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NGO in Guatemala breaking the Cycle of Poverty through Education



Guatemala is a democratic republic in Central America, with a population of around 15.8 million. The territory of modern Guatemala once formed the core of the Mayan civilization, which is why 41% of the population is comprised of indigenous people. The ruins of Mayan cities have survived to this day and are a popular tourist attraction.

A civil war raged for 36 years from 1960-96 and the country still suffers from its legacy of violence and disruption. Besides its unique and often traumatic history, Guatemala is also famous for its stunning natural beauty. Many tourists are attracted by its sandy beaches, mountain lakes and active volcanoes, yet behind this booming tourism industry, there's a harsh reality:

Guatemala has the lowest literacy rates in the whole of Central America and almost 50% of children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition. Approximately 75% of the population lives below the poverty line, occupying poor land and working incredibly hard to fight prejudice and improve their circumstances. Education is therefore beyond the reach of a large section of the population who struggle every day to feed their families.

Social Issues

Guatemalans have suffered greatly in the past. During the Guatemalan Civil War 1960-96 at least 200,000 people were brutally murdered.

The 2007 elections saw the election of a left-wing government which intended to fight crime through reducing poverty. Small improvements were made to the living standards of the poor in Guatemala but crime, inequality and human rights have remained large areas of concern.

The people of Guatemala hope that one day the government will bring long-awaited changes to education and welfare and improve conditions in the country.


We believe that everyone should have access to education.

Although education in Guatemala is officially free to all, the costs of books, school supplies, transportation, uniform and food mean that many families simply cannot afford to send their children to school. 

Low incomes, due to lack of education, mean that many families are left with no choice but to set their children to work in the fields or to send them to neighbours’ doors to beg for food, rather than study in classrooms. Our School of Hope is there for these poorest children, providing education, school transport, books, uniforms, nutritious meals and and many other support services at zero cost to these families. Many of our students are first generation learners, working hard at school to lift their families out of this cycle of poverty.

We will continue to provide free education, nutritious meals, health and social support in the hope that one day the Guatemalan Government will begin to help more of the poorest sectors of the community.

Shocking Statistics

The statistics of Guatemala read more like those of Sub-Saharan Africa than the Americas.

“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.” (Rafael Señán, Representative for European Union in Guatemala, April 2011)

“Half of Guatemala's 14 million people live in extreme poverty, on less than $2 a day” (Guatemala pays high price for global food system failings’, May 31st 2011, The Guardian)

“Nearly 31.7% of the country’s near 12 million populate are illiterate, with illiteracy rates up to more than 60% in the indigenous population.” (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics, 2010)

“In 2007, only 63% of boys and 64% of girls enrolled in Primary school reached the final grade of Primary education."   (UNESCO Institute for Statistics)



By making a contribution, small or large, you can improve a child's life.


Donate your skills and help the Foundation in the UK, USA or at the school in Guatemala.


For a small regular contribution you can reach out to a child in need.

Contact us

Whether you'd like to hear about upcoming events, volunteer with us, help raise funds for the children in Guatemala or just talk about EFTC's work- we’d love to hear from you!

Whether you’d like to hear about upcoming challenges, volunteer or visit the school in Guatemala or just have a chat about EFTC’s work- we’d love to hear from you!

Whether you’d like to hear about upcoming events, volunteer with us, help raise funds for the children in Guatemala or just have a chat about EFTC’s work- we’d love to hear from you!

  • Education for the Children Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charity in the USA
    Tax ID# 26-0648715

    1630 North Main St. #126
    Walnut Creek, CA 94596
  • +1-925-577-5225

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