Our work in Guatemala

Our work in Guatemala focuses on strengthening the voice and influence of youth, women, and indigenous peoples in their communities.

50.000 children

have gained access to quality bilingual education

40 local organizations

are supported by Oxfam Denmark and represents 8 million indigenous people

100 legal cases

on violation of indigenous peoples’ rights have been supported by us

10 climate adaption initiatives

are being implemented by Oxfam Denmark’ partners in Guatemala

Guatemala is one of the most unequal countries in the world. Half of the population lives in poverty, and the extreme concentration of wealth and political power leads to social unrest, violations of human rights and lack of access to basic social services such as education and healthcare.

Over 50 percent of the population of Guatemala consists of indigenous people, and we support their organizations and movements in organising and promoting political change proposals that seek to improve their lives. This applies to safeguarding their human rights, access to quality education, economic justice, and climate justice.

Climate change, environmental degradation and the unsustainable extraction of natural resources lead to massive migration, loss of economic opportunities and an alarming inequality in the country. And it is young people, women and indigenous people who suffer the most from the consequences.

Our goals in Guatemala

  • To support the voice and active citizenship of women, youth, and indigenous people to demand public quality education
  • To support alliances of civil society organisations in claiming economic justice
  • To support civil society to defend democracy and human rights and to promote concrete proposals to strengthen gender justice and social protection
  • To strengthen civil society’s advocacy for climate justice policies and demands for financing gender sensitive climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives
Peace cannot exist without justice, justice cannot exist without fairness, fairness cannot exist without development, development cannot exist without democracy, democracy cannot exist without respect for the identity and worth of cultures and peoples.
Rigoberta Menchú
Human rights activist and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992

Facts about Guatemala

  • 50 percent lives in poverty. Among indigenous peoples the number is 70 percent
  • 36 years civil war ended in 1996 with more than 250,000 Guatemalans killed
  • Absence of quality education for all is a key systemic barrier to democracy and respect for human rights in Guatemala
  • Guatemala is among the worst ranking countries when it comes to violations of human rights of social leaders, journalists, and indigenous peoples