Colorful rainbow stretches across Polochic valley

Read: Latest news from Guatemala

Plagued for centuries with poverty and hardship, Guatemala’s native Mayan population lives mostly in remote villages in the mountain jungles and forests. The lush green forests contain thousands of plant species found only in the region. Sadly, the abundant environment doesn’t extend to the indigenous people of Guatemala.
In the mountainous districts where CHOICE Humanitarian works, almost 92% of the population lives in extreme poverty.

Twenty-two different and distinct Mayan languages are spoken in the rural villages of Guatemala. Language though, is almost never a barrier for CHOICE Humanitarian volunteers. “You don’t need to speak the language to help dig a foundation,” said one CHOICE volunteer, “Just pick up a shovel and use it!” Digging foundations is just a small part of the amazing humanitarian progress taking place in Guatemala.

CHOICE has partnered with a healthcare-oriented NGO (Non-government organization) on two successive expeditions to the Polochic Valley region of Guatemala. With CHOICE Humanitarian partners, volunteers taught midwifery, basic medical techniques, small business planning and English skills for teachers. Other volunteers offered treatment for a variety of medical issues including severe malnutrition. One volunteer even taught the hokey pokey to a group of village women. That’s one way to initiate a ‘cultural exchange’! (
Deseret News Article)

Struggling from over 25 years of civil war, infrastructure and resources do not exist in the remote, rural areas of Guatemala. With In-Country Director, Jorge Chen Alfaro (Link to Jorge Bio) and his staff CHOICE Humanitarian is building long-term programs to provide clean water, latrines, improved living conditions, healthcare, health worker training, and basic education for all ages. CHOICE trains villagers in sound micro-enterprise practices and strategies that can bring economic relief to individual families and entire villages.

Latest news from Guatemala
CHOICE Expedition to Guatemala
CHOICE Humanitarian Guatemala Project Region - Google Maps
CHOICE Critical Needs in Guatemala

Q’eqchi boys in Guatemala village.

CHOICE - Guatemala by the Numbers

  • Villages where CHOICE has worked: 17
  • Guatemalans directly impacted by CHOICE: 6,400
  • Guatemalans indirectly impacted by CHOICE: 13,600

Village Progress at a Glance - Guatemala

  • CHOICE Family Garden program in many CHOICE villages
  • FIRST Regional Market place opens in Chulac for local growers to sell their produce
  • New Hospital Clinic in Nueva Concepcion under construction
  • Two Donated Gold Cross Ambulances (4X4) arrive in Guatemala
  • Completion of 1st phase community water system in Chirixquitzac
  • First Secondary School opens in the Chulac Region
  • Rural village Midwife training completed in Polochic Valley and other areas
  • Adult literacy program expanded to all CHOICE villages with World Link partnership
  • Collaboration agreement made with local universities and other NGO's for rural village Midwife training

Healthcare for Thousands

Nueva Concepcion, Guatemala  –  This critically important facility will serve the entire Chulac region