Guatemala is a beautiful country, rich in history and culture. Unfortunately, in recent years Guatemala has been plagued by ongoing violence and crime that has impacted the lives of all Guatemalans. Today, Guatemala is one of the most violent countries in the Western Hemisphere, with approximately 70% of its population having experienced some form of violence or trauma. Adding to this, Guatemala has a poverty rate of approximately 60% and an illiteracy rate of approximately 50%.
There are very few programs and services available to address the needs of Guatemala’s low-income population. The children we work with demonstrate a multitude of mental health issues that impact their ability to learn. Many of the children we work with have undiagnosed learning disabilities and a number of students have repeated grades. Furthermore, a lack of adequate educational materials and large class sizes make learning difficult for many children.
Because of our unique combination of educational and mental health experience, we are able to address the many varied needs of every client we serve. No child or family is turned away from services, no matter how great their issues. There are no entry requirements or interviews to evaluate whether a child is eligible to receive our services – our goal is to support all students. We also coordinate services with other locally-based NGO’s or government run hospitals.