Guatemala has one of the world’s highest levels of chronic malnutrition in the world. 75% of the population is estimated to live below the poverty line. Four in ten children (43.4%) under five are chronically malnourished (as measured by height relative to age), a condition that causes them to drop out of school, lowers their productivity, makes them susceptible to illness and even loss of intellectual quotient, which are irreversible effects that last a lifetime. Chronic malnutrition affects eight in ten (80%) indigenous children. Despite efforts to keep children in school, most children will drop out by 8th grade. The adult illiteracy rate is at 35% and the unskilled worker makes an average of less than $1/day. Indigenous women live in social isolation and racial tension without access to healthcare, sanitation, adequate housing, clean water, food, and educational opportunities. Additionally, the industrial and job market is non-existent.
Systemic poverty is not about people who do not want to work, it is rather people who want to work and earn adequate income for themselves and their families and simply do not have the education, means, nor access to resources to forge a life outside of extreme poverty. Together we can make a difference, not only in individual families, but in communities.
By partnering with Send Me you can provide more than relief, you are creating access to education, socio-economic development, and providing individualized resources to enable those stuck in systemic poverty to become part of the community, provide for themselves, and live with dignity.