Why Guatemala?

Guatemala is home to some of the poorest people in the hemisphere.

Poverty:  With a population of 14.7 million, Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America and yet has a GDP per capita 0f roughly one half that of Latin America and the Caribbean. More than half of the Guatemalan population lives below their national poverty line with 13% living in extreme poverty.  Poverty among indigenous groups (38% of the population) averages 73% and extreme poverty rises to 28%.

Health:  The Chronic malnutrition rate for children under 5 is the highest in Central America and the fourth highest in the world. Guatemala is one of 36 countries that accounts for 90% of stunted growth in the world.   The estimated median age in Guatemala is 20 years old, the lowest median age of any country in the Western Hemisphere and is comparable to most of Central Africa.

Education:  Although the Guatemalan government provides free education, with incomes under $2000 per  year, many indigenous families are unable to cover the additional expense of books, uniforms and transportation.   This makes it impossible to send their children to school resulting in 60% of the indigenous population being illiterate.

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