<% Dim AKAButton, AKASubButton, AKASubSubButton, ProgramWeeks AKAButton = 3 AKASubButton = 4 AKASubSubButton = 4 %> Youth Challenge International - Guatemala
Guatemala is a country characterized by income disparities and extreme poverty. It has suffered periods of political instability and turmoil. Although Guatemala still boasts vast original-growth forests and an incredible variety of flora and fauna, it faces numerous environmental problems. There are also many social issues facing small communities, including a lack of access to health care, clean water and education.

YCI volunteers work directly with community members on the La Communidad plantation, which is run by the 40 families who work as a collective. Within the community’s organizational structure there is a Women’s Committee, an Education Committee, and other bodies working to ensure that the equal rights of each member are respected. A visit to La Comunidad gives volunteers the opportunity to learn about their complex history of exploitation and their extended struggle for land and workers’ rights. All profits raised by the community are divided amongst its members and are used to improve health, education and living conditions.


YCI offers Youth Ambassador and Youth Leadership Team projects in Guatemala. These programs provide a unique opportunity to discover the key principles of sound community development and learn from local leaders who are making a difference in their communities.

Working in teams with the support of RJI staff, volunteers may:
  • Support the main source of income of the cooperative, through direct participation in macadamia and coffee production.
  • Help maintain the successful tourism business run out of the plantation, through various maintenance activities.
  • Assist in teaching English, and promoting and publicizing the community’s products.
  • Deliver environmental education programs for local students living near threatened areas.
For information on project dates, please refer to the Program Calendar.


HDI:   122/182
Population:   14.4 million
Life Expectancy:   70.1 years
Infant mortality:   30/1,000 births
Adult Literacy Rate:   73.2%
Youth Literacy Rate:   85%
HIV prevalence: (ages 15-49)   0.8%
Population living below the national
poverty line