logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Hispanic Culture Site

BellaOnline's Hispanic Culture Editor

g

The People of Guatemala


Life is not easy for the majority in Guatemala. There is a vast population of descendants of the indigenous people struggling for survival. They have kept their traditions, language, arts and crafts alive for over a thousand years through isolation from mainstream society. Guatemala’s landscape is rugged and roads into rural areas are few.

Guatemala has the largest population of all the countries in Central America with over fourteen million people. Poverty in Guatemala is among the highest in Latin America, with 60 % living in extreme poverty and another 20% to 30% living just above extreme poverty. Fertility is high as is infant mortality. The standard of living is the lowest in Central America and among the lowest in the Western Hemisphere. Poor nutrition and lack of access to good health care contributors to the low standard of living.

Poverty in Guatemala is extensive and deep-rooted. Over half of the population subsists in rural areas and the rural population represents a preponderance of the country’s poor. The poverty and isolation of the rural communities is exacerbated by the rugged terrain and lack of roads. This effectively keeps the rural people isolated and unable to share in the social, economic and political mainstream of the society.

Agriculture is an important part of Guatemala’s economy and employs about forty per cent of the population. Farming is challenging because of the terrain. Thick forests and steep mountains minimize the arable land available for farming. Most farming is done on the steep mountain slopes with no irrigation.
The literacy rate is about sixty-nine per cent, one of the lowest in Central America. Officially Guatemala provides free education to children between the ages of 7 and 14, yet less than half of Guatemalan children attend elementary school and most of those do not finish. Children attend elementary school for an average of just over 2 years and in rural areas the number drops to less than 1.5 years.

Indigenous children face many obstacles in getting an education. There are few schools in rural areas and with more than half the population living below the poverty line, many rural and indigenous children are forced to drop out of elementary school to help support their families or because they are unable to afford the cost of uniforms, books, supplies and transportation. They also face the additional problem of the language barrier since they typically speak only their native language.

Though life is tough for the isolated indigenous communities in Guatemala, there is much to learn from them. The vast population of indigenous people has kept their traditions, language, arts and crafts alive for over a thousand years through isolation from mainstream society. It is common to see women practicing ancient crafts and the colorful native attire which varies according to the village. This society is rich with ancestral culture that has remained the same for centuries inviting further in depth study.
Add The+People+of+Guatemala to Twitter Add The+People+of+Guatemala to Facebook Add The+People+of+Guatemala to MySpace Add The+People+of+Guatemala to Del.icio.us Digg The+People+of+Guatemala Add The+People+of+Guatemala to Yahoo My Web Add The+People+of+Guatemala to Google Bookmarks Add The+People+of+Guatemala to Stumbleupon Add The+People+of+Guatemala to Reddit




http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art35185.asp
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Hispanic Culture Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Valerie Aguilar. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Valerie Aguilar. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Valerie Aguilar for details.

g


g features
National Hispanic Heritage Month

The Sanchez Sisters

Franklin Chang Díaz

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor