Guatemala has long been the hub of Mayan civilization with half its population being direct descendants of the Maya. It remains the recognized cultural hub of Central America with Spanish as its official language and 21 Mayan dialects.

Due to unequal distribution of wealth and rapid population growth within the nation, Guatemala has one of the highest poverty rates in Latin America.

Over 59% of the population lives below the national poverty line.

Nearly half of Guatemala’s children under age five are chronically malnourished—one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world.

Poverty is especially prevalent in rural areas in the North, Northwest, and Southwest, occurring primarily among the poorly educated and indigenous members of the population.

Many families struggle to provide for their basic needs and cannot afford school expenses. Guatemala struggles with high illiteracy rates and low school attendance beyond the 6th grade. Access to quality health care and housing is also scarce. Preventable diseases often result in death, and infant mortality rates are high.

A terrible civil war from 1960 to 1996 left many children orphaned and abandoned. This trend devolved over the ensuing years, and now UNICEF estimates there to be over 370,000 orphaned children. More recently, the causes have been due to high rates of substance abuse, neglect, abandonment, and teenage pregnancies.

Our work in Guatemala

HopeChest Guatemala’s mission is to link communities through its Community-to-Community partnerships, providing opportunities for North American communities to connect with and come alongside the work of the local CarePoints and their communities. This partnership empowers dedicated CarePoint staff as they work with vulnerable children and their communities to thrive and succeed in life. Through these partnerships, children experience God’s love, provision, and hope for their lives, while their communities receive a greater sense of dignity and desire for sustainable life transformation.