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Information about Guatemala

Published on September 21, 2013

Author: ddeubel



Presentation to go with the full lesson materials for teaching here -

• Guatemala is located in Central America and is bordered by Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador. • The country is also sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and the Caribbean Sea to the northeast.

• Guatemala is an industrializing society with initially agrarian developmental roots. • Guatemala was inhabited with early hunting and gathering groups as far back as 10,000 years ago • However, the population of Guatemala quickly adapted to food production, namely the cultivation of maize.

• Guatemala was subjected to Spanish expeditions and rule which decimated local populations from 1518 …. • ….until September 15th , 1821 when the country declared independence from Spain and membership in the Mexican Empire.

• Current Population= • Crude birth rate = • Crude Death Rate= • Rate pop. growth = • Net Migration rate= • 12,293,545 • 29.88 births/1,000 • 5.2 deaths/1,000 • 2.27% • -1.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population

• As seen in the graph, Guatemala has been experiencing very rapid population growth in the past 50 years • This growth is felt primarily in the youth community • Percent of citizens ages 0-14= 41.1% • Median age of citizens= 18.9 years

• The population of Guatemala has jumped from 3 million to over 11 million since 1950. • Why?  Indigenous distrust of contraceptives  Religion  Lifestyle based on manual labor and kin  High rate of poverty  Lack of government aid in family planning

• Guatemala is a predominantly Catholic country and The Catholic church opposes contraceptives • THUS, people are taught to protect oneself from pregnancy and HIV/AIDS by abstinence and fidelity. • This methodology could be attributed to the high birth rate found in Guatemala • And their rate of infection which is one of the HIGHEST in Central America • people living with HIV/AIDS: 78,000 • HIV/AIDS - deaths: 5,800

• Catholic= 50-60% • Protestant ( especially Evangelicals and Pentecostals) = 40% • Traditional Mayan beliefs = 1%

• There are 2 major ethnic groups • ~ 60% of the population are Ladinos  They are Mestizos or of mixed Mayan and European/Spanish descent • ~ 40% of the population are of pure Mayan origin (indigenas)

• They make up most of the urban population • Their culture is dominant in the urban areas • Ladinos speak Spanish and have adopted the European customs • They include a wide range of people: from the elite to the middle classes to the poor

• Historically suffered from discrimination and poverty • They are geographically isolated – found mainly in the rural highlands • Many speak a Mayan language and follow the traditional religious and village customs • Still produce the traditional textiles and crafts • They are the majority of the agricultural labor force • The government has tried to suppress their culture and force them to assimilate • Peace agreements in 1996

• The social classes are based on wealth, education, and family prestige • Race is not as important as culture or lifestyles • The distinction between the 2 ethnic groups is more a matter of culture than of biology • Natives could be accepted into Ladino society if they are well-educated and could live in a Western lifestyle

• Society is divided between rich and poor and there’s a huge gap between the two • The wealthy class is very small • Many of the people remain extremely poor, especially the native people • Poverty affects both rural and urban areas but those in the rural areas live under harsher conditions

• Per capita GDP (2007 est.): $5,400. •Unemployment rate 3.2% (2005 est.) • Top remittance recipient in Central America • ¾ of population lives in poverty • Wealth concentrated among a few • Women earn 1/5 of the nation’s income (lowest in Latin America) •Quetzals per US dollar - 7.6833 (2007) •The quetzal became the monetary unit of Guatemala in 1925 when it replaced the

• Economy dominated by private sector generates 85% of GDP • •Agriculture 23% of GDP and 75% of exports •Export market: sugar, bananas, coffee •Also textiles, winter vegetables, fruit and flowers •Export to the United States and Central America •U.S. is Guatemala’s largest trading partner

Labor force by occupation: agriculture: 50% industry: 15% services: 35% (1999 est.) Hindrances of progress: Decades of civil war Lack of diverse manufacturing sector Dependency on exporting agriculture Vast difference between the rural and urban sectors

