, , ,

3 Organizations Aiding People in Guatemala

Aiding People in GuatemalaSeveral organizations are aiding people in Guatemala through efforts that focus on health, water, sanitation, food, housing and education. These efforts are vital considering that “Simulations for 2019 suggest that about 54[%] of the population was below the poverty line, only slightly below the 55.4[%] in 2014, the last official poverty estimate,” according to the World Bank.

3 Organizations Making a Difference in Guatemala

  1. Many Hopes. This organization, established in Boston, equips disadvantaged children in several countries, including Guatemala, to become adults who can break cycles of poverty. Many Hopes partners with global leaders and other organizations to provide education, shelter and health care to vulnerable children. Currently, Many Hopes gives 22 abused and orphaned Guatemalan children a safe place to live. These vulnerable children are referred to the organization by “local community and government agencies that are part of a network who coordinate with local police,” the Many Hopes website says. The organization also runs an onsite elementary school that provides education to 160 disadvantaged Guatemalan children and also provides scholarships for college and opportunities for vocational training. According to the World Bank, Guatemala ranks in the top 10 for the highest under-5 child malnutrition rates globally, at a staggering 47%. In light of this, Many Hopes provides medical care and food to ensure the well-being and nutrition of young children in Guatemala. The children under the organization’s care receive holistic assistance that covers all areas of development, including mental and emotional well-being.
  2. Water For People. Water For People is an international nonprofit based in Denver and established in 1991. The organization constructs piped water supply systems and partners with governments to train communities to maintain these developments over time. The organization began working in Guatemala in 1997 in the disadvantaged state of El Quiché. In Guatemala, Water For People collaborates with the One Drop Foundation to use social art to promote safe water, sanitation and hygiene. The Water For People website interviewed Teresa, a water leader in one of the villages of El Quiché. “Many people came together to get us to the point of having water,” says Teresa. Teresa remembers walking half an hour to get water from a small well, which was often contaminated. Where rural access to basic water services is 44%, sometimes there is not enough water due to high demand. Teresa wanted more for her three daughters; she did not want them to undertake unsafe journeys on foot to collect water. Teresa began to advocate for the families in her small, forested town who had lived years without running water in their homes. It was all thanks to her outreach efforts that water inadequacy issues caught the eye of Water For People and the local government. Through the support of Water for People and the local government, the local community participated in building a water system that now benefits 200 people in the community.
  3. Cooperative for Education. Cooperative for Education, more commonly known as CoEd, partners locally with educators and families to break the cycle of poverty through high-quality educational opportunities. Established in the early 1990s, CoEd has served more than 278,000 Guatemalan students through its programs. This influential organization in Guatemala is aiding people in Guatemala by running sustainable programs that aim to bridge Guatemala’s educational gaps. Ninety percent of rural Guatemalan schools do not have access to textbooks; CoEd helps schools build financially self-sustaining textbook rental programs. Additionally, CoEd’s Spark Reading Program ensures children learn at double the rate of a traditional classroom. CoEd also offers a Computer Program as an opportunity for students to gain technological skills to enhance their future prospects considering that about  60% of entry-level jobs in Guatemala require computer skills. Ninety-five percent of graduates continue their education past high school or go on to find a job. In Guatemala where 90% of impoverished people cannot read or write, according to the CoEd website, 80% of participants of CoEd’s Rise Program find a job or continue their education beyond high school. And, more than 50% of these graduates also help their siblings out of poverty by funding their siblings’ education.

With missions surrounding health, water sanitation and education, Many Hopes, Water For People and CoEd are influential organizations aiding people in Guatemala by helping to break cycles of poverty.

– Rupinder Kaur
Photo: Unsplash