Guatemala is a mountainous country located in the narrow strip between North and South America. Just slightly larger than Ireland, it still has coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and Carribean Sea. Home of the celebrated Mayan civilization – a highly advanced society which is thought to have developed the mathematical concept of 0 and which dominated the country for the first 1000 years A.D, indigenous groups still make up close to half the population despite 200 years of Spanish rule.
But indigenous groups face particular challenges to development – Guatemala has one of the lowest rates of investment in education in the world, and what little there is focuses on urban areas. As a result, only 1 in 5 children in rural communities have access to education beyond the age of 14. Closely related is the fact that Guatemala has the third highest rates of child labour in all of Latin America.
You can help address both of these issues – sponsoring a child in Guatemala guarantees continued access to education, and signing our Free From Violence and Exploitation petition will help to put the issue of child labour at the centre of the next global development agenda. And if you’d like to know more about our work in Guatemala, you can find out at our Where We Work page.
As always, thanks for reading and supporting!