• Spanish colonialism • Mid-19th century to mid-1980s there were a series of dictatorships, insurgencies (particularly in the 1960s), coups, and stretches of military rule • 36 year Civil War • Only occasional periods of representative government during this time

• New Constitution drafted May 1985, amended 1993 • Executive  President, 4 year term • Legislative  Unicameral 158 member congress, 4 year term • Judicial  13 member Supreme Court of Justice, 5 year term • Many subdivisions • Suffrage for those over 18  Variety of procedural obstacles have reduced participation by poor, rural, and indigenous people

• Nation Unity for Hope (UNE) • Current party represented by President Alvaro Colom • Grand National Alliance (GANA) • Consists of Patriot Party, Reform Movement, and National Solidarity Party • National Advancement Party (PAN) • Center right party • Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG) • Populist party • 14 parties on 2007 presidential election ticket

• 36-Year Civil War (1960-1996) • Longest Civil War in Latin American History • Ethnic Genocide • Ideology conflicts • Backed by US CIA • Military infiltration into government and public • Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG)  Mix of four revolutionary groups  Assassinated military leaders, including a US Ambassador John Gordon Mein in 1968 • Large amount of corruption • Guatemalan presidents and government acted out

• 1983 de facto President Mejia • New constitution 1985 • 1986 President Cerezo elected under new constitution  New laws of habeas corpus (right to trial and jury) and amparo (court-ordered protection)  Creation of a legislative human rights committee  Office of Human Rights Ombudsman established 1987 • More influential movements toward peace:  1993 Constitutional Reforms  “Purified” Congress and Supreme Court  UN involvement with human rights agreements and peace accords  Global Awareness  I, Rigoberta Menchu, an Indian Woman in Guatemala

Government backed eviction of indigenous people from their land in order to sell it to mining company, 2007 Corruption Continues

24% of Guatemalan children ages 7-14 attend public school 7% attend private school 67% Don’t attend school at all! In urban Guatemala, 27.1% of 7- 14 year olds start secondary education and 7% of this population receive a college education In rural Guatemala, 0.5% of the population receive a college education 33% of Guatemalan women and 25% of Guatemalan men are illiterate

• Divided into three levels - Primary (elementary) - Secondary (high School) - University *Education in Guatemala is free and compulsory through sixth grade (Primary school) or between the ages of 7-14*

• Although Spanish is the official language, not all Guatemalans are fluent in Spanish. 60% speak Spanish, 40% speak indigenous Mayan languages • There is a high Indian population, over 20 indigenous Indian languages including K’iche’, Kakchiquel, K’ekchi, Mam, and Quiche. • The goal for Guatemalans is to become uni-lingual (for all citizens to be fluent in Spanish).

• Six years • Students must pass a general examination at each grade level in order to pass to the next grade. If they fail, they must repeat the grade. • Students receive education in basic areas, including language, science, mathematics, and history. • Classes are taught in both Spanish and English, although in more remote areas, indigenous Mayan languages are used exclusively. • In cities, students can learn German, French or Italian.

• Most Guatemalan children do not attend • 3 years of general education called Ciclo Prevocacional • 2 years of Vocational training called Ciclo Diversificado • Ciclo Diversificado allows children to “specialize” in one of several professional areas such as education, • agriculture, and business • Instead of Ciclo Diversificado, students can opt to receive perito (certification) in industria (industry), agrícola (agriculture), or abogado (lawyer). • To combat the illiteracy problem, seniors in high school are required to teach 5 people to read in order to receive their diploma

• Five institutions • The most prominent and only public university is the Universidad de San Carlos. • Must have a bachillerato (diploma), knowledge of Spanish and, for private schools, a satisfactory grade on the Examen de Admision (Entrance Exam) • Licenciatura=bachelor’s degree. 3-7 years. • - Technical certificate=3 years. • - Degree in arts and sciences = 4 years • - Degree in ingienería (engineering)= 6 years • - Medicine = 7 years • Seminar in Social issues is a requirement. It requires them to write about a significant problem facing Guatemalan society. • Maestrado = master’s degree. 2 years + thesis • Doctorado= doctorate degree • Graduating university students must also complete an Internship which requires them to teach 5 Guatemalans how to read.

