Guatemala

Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala
An image of Guatemala Where Guatemala is in the world.

Guatemala is in Central America, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. There are many mountains with forests rich with animal life, as well as beautiful beaches.

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Guatemala City

Compassion’s work in Guatemala started in 1976.

Spanish

Basic Spanish:

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Hola
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Gracias
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Salu

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The black iguana

The black iguana has been recorded as the fastest running lizard on earth. 

Most houses in poor neighbourhoods have dirt floors and walls made of wood or cornstalks. The roofs are generally made of dried vegetation.

Living conditions

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15 million

Compassion currently have 190 projects across Guatemala.

Years of dictatorship and war ended in 1996 when the government finally signed a peace agreement. The war killed over 200,000 people leaving 56,000 children without parents.

About two in every three people in Guatemala are living in extreme poverty and many children are malnourished because of a poor diet.

Because people are so poor, many parents are unable to look after their families and children are forced into work. In fact 23 per cent of all children work. This in turn stops them from going to school and they’re unable to get well paid jobs when they’re older. They often stay living in poverty all of their lives.

Watch Elisabeth’s story.

Please pray for the children of Guatemala. Pray that they would be able to break out of the cycle of poverty they are trapped in.

For children in the Compassion projects to know how much God loves them and tell others about how wonderful He is.

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The quetzal

It is named after the national bird of Guatemala, the Resplendent Quetzal.

Over 46,337 Guatemalan children are supported through Compassion.

How can you encourage your sponsored child?

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Why not write to them and mention some of the facts you’ve found here. Ask them questions about what it’s like to live in Guatemala.

In Guatemala people enjoy eating street food as they walk around. Here’s a great recipe for mixtas, the Guatemalan hotdog with Guacamole de Antigua.

Recipe: Mixtas

The Guatemalan hotdog with Guacamole de Antigua

Mixtas Ingredients (adult help needed)
  • 1 pack of soft tortillas, warmed
  • 1 pack of hot dogs, grilled
  • Hot sauce and a can of chopped green chillies if you like it hot!
  • 2 ripe Hass avocadoes
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced finely
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 pinch of salt
  1. Remove the flesh from the avocado and mash with a fork in a bowl. Mix in the red onion. Squeeze the juice of half a lime over the mixture. Rub the teaspoon of oregano between your fingers and then add to the avocado mixture. Add salt to taste.
  2. Serve the hot dogs on warm tortillas with the guacamole de Antigua, hot sauce and green chillies.

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Many people believe that the name ‘Guatemala’ comes from the word Guhatezmalh. Guhatezmalh was the name that the Maya tribes gave to a volcano in Guatemala. It means the "Mountain That Vomits Water."

What do you get if you cross an iguana with a snow shower?

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A blizzard!

Information sources: The CIA World Fact Book 2011, Compassion International, Human Development Report, BBC, Wikipedia