Social investment in Guatemala continues to be one of the lowest in Latin America. More than half of the population live in poverty, and approx 12% live in extreme poverty. The situation is worse in rural areas and among indigenous populations.
In 2005, Hurricane Stan left hundreds of people dead, and close to one million people homeless. More than half of these were children.
Issues children in Guatemala face:
- Respiratory Diseases
- Intestinal Illnesses
- Skin Diseases
- Colds / Flu
- Dental Issues
- Child Labor
- Gang & Domestic Violence
Many communities are in need of employment opportunities, vocational training, literacy programs, education, drug and alcohol abuse prevention/ rehabilitation programs, improved schools, qualified teachers, increased wages, computer training, school supplies and improved public security.
Compassion International began working in Guatemala in 1976. Over 31,900 children participate in around 143 Child Development Centres. Compassion Australia assists over 1,800 of these children. Currently around 100 students are enrolled in the Leadership Development Program.