Guatemala in Focus

We’re working alongside predominantly Indigenous Maya communities in Guatemala to strengthen healthcare, improve nutrition, empower women and address ethnic discrimination. Donate to our Guatemala in Focus appeal and support community members, health workers and activists as they challenge injustice, ignorance and marginalisation.

Globally, many countries are still dealing with the consequences of colonisation – from economic exploitation to ethnic discrimination. The communities we work with in Guatemala, which are primarily populated by Indigenous Maya people, face many challenges to people’s health and wellbeing. These challenges – from lack of access to healthcare, to chronic malnutrition, to restrictive gender norms – are compounded by the marginalisation they suffer within their own country.

“In the sixteenth century, the Spanish invaded, and stole our country’s wealth. Since then, we have been divided, and the indigenous population discriminated against by the Mestizo (mixed) population.” – Olga de León, K’iche’ Community Facilitator, Health Poverty Action, Guatemala

Please give today and support communities as they build a healthier future!

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We are collaborating with health workers, activists, public officials and community members to support people’s health and defend their rights – whether improving access to healthcare, challenging discrimination, helping women empower themselves, or sharing vital knowledge around key issues.

“Thanks to those phone calls from [Health Poverty Action], I learned not to be afraid of the health centre. I’d always heard that they scolded and shouted at people there, and that they didn’t attend the patients, but thank God the doctor there attended me well, as did the nurses. I lost my fear of speaking up.” – Isabel Uz Joj, Mother and Embroiderer, Guatemala

One of our current initiatives is our work with pregnant women to improve their nutrition, and that of their families and communities. Guatemala has some of the worst rates of chronic malnutrition in the world and public health campaigns have often failed to engage Indigenous Maya communities.

We have been teaching pregnant women about nutrition, conducting cooking demonstrations and helping them establish vegetable gardens, so they can grow nutritious produce and broaden their diets. At the same time, we are supporting nutritionists employed by the Ministry of Health, so they can more effectively engage more people.

“For the children, the vegetables we’re growing help them to grow healthily, the vegetables have vitamins. It also helps getting the children used to eating leaves and herbs.” – Maria Marta Pu, Mother, Guatemala

Please give whatever you can and help address the causes of poor health and poverty!

Donate now

We are only able to develop innovative, practical approaches to tackling longstanding issues because of contributions from our partners and donors globally.

Please give whatever you can to our Guatemala in Focus appeal and support community members, health workers and activists as they challenge injustice and build healthier, safer, more prosperous communities.

  • £9 could cover the cost of training a health worker in quality antenatal care, newborn care and information management
  • £30 could cover the cost of teaching five mothers or pregnant women about nutrition, including cooking demonstrations
  • £81 could pay a day’s salary for a community worker supporting people in marginalised communities to maintain their families’ health