• The first child is usually given the name of the his/her father or mother •Other children are given the name of ancestors, padrinos, or saints •People use their whole name consisting of their first name (sometimes two-fold) and two last names

• Life revolves around the family •Parents= espejos (through them you learn who you are and who you can become) •Extended family all live close by •Guatemalans rarely spend time alone •Fictive kin (compadre/ comadre) •Three generation household is common •Emphasize care for the elderly •Responsibility of youngest child •Traditions are changing with U.S. influence •Strong resistance of indigenas

•“Chaperon” during dates •Man has to ask for the woman’s hand in marriage •Within landinos social status is important when choosing a partner •Average age: •Women 20 •men 24 •groom responsible for expenses of wedding •Common- law marriage accepted when the groom cannot afford a church wedding •Father as head of family and provider •Mother heart and spiritual guide of family

•Pregnancy of Mayan women •Los Quince •Velada for the dead

• 4.3 births per woman • Birth rate: 29.88 births/1,000 population • Female labor force (% of total labor force), 2003= 31.3% • Marriages: 38,500 • Marriage rate: 4.8 per 1000 persons • Divorces: 1,400 • Divorce rate: 0.2 per 1000 persons

•Tens of thousands of Guatemalan women working as domestic workers and in the maquila sector face high rates of gender-based discrimination that is sponsored or tolerated by the government •Government denies domestic workers basic labor rights, including the otherwise recognized right to an eight-hour workday and the minimum wage • Women workers suffer significant levels of sexual harassment– women and girls working in private households do not have adequate legal protection, frequently subject to sexual assault and other abuses by their employers • Employers in the maquila sector often require women seeking jobs to declare whether they are pregnant, and often deny pregnant workers maternity benefits •Workers in both spheres encounter obstacles accessing reproductive health care (unsafe abortion is a serious public health problem and continues to be one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in the region)

• “Femicide”- term coined to refer to the hundreds of women murdered in Guatemala without cause or prosecution • In the last seven years: • 140,000 domestic violence complaints • 6,025 reported cases of rape • 3,281 women have been reported murdered • Only 2% of crimes have been solved • Expression of misogyny/machismo attitudes: use of extreme violence, brutal torture • Impunity– lack of interest by weak, inefficient state authorities, failure to collect evidence and widespread corruption all feed the problem • Excerpt from documentary, “Killer’s Paradise.” • Women’s rights activists face a culture of silence and are regularly targeted themselves– offices ransacked, leaders murdered "No-one ever comes forward to tell their story. "The message is that people can do whatever they want, with no chance of prosecution. "We all feel afraid. But it just makes us want to carry on." -Sandra Moran

1. Which of the following doesn’t border Guatemala: a. Honduras b. Nicaragua c. Belize d. Mexico 2. Which of the following terms was coined as the mass killing of women: a. machismo b. maquiladoras c. femicide d. ladinos 3. Guatemala’s history of contributed to their current political instability a. colonialism b. Poverty c. civil war d. all of the above 4. The conditions of poverty are harshest in rural areas (True or False?) 5. Which of these is not a major export from Guatemala a. bananas b. textiles c. copper d. coffee 6. How many people do students need to teach how to read in order to graduate from high school a. 10 b. 5 c. 3 d. 6

   =B6T1B-4GX1C53-B&_user=130907&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct =C000004198&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=130907&md5=4de4d7b1f0cccc2f53069a1fc0121486    Guatemala - History & Background, Constitutional & Leg Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary & Primary Education, Secondary Education.  Latin American Christian Education Resources.  The CIA World Factbook:  Encarta:          

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