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In the early years of the 21st Century

Description: Description: Description: Description: Guatemala

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Guatemala in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of poverty are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the relationship between distribution of labor and per-capita GDP, for example.  Perhaps your paper could focus on life expectancy or infant mortality.  Other factors of interest might be unemployment, literacy, access to basic services, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include some of the possible outgrowths of poverty such as Human Trafficking, Street Children, or even Prostitution.  There is a lot to the subject of Poverty.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** Extreme Weather ***

Extreme Precipitation Events: Guatemala experiences erratic weather patterns, including heavy rainfall and torrential rains. These extreme precipitation events can lead to landslides, floods, and damage to infrastructure.

Agricultural Impact: The sub-tropical climate changes have disrupted Guatemala’s once-fertile agricultural regions. Changing El Niño and La Niña weather patterns have led to catastrophic crop failures in many rural villages.

Farmers face extreme weather events such as hurricanes, unexpected frost, and drought. These challenges threaten food security and livelihoods.– adapted from Microsoft BING Copilot

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook - Guatemala

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 29 December 2020]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 5 January 2021]

The distribution of income remains highly unequal with the richest 20% of the population accounting for more than 51% of Guatemala's overall consumption. More than half of the population is below the national poverty line, and 23% of the population lives in extreme poverty. Poverty among indigenous groups, which make up more than 40% of the population, averages 79%, with 40% of the indigenous population living in extreme poverty. Nearly one-half of Guatemala's children under age five are chronically malnourished, one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world.

GDP - per capita (PPP): $8,200 (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 31.4%

industry: 12.8%

services: 55.8% (2017 est.)

Unemployment rate: 2.3% (2017 est.)

Population below poverty line: 59.3% (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 95 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 21.8 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 72.4 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 95.2% of population

Physicians density: 0.36 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 76.7% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 91.8% (2016)

The Borgen Project - Guatemala

[accessed 4 February 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ Saving Lake Atitlán To Reduce Poverty In Guatemala

~ Modern-Day Maya Artisanal Weaving

~ Indigenous Poverty In Guatemala

~ How Muixil Is Empowering Indigenous Guatemalan Women

~ Homelessness In Guatemala

~ The Fight Against Child Poverty In Guatemala

~ Engineers Without Borders: Building To Save Lives

~ Every Mother Counts: Maternal Health In Guatemala

Uninhabitable: Central America’s Northern Triangle And Beyond

Larry J. Schweiger, Pittsburgh Current, 19 March 2021

[accessed 20 March 2021]

Just as the Irish did during the potato famine, Central American parents are doing the hard thing out of fear. Facing systemic corruption, hopelessly struggling in an increasingly hostile climate with deadly gangs, these parents are sending offspring on a dangerous journey to America. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas summarized conditions: “Poverty, high levels of violence, and corruption in Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries have propelled migration to our southwest border for years. The adverse conditions have continued to deteriorate. Two damaging hurricanes that hit Honduras and swept through the region made the living conditions there even worse, causing more children and families to flee.

Nothern Triangle

Guatemalan authorities crack down on thousands of US-bound migrants fleeing poverty and violence

Reuters - SBS, 17 January 2021

[Long URL]

[accessed 17 January 2021]

“We have nothing to feed to our children, and thousands of us were left sleeping on the streets,” said Maria Jesus Paz, a mother of four children who said she lost her home in the hurricanes. “This is why we make this decision, even though we know that the journey could cost us our lives."

“First I lost my job because of the pandemic, and then I lost my home in the hurricanes,” said Melvin Paredes, who joined the caravan with his brother. “The only thing I have left is to fight for my family’s survival.”

Action Against Hunger - Guatemala

[accessed 21 March 2021]

Public safety, migration, drug trafficking, education and poor access to clean water and basic sanitation are some of the challenges facing Guatemalans, and more than half of its population lives below the national poverty threshold, being highly vulnerable to seasonal hunger and food shortages.

The situation in Central America has remained vulnerable to socioeconomic, environmental, and climate shocks, resulting in greater political insecurity and instability. Hundreds of thousands of people from the so-called Northern Triangle (Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala) have migrated in recent years.

The World Bank in Guatemala

[accessed 19 April 2021]

Guatemala has experienced continued economic stability, but this has not translated into growth acceleration to close the income gap with rich countries. In fact, poverty and inequality in the country are persistently high, with Indigenous Peoples continuing to be particularly disadvantaged.

Looking back a few years …

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 29 December 2020]

Since World War II, the government has encouraged light industrial production (such as tires, clothing and pharmaceuticals). Nevertheless, in 1995, agricultural pursuits occupied 58% of the national labor force and accounted for some two-thirds of Guatemalan foreign exchange earnings. Living standards and personal income remain low, and no significant domestic market exists, except for subsistence crops.

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