Guatemala: Education opens doors
Together with our local partner CEIPA we focus on upholding children's right to education in Guatemala. We focus on solid vocational training that helps strengthen the voice of the rural poor.Learn more
Guatemala ranks among the poorest countries in Latin America. In 1976, we launched our work in Guatemala in the wake of a devastating earthquake. Today, we are supporting 8,300 children with 20 projects.
Guatemala is a country with immense social inequality, particularly with regard to income, education, and standard of living. Half of the population is poor or very poor, most people cannot escape from the poverty cycle without external support, a situation that greatly affects children. Many girls and boys are forced to work in order to provide for their families, which limits education opportunities, access to decent healthcare, and any chances of a better life. We lend our support to various partner organisations that are committed to reducing rural poverty, prevent violence, and improve access to education for children from poor families.
The Central American country Guatemala, ravaged by civil war between 1960 and 1996, is noted for a high level of violence and growing drug-related crime. The wide chasm between rich and poor continues on until today. The wealthiest ten percent of the population own nearly 50 percent of the national wealth and the poorest ten percent own less than one percent. The country’s indigenous population is particularly affected by this, with almost one-third living in extreme poverty.
Our work in Guatemala focuses in particular on supporting children in rural regions and peri-urban areas, protecting them from violence, and giving them access to a well-rounded education. In doing so, we concentrate on the following key areas: reducing poverty (especially in rural areas), protecting children from abuse, and securing a well-rounded education for them. In addition to helping children, the work involves their families and communities. Our partners help children from poor families by providing education and support programmes tailored to their needs. Awareness-raising campaigns and advocacy work in communities emphasise the importance of education. The projects mainly focus on children in rural areas, particularly from indigenous families. The project centres inform children about their rights and kids learn how to demand respect.
Other projects are designed especially for children and young people who have been victims of violence. The projects offer psychosocial consulting, access to knowledge on how to improve income, violence prevention measures, and legal assistance. In the long term, we hope that prevention and advocacy work will help to change the legal and political system, a prerequisite to curb violence sustainably. Perpetrators should no longer escape unpunished and victims should be treated with respect.
Sources: World Factbook, United Nations