of Mayan civilisation, Guatemala's great natural beauty and strong indigenous culture are often overshadowed by civil war. It is also highly vulnerable to natural disasters. There are a number of active volcanoes in Guatemala and the nation is positioned on three tectonic plates, causing frequent seismic movements.

Social inequality is widespread, particularly in rural and indigenous communities, which make up 40 per cent of the population. Indigenous groups are particularly vulnerable, and tend to have a lower level of education, unequal access to land and assets, and fewer life opportunities in general.

Like many of its neighbours, Guatemala experiences frequent and senseless violent incidents, and suffers with organised crime and street gangs. Sadly, life expectancy is among the lowest in Latin America; half the population is younger than 19.

How we do it

Livelihoods

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Advocacy

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Resilience

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Church & Community Transformation

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Our Work in Guatemala

Tearfund has been working in Guatemala since 1976, when the country was hit by a devastating earthquake which killed around 23,000 people.

Today, Tearfund is working with three local organisations in several key sectors. There is a strong emphasis on supporting marginalised people, such as indigenous communities, vulnerable children and HIV sufferers.

Our work includes:

  • Developing community health programmes among marginalised indigenous villages
  • Disaster risk reduction and protection of children at high risk following a natural disaster
  • Church and community transformation
  • Advocacy work for indigenous people’s rights

We also enable pastoral and leadership training. This encourages churches to support people to transform every area of their lives – seeking healing in their relationship with God, with themselves, with each other and with the environment.

OUR PARTNERS IN GUATEMALA: AMI San Lucas, Asociación Vida & Centro Nehemías

ACHIEVEMENTS

450

community leaders, community mayors, health promoters and midwives have gained new opportunities for political participation and empowerment of their communities’ rights.

90,000+

people have benefitted from a community health policy introduced in the municipality of Tecpán.

502

students have had access to healthy food, reducing malnutrition, thanks to four nutritional stores that have been established in schools (with partner group AMI San Lucas).

50

mothers have been trained in nutrition and early stimulation to reduce levels of malnutrition and abuse.

Pray for our work

  • Please give thanks that, through our partners’ work and advocacy, many more communities have greater access to health services and medicine.
  • Pray that, with training in a holistic understanding of mission, local churches will be well-equipped to tackle social and environmental problems within their communities.
  • Please pray for greater equality in Guatemala and that, through advocacy efforts, indigenous people will no longer be marginalised and will have access to more services and opportunities.
  • Pray for peace in Guatemala and that rates of violence will rapidly decrease.
  • Continue to pray for children at risk of mistreatment and forced labour – ask that God would protect the children of Guatemala.

Where we're working