Background and History of Our Area of Focus

The Mayans living in the Chisec region of Guatemala have suffered immeasurably for countless decades.

The revolution which started in 1960 lasted for 36 years. Untold numbers of people were killed and hundreds, if not thousands, of villages were burned to the ground. Starvation, disease, torture and all the insidious devises of war were employed against these humble Mayan people.

They were so traumatized in this area, that they hid in jungles and caves. Even though the peace accords were signed over 16 years ago, the people have only started to emerge from their hiding places for the last few years. As a result their customes, culture, skills, traditons and identity have been lost.

Today there are over 450,000 people living in immediate area who need to find be rescued.

Infant Mortality:

The infant mortality rate is among the highest in the world; 154 per 1000 live births. It is not uncommon for a woman to bear 12 to 15 children.

Malnutrition:

82% of children under age five suffer from chronic malnutrition

Poverty:

The poverty rate in this area by Internation poverty standars is in excess of 90%.

Literacy:

There are very few schools in the region and virtually no primary grade schools. If these peole were included in the Worlds International Organization on Literacy, their ranking would be the 200th worst of 206 reporting nations.

If the tuition to attend school was a penny a day - that would eliminate 97% of the populations ability to attend.