SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Guatemala).

Guatemala is a small country in Central America with a population of 17.6 million. Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America. The Ladino/Mestizo and Mayan ethnic groups make up the majority of the population. Guatemala's birth and infant mortality rates are among the highest in Central America. Life expectancy is very low. The country's location makes it ideal for organized crime, which is linked to drug trafficking. Money laundering, human trafficking and arms trafficking affect the lives of people throughout Guatemala.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Guatemala since 1976.

Children are at risk

Guatemala has a very young population. Over 33% of Guatemala's population are children under the age of fifteen. Infant mortality and under-five mortality rates remain a major problem, as does malnutrition. Violence against children has increased, and in many areas there is almost no help for victims.
1 in 2
Children suffers from malnutrition


Guatemala is one of the four countries in the world where chronic malnutrition is most common among children under the age of 5. Children from the poorest households are most affected by chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition leads to a higher risk of ill-health. Guatemala has high infant and child mortality rates. In 2021, there were 22,400 known cases of malnourished children in Guatemala. The rate of chronic malnutrition is twice as high among indigenous children, affecting 8 out of 10 children.

Of the population lives on less than $2 per day


Socioeconomic and geographic inequality is the main cause of poverty in Guatemala. 8 out of 10 people in rural areas are living in poverty. Parental education and household income are linked to poverty levels. The lower the level of education, the lower the income. Children living in poverty often cannot go to school and have to work to financially support their families.

Women were subject to violence in 2021


Although the Guatemalan legal system has laws that provide protection and resources to female survivors of violence, they are not always enforced. Discrimination against women is still widespread. In the last decade, the number of femicides has reached unprecedented levels, with 700 murdered per year. There are rural areas where 90% of children and women suffer from domestic violence. The attackers are rarely prosecuted.

Together we can make a difference for children in Guatemala

Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Learn at our kindergartens
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Three sisters playing games together. Children in our care often form bonds that last a lifetime (SOS Children’s Villages Guatemala).

Let’s keep on protecting children and young people!

Many children have been able to find a safe and secure home. With your help, we can continue to change their lives