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: My future, here in Guatemala
I’m a high school student in Guatemala City -- all around me, kids are joining gangs or fleeing to migrate north. Mercy Corps helped me get the chance to believe in myself, in my country, and in my future.
Guatemala: Planting roots at home: Creating new opportunities for youth in agriculture
In the rural Western Highlands of Guatemala, we’re helping young farmers like Julio learn to grow hardier crops and access the financing they need so they can safely turn their backs on migration.
Guatemala: Where violence traps youth in poverty, opportunity frees them
In Guatemala City's most dangerous neighborhoods, deeply-rooted violence, poverty and lack of opportunity fuel chronic instability that keeps people from thriving. Learn how we're working with young people like Claudia to break that cycle.
Guatemala: In Guatemala City, choice changes everything
Drugs, violence and poverty are rife in Guatemala City, leaving many young people feeling they don't have the power to change their circumstances. We're showing them otherwise.
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.
Youth at a Crossroads
Today, millions of youth are at a crossroads: In a world of crisis, they will either become a force for peace or one of continued instability. We must support and empower them now, while they are making the choices that will determine the fate of their lives and their 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.