CRS in Guatemala
Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America. It is also the youngest with almost half of Guatemala’s population under the age of 19. Although Guatemala has the largest economy in Central America, social and economic inequality is high as more than half of the population lives in poverty. The indigenous population is especially affected, resulting in limited access to health, education and economic opportunities. Nearly one-half of Guatemala's children under age five are chronically malnourished, one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world. One of CRS’ biggest focuses in Guatemala is protecting the rights of children through work with unaccompanied minors and addressing hazardous child labor conditions.
People served: 585,028 (FY 2014: 116,243 direct; 468,785 indirect)
Population: 14,647,083 (July 2014 est.)
Size: 42,042 sq mi; about the size of Tennessee
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Country News and Stories
May 31, 2016
CRS Announces 2016 Egan Journalism Fellows
Four selected journalists will report on migration and climate change in Central America
April 21, 2016
A Hard, Simple Truth About Mothers
When a CRS writer connects with a Guatemalan mom, they find unexpected common ground.
April 14, 2016
Moving up the Mountain: Coffee Farmers Fight Against Climate Change
Farmers are fighting the climate and poverty in an uphill battle against coffee leaf rust. But there is hope.
January 6, 2016
CRS Calls On Obama Administration to Protect Children Fleeing Central America
CRS denounces decision to round up and deport Central Americans.
CRS' History in Guatemala
Catholic Relief Services has worked in Guatemala since 1963. Initially, our work focused on humanitarian assistance to ease poverty and bring about a better standard of living for the needy. This included a food distribution program linked to education, mother-child health, agriculture, and reforestation activities in collaboration with the National Caritas Office in the 1970s. CRS also provided $13 million in food, medicine, and relief items to those affected by the 7.5-magnitude earthquake that killed 23,000 people and left many thousands homeless in 1976. Over the years, our scope has expanded to include implementing programs focused on food security, nutrition and health, sustainable agriculture, education, civil society, disaster risk reduction and emergency response.