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CARE in Guatemala

We work so that by 2030 women, girls, and the young population can have a voice and leadership in the exercise of their citizenship and in the defense of their rights and diverse identities; so that they can grow free of violence, and with economic autonomy and inclusive, sustainable, and resilient life resources to face climate change and other risks.

CARE Guatemala officially started its work in 1959 by distributing school meals to over 20,000 children one year after implementing and self-funding the School Feeding Pilot Program, which provided milk and oatmeal to over one hundred schools in the country. In 1960, CARE expanded its work scope by promoting materials for the construction of schools, and by supporting community groups to improve the health and educational conditions of children in the rural area. 

These activities characterized CARE’s work for 16 years. And, due to its desire to promote bigger benefits to the population, CARE developed projects to provide potable water, basic sanitation, the distribution of supplementary food to breastfeeding women and their children, and to promote the use of primary healthcare services.

The earthquake of 1976 marked an important transition in its program, as during a whole year it interrupted CARE’s normal projects and reoriented all of its activities towards the rescue of human lives and the restoration of their environment. Once the situation went back to normal, the organization resumed its usual activities with rural communities, working on projects about mother-and-child health, forestry, fish farming and agroforestry, and sanitation. 

The micro-loan program intended for members of rural communities was implemented in 1985 in the eastern and central sector of the country. Later on, the experience was consolidated in a program of community banks for women, which encouraged the project participants’ daughters to study. 

CARE’s work has gradually reoriented towards a new programmatic strategic vision of contributing to the reduction of poverty, inequality, discrimination, and violence that currently exist in Guatemala, one of the countries with the highest rates in Latin America; thus, it has contributed to strengthening the democracy, social justice and the exercise of individual and collective rights of mainly women, indigenous communities and the young population. 

Today, over 60 years later, CARE Guatemala considers women and young girls as the center point of its work, and it seeks to make long-lasting changes by 2030 through its three strategic programs: 


with impact

In CARE Guatemala, we prioritize diverse girls, women, and the young sector, which includes the following:

  • Indigenous communities.
  • People living in poverty.
  • Those excluded from the health and educational system.
  • Individuals with minor possibilities of climbing the social ladder.
  • People in danger and in need of humanitarian aid.
  • Victims of work or sexual exploitation, and human trafficking.
  • Those excluded from the social protection system and under conditions of high vulnerability towards violence. 
  • Internal and external immigrants.

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