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: Reaching 500+ flooded-out families in Guatemala with aid
Guatemala: Tropical Storm Agatha: Our response in Guatemala unfolds
This week's Tropical Storm Agatha has left 150,000 persons displaced throughout Guatemala as a result of flooding, damage and destruction of housing, roads and bridges, and mudslides and landslides.
Guatemala: After the storm: Assessing post-Agatha needs in Guatemala
Mercy Corps’ team in Guatemala is assessing the damage inflicted by Tropical Storm Agatha over the weekend.
Guatemala: Travels in Alta Verapaz
It's raining again in Coban, Guatemala. Driving out to visit some communities, we come upon the apparently eternal landslide bleeding from the rain the night before, and washing out the road with its rust-red mud and boulders.
Guatemala: Part 2: Tilling the soil
Training newly landed farmers and helping them sell to lucrative markets is the second step in Mercy Corps' approach to rural economic development.
Guatemala: Earning Money and Respect
Guatemala: Part 1: Owning the land
Guatemala: A community abuzz
Raising honeybees is all the buzz in this bucolic Guatemalan village, where a dozen women harvested $700 worth of honey in their first year.
Guatemala: Won in Translation
On any given morning, the spotless health center in tiny Tucurú, Guatemala is abuzz with activity. Carmelina Botzoc is a big reason why.
Guatemala: Worth The Wait
Alta Verapaz, Guatemala — Machetes are ubiquitous here in rural Guatemala, and Valeriano wields his expertly as he slashes away at weeds on his hillside field.