Guatemala has the highest rate of child malnutrition in the whole of the Americas, ahead of Haiti. Nearly 50% of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition.
Although officially education in Guatemala is free to all, the costs of books, school supplies, transportation, uniform and food mean that many families cannot afford to send their children to school.
Guatemalans have suffered greatly in the past. During the Guatemalan Civil War of the eighties and early nineties at least 200,000 people were brutally murdered.