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Why Guatemala

Guatemala is a land of mountains, beautiful lake and lush rain forest, More than one-third of the inhabitants of Central America live in this 42,042 square mile area, about the size of Tennessee. A string of volcanoes rises above the southern highlands, and in the north the largest excavated Maya ruins site can be found in Tikal National Park. Guatemala City, the capital, is the largest urban center in Central America, with a population of about 2 million.

Guatemala has one of the worst poverty gaps in the world. Here there are more private helicopters per capita than anywhere else in Central America, according to the US Department of Commerce. Meanwhile, Guatemala has the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world. And according to a study conducted last year by The Fund for Peace, a US-based research institute, the inequality is becoming worse.

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Guatemala has the lowest literacy rate in Latin America, especially among the indigenous population. Nearly half of indigenous children are not educated beyond primary school, and girls are over 3 times more likely than boys to have fewer years in school.

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Marco’s family is among the 58% of Guatemalans who, according to the United Nations World Food Programme and the World Bank, live in extreme poverty, without even the means to afford to buy basic food.

Friends of Guatemala believes that those of us with resources can coordinate our efforts to make a difference in the lives of those with less. We respect the work of the Colegio de HOPE school staff and the support of the railroad track community. In partnership with our friends in Guatemala we can provide an education, and a better future, for the beautiful children of the railroad tracks.