Why Guatemala

I live in a tourist town and the pictures that I show you have a different face. Here, there is some affluence - and when you hear of violence it is generally in the City and other areas of the country.

I'd like to show you a little bit of the other side and the best way to do that is to share something with you that I ran across today while reading a blog about human rights. It is through this photo-journalist site that you might gain some insight as to "Why Guatemala" and get a sense of current and historical events here. To access MiMundo.org, click on the "Why Guatemala" link above.

Along with a very recent assassination of an attorney who was defending a whistle blower, you'll see accounts of massacres during the war and documentaries on the effects of mining in some of the rural/indigenous towns.

Lastly, I'll share with you a few statistics. According to UNICEF, 70% of indigenous children under 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition and there are regions as high as 82%. The percentage for Guatemala in general is 49%. It also reported that 51.2% of the population are now living in poverty while 15.2% in extreme poverty (less than $1 per day), meaning they cannot meet basic needs for food, water, shelter, sanitation, and health care. Infant mortality and illiteracy are also some of the highest in the Western Hemisphere.

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