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Basic Indicators

Source: UNICEF: The State of the World's Children Report

Population: 14,027,000 (2009)
National language: Spanish, Amerindian languages
Per capita income: US$ 2,630/year (2009)
Life expectancy: 71 (2009)
% of population using
improved drinking water sources:
94% (2008)
% of population using
adequate sanitation facilities:
81% (2008)
Under 5 Mortality Rate: 40/1,000 live births (2009)

Sponsor a child today! Guatemala is roughly the size of Tennessee. Located in Central America, it borders Mexico and Belize to the north, and El Salvador and Honduras to the southwest.

Thirty-six years of political violence have left over 100,000 dead and over one million internal refugees, creating a host of problems for development. Also adding to Guatemala's problems is the uneven distribution of wealth that has left many living in poverty.

Major crops include sugarcane, corn, coffee and bananas. Guatemala also has small reserves of oil and is able to export some of its surplus.

Plan started working in Guatemala in 1978. We currently work with over 340,000 families in 647 communities in Guatemala, focusing on strengthening community dialogue, health and education for children, and disaster preparedness and relief. Except in emergency situations, Plan does not provide direct assistance. Instead, we help communities develop, grow and, ultimately, support themselves.

Hear from the children

An essential part of Plan's work is empowering children to discuss the issues that matter to them and to take part in decisions that affect their lives. To help you learn about these issues, the children in Plan communities have put together a series of publications called "See Our World": Read what the children have to say about their lives.