Guatemala is an amazing and beautiful country with some of the friendliest people in the world. Guatemala means land of the trees. It has a population of 13,400,000 people. It is the most populous of all the Central American countries. Guatemala gained it’s independence from Spain, on September 15th, 1821.

Markets like these can be found in nearly every town in Guatemala. Some towns have bigger, more colorful markets than others, but this is the main way to get their raw foods for the week. Markets also contain artwork, textiles and other craftsmanship for travelers to enjoy and buy. Market day is a day for people from all over to come together. This is a day to stock up on food, goods and is a great time to gossip with friends.
Schools in Guatemala are grossly underfunded. Quite often many of the public schools run out of supplies and money to feed the children well before the end of the school year. Parents can do little to help, which is why malnutrition is such a problem. In some cases schools don’t have a reliable source of water, safe and secure facilities or enough space for all their classes.

Even with such dire situations, Guatemalan school children are some of the happiest kids around. Boys (mostly) enjoy playing soccer any spare moment of the day and are quite good, while the girls enjoy gossiping and running around with friends. However, the girls that actually do play soccer, are usually very good.

Barriers to education funding in Guatemala are similar to those in the United States, but in most cases the stakes are much higher in Guatemala. In the current state, many children won’t receive the nourishment they need or be safe while they are at school. Without opportunities for quality education, millions of children will likely live their lives in the same state of poverty they were born into.