Mayan

Mayan The northern region includes the world-famous Mayan ruins. In this reigion, people tend to be reserved, but they are also warm and agreeable.        
Guatemala

Northern Region

  • Santa Avelina, like many communities in the Northern region, is surrounded by dense jungle. Santa Avelina, like many communities in the Northern region, is surrounded by dense jungle.
  • These children participate in a class at their Compassion center, where they receive extra tutoring and educational support. These children participate in a class at their Compassion center, where they receive extra tutoring and educational support.
  • Education is vital for children like these to escape poverty. Education is vital for children like these to escape poverty.
  • These children from the Northern region are being provided the opportunities they need to develop in all areas of life. These children from the Northern region are being provided the opportunities they need to develop in all areas of life.
  • Worship and prayer times are a regular part of the Compassion program. Worship and prayer times are a regular part of the Compassion program.
  • Children in this region have more educational opportunities and support through Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program. Children in this region have more educational opportunities and support through Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program.
  • Poor homes in the rural north are usually crude constructions of whatever materials are locally available. Poor homes in the rural north are usually crude constructions of whatever materials are locally available.
  • Sponsored children can learn and grow, surrounded by the care of local church members and staff. Sponsored children can learn and grow, surrounded by the care of local church members and staff.
 
GUATEMALA OVERVIEW

Population

14,647,083

Religion

Roman Catholic

Weather

 
A Glimpse of Poverty in Guatemala's Northern Region Northern Region Guatemala
  • Guatemala’s northern region is inhabited primarily by poor, indigenous descendants of the Maya.
  • The people here still suffer the effects of a brutal, 40-year civil war that ended in 1996. Distrust of strangers is common, and there is a high number of widows and orphans.
  • More than 300 miles away from the capital, Guatemala City, and not easily accessible because of its dense jungle, this region and its people are often neglected by the government.
  • The region’s extensive border with Mexico and Belize is not properly protected, and drug trafficking cartels rule with violence and fear.
  • Illiteracy and low education levels are other serious issues in the north.
  • About 40 percent of the rural population has a less than sixth-grade education, and illiteracy rates are as high as 45 percent.
  • Many children drop out of school and join their parents, working as poorly paid agricultural laborers.
COMMUNITY
Issues and Concerns
  • Because of unemployment rates of up to 80 percent, parents seldom make enough to adequately feed their families.
  • Guatemala has the fourth-highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world. Nearly half of children under 5 are chronically malnourished.
  • Children also commonly suffer from intestinal infections, respiratory ailments and allergies, and parasites.
Local Needs and Challenges

Food insecurity

Throughout the region, malnutrition is common.

Violence

Drug trafficking and illegal immigration are a source of violent crime.

Limited education

Beyond sixth grade, access to public education is limited, and not many can afford to attend private schools. Relatively few children secure the available public school spots, and the rest so have no choice but to wait a year and reapply.

EDUCATION
Guatemala Northern Region education
Schools and Education
  • In the northern region, fathers take their sons to work with them when the harvest of corn, fruits and other crops begins. These children rarely return to school when the harvest season is over.
  • The Guatemalan government has recently offered financial incentives for parents to send their children to school.
  • While this practice has improved attendance, many parents continue to keep their children out of school so they can work and contribute to the household income.

Compassion Guatemala works to ensure that every registered child is able to attend school, and it provides additional support, including tutoring, at the child development centers.

At the Compassion Child Development Center

Children registered at Compassion centers learn skills that will help them in their studies and when they move into the workforce.

Using technology to study and to play educational games encourages their proficiency on the computer.

Compassion’s holistic approach of addressing the spiritual, economic, social and physical aspects helps children develop into healthy, well-rounded Christian adults.

What Compassion Sponsorship Provides

In partnership with local churches, Compassion is bringing real help and hope to impoverished children in Guatemala’s northern region, providing:

  • regular nutritious meals and snacks
  • health checkups and medical care as needed
  • the support needed to attend school
  • Spanish lessons. Most children speak a Mayan dialect in their homes, but their school classes are taught in Spanish. To help them overcome this obstacle, the centers in 11 communities provide a course in Spanish. As a result, throughout the region, children’s academic performance is improving, fewer are repeating school years and fewer are dropping out.
  • vocational training in such skills as electrical wiring and commercial baking to enable them become self-sufficient adults in the future.