In a Word: Poverty
Guatemala’s Central and Western Highlands exhibit one of the most extreme combinations of systemic poverty, illiteracy, and inequality in the hemisphere. The indigenous populations that inhabit these regions suffer from malnutrition (rates of which rank among the worst in the world), poor health outcomes, racism, high rates of illiteracy, and low levels of educational attainment. Together, these factors virtually guarantee that the next generation will be no better off than the last.
Due to a lack of opportunities, many indigenous migrate (often illegally) to the U.S. in search of better jobs. They face many perils along the way, including the break-up of the family unit, exploitation at the hands of unscrupulous human smugglers, and death.
Our programs aim to help communities in the Western Highlands lift vulnerable young people—and their communities—out of poverty. By providing marginalized children in these regions with educational opportunities and access to technology, we can help them achieve success as individuals, as members of their local communities and as contributors to Guatemalan society.