About 54 percent of the general population lives in poverty, compared to 80 percent of the rural population, where the majority of the indigenous population lives. Fertile land — the most important means of production in this agricultural economy — is concentrated in the hands of a few.
Land reform since the end of Guatemala’s 36-year civil war in 1996 has advanced in fits and starts. Chronic insecurity and high crime rates in the country, especially in urban areas in and around Guatemala City, further limit economic potential. Guatemala also struggles with government corruption, crippled infrastructure, and high rates of malnutrition.
- Conflict & Governance: Strengthening local violence prevention initiatives and linking to national initiatives for a holistic and integrated approach to decreasing violence and crime rates.
- Agriculture & Food: Providing nutrition education to mothers with young children, and helping small farmers diversify and trace crops, improve quality and increase revenues.
- Health: Providing health and hygiene education to build healthier communities.
All stories about Guatemala
Guatemala: A future without migration: How we’re empowering youth to build a life at home
Migration is rampant is some parts of Guatemala. We're providing young people with the education and skills they need to thrive without having to leave their community.
Guatemala, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia: Empower a woman, unleash a leader: Why we support young female entrepreneurs
We provide women and girls with resources to build better lives, because we know strong women equal strong families and communities.
Guatemala: Technology connects snow pea farmers to success
The export market is critical for snow pea farmers. To help them stay on the path to success, we’re connecting them to a new software that tracks their harvests.
Guatemala: Healthy mothers make happy families, hopeful futures
We taught mothers in rural Guatemala how to improve the lives of their children through nutrition, hygiene and pregnancy care. Learn how the lessons are giving them a brighter, healthier future.
Guatemala: Tea and spice growers working for healthier futures
Growing tea ingredients is a precarious livelihood. That's why we've worked with Tazo Tea over the last decade to support farming communities in India and Guatemala. Meet a few people who now have a brighter future.
Guatemala: Recipes for a bright start: Healthy meals for Guatemala's children
Learn how to make the dishes we're teaching mothers to cook for their children to fight malnutrition and prepare them for a happy future.
Guatemala: Coffee farmers facing hunger, damaged livelihoods
An epidemic of coffee leaf rust is putting vulnerable families in Guatemala at increased risk of food insecurity.
Guatemala: Building homes and resilience in communities struck by quake
We responded immediately when natural disaster devastated rural communities in Guatemala, and we stayed beyond the emergency to help them build back better.
Guatemala: Meet our field staff: Carlos
Fighting for the rights of rural communities comes naturally to Carlos. Find out why he's dedicated to improving lives in his own country.
Guatemala: Juan Tista Toj, pharmacist in Guatemala
More pharmacies will begin serving remote villages thanks to a pilot program that Mercy Corps and partners are taking to scale throughout the country.