We hope so! Guatemala is a unique destination to traditional tourists with beautiful beaches, ruins and cultural sites, but what makes it a particularly important to consider for those looking to volunteer is its extreme need relative to so much of Latin America. The country is the victim of extreme inequality and poverty. More than half of Guatemala’s population live below the national poverty line, 15 percent in extreme poverty, and the country ranks 13th in the world for its level of income inequality, according to the GINI Index. Many Guatemalans struggle to provide the basic needs for their families and cannot afford the expenses associated with school. Guatemala struggles with high illiteracy rates and low school attendance beyond the 6th grade. Access to quality health care and housing is rare. Preventable diseases often result in death, malnutrition is common among children, and infant mortality rates are high. Many homes are made of scavenged materials, with dirt floors, no toilets, and no drinkable water. In addition to extreme poverty, Guatemala struggles with the after-effects of a 36-year civil war, ended in 1996, as well as persistent political corruption, unemployment, and alcoholism, all of which have had destructive effects on families and communities. Plus, the country’s diverse ethnic heritages—including 23 recognized indigenous languages—make broad-based solutions more difficult, instead requiring localized, culturally-sensitive solutions. The projects Globe Aware volunteers take on are designed to improve the lives of those families most at risk. REGISTER TODAY
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Rellenitos de Platano
Guatemalan Rellenitos de Platano are fried plantains stuffed with sweetened black beans. These are best enjoyed hot and with a cup of coffee however they would also make a lovely snack or appetizer as well.
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