About the project

Y Care International has most recently helped the country through their emergency funding support. Following the volcanic eruption in June 2018, we’ve been supporting YMCA Guatemala to support one of the communities affected by the volcano.


The country’s history

Guatemala is one of the world’s most violent countries. The civil war that ended in 1996 left 200,000 people dead, 45,000 disappeared, 1 million displaced and a legacy of deeply entrenched violence over twenty years later.

Violence is widespread in marginalised urban and rural areas where state institutional presence is weak, absent or co-opted by corruption. Violent crime affects everyone, but young people are particularly vulnerable. 80% of victims are young people, of who many are members of gangs.

Indigenous people – who make up 40% of the population figure highly among victims of violence. The culture of violence is fuelled by high inequality, poor education and health services, unemployment, family dysfunction, and limited livelihoods opportunities.

Young people in Guatemala are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and one out of seven are currently looking for work.

How are we helping?

Y Care International has worked in Guatemala with the YMCA since 2011 supporting young people from marginalised ethnic groups in rural and urban communities, with a focus on youth leadership and violence prevention.

We have worked in communities, in schools, with families and governments to build supportive networks and safe spaces. Using sport and art as tools for youth development, our activities have reduced vulnerability to violence and enabled young people to transform their community spaces for safe sport and recreation activities.

We have equipped young people with skills in non-violent conflict resolution and with knowledge about their rights, reached out to families to reduce conflict at home, and engaged teachers in schools where young people face the threat of gang-related and peer violence.

What will we achieve?

  • Our emergency response targets a total of 915 people (100 youth, 300 children and 515 men/women)
  • These people currently living in 4 hostels and in the community of El Rodeo located in Escuintla and  will be provided with basic health and hygiene, psycho-emotional support.
Young people and trainer - YMCA Guatemala

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