Civil War in Guatemala
The civil war in Guatemala, which took place from 1960 to 1996, was a devastating conflict that left a lasting impact on the nation. The war was fought between the government and various guerrilla groups, and resulted in the deaths of over 200,000 people, most of whom were indigenous Maya. The conflict was characterized by widespread human rights abuses, including forced disappearances, torture, and mass killings.
Even today, the ripple effects of the civil war continue to be felt in Guatemala. The country is still grappling with the aftermath of the conflict, and many of the underlying issues that contributed to the war, such as inequality, poverty, and social exclusion, remain unaddressed.
Impact on Children and Families
One of the most significant ways in which the civil war has impacted Guatemala is through the country’s high levels of poverty. The conflict disrupted the economy and left many people unable to access education, healthcare, and other basic necessities. This has contributed to the ongoing poverty that affects a large portion of the population, particularly in rural areas where many indigenous communities are located.
For a basic living situation in Guatemala, including food, housing, utilities and a few other basic amenities the average cost is roughly 525 USD per month. Many families are unable to meet this standard of living. In 2014, 49.10% of the population of Guatemala lived at or below a poverty of 5.50 dollars a day. In fact, income levels in Guatemala are so low that many people live in shacks with no indoor plumbing or other basic amenities. This makes it difficult for families to provide for their children and meet their basic needs.
The civil war has also had a significant impact on the children of Guatemala. The ongoing issues resulting from the conflict, such as neglect, abandonment, and orphaning, have contributed to the high number of children living in poverty or without parental care. Many children in Guatemala are forced to work at an early age in order to survive, and are at risk of abuse, exploitation, and other forms of violence.
At this time, the Guatemalan government does not allow adoptions from outside of the country, which exacerbates the issues with neglected and abandoned children and increases the need for Hogares (orphanages). This leaves many children without access to the loving and supportive families they deserve, and instead, they are left to rely on institutions for care.
In addition to the challenges faced by neglected and abandoned children in Guatemala, education is not guaranteed nor mandated in the country. This means that many children do not have access to the education they need to succeed and lift themselves out of poverty. This further perpetuates the cycle of poverty and disadvantage that affects so many children in Guatemala.
The Efforts of Work, Play, Love to Address Poverty and Neglect in Guatemala
Work, Play, Love is a nonprofit organization that is working to break the cycle of abuse, neglect, and poverty for the children of Guatemala. The organization operates a girls hogar called Maria Auxillidora, located near Guatemala City, which provides a safe and nurturing environment for children who have been abandoned or orphaned. Work, Play, , Love, Inc. provides these children with the care and resources they need to thrive, including education, healthcare, and other basic necessities. In addition to supporting the children at the hogar, Work, Play, Love, Inc. also works to support families in the neighboring village by providing them with the resources and support they need to thrive.
Donations to Work, Play, Love, Inc. help to fund the daily operations of the hogar, including the education and healthcare of the children who reside there. Your support can make a real difference in the lives of these children, helping to provide them with the care and resources they need to grow and thrive. Even if you are only able to make a small donation, it can have a significant impact on the hundreds of children who are touched by the work of Work, Play, Love, Inc.
The work of organizations like Work, Play, Love, Inc. is more important than ever in Guatemala, as the country continues to grapple with the effects of the civil war and the ongoing challenges that result from it. By providing children with the support they need to succeed, organizations like Work, Play, Love, Inc. are helping to build a brighter future for the next generation of Guatemalans.
Photo: Spanski Images