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.
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.
Guatemala: It Begins With Land
To most rural Guatemalans, land means everything.
Guatemala: The Sound of Progress
Guatemala: Promoting Peaceful Solutions
Decades of civil war, an inequitable colonial legacy and economic downturns have driven rural Guatemalan families further into poverty.
Guatemala: Defusing Crisis
Olivia's calm smile says a lot about her life today. However, just a few months ago, the situation was a lot different.
Guatemala: Rebuilding Lives While Respecting Cultures
As Guatemalan families return to what's left of their shattered villages, Mercy Corps stands committed to helping them recover from the destruction and despair that Hurricane Stan brought to their country.
Guatemala: Q&A: Graham Craft on the Central American Flooding
Guatemala: Mapping Out a Healthier Future
Rosmina is keeping tabs on the women of Cucanha, Guatemala. She knows who's pregnant, how far along they are and many other details about their lives. Are these things really her business? Yes - exactly.
Guatemala: A Volunteering Spirit
Three-year-old Maynor sits in his mother's lap, barely conscious. He is pallid, exhausted and falling limp in his mother's arms.
Guatemala: Reaching Out to Mothers in Guatemala
Guatemala's wild, verdant Polochic Valley feels like a secret. It's a narrow, winding seam in the country's colorful fabric. As the Polochic River rushes toward the Caribbean, past indigenous Q'eqchi and Poqomchi villages, it seems to be the only thing in a hurry to reach its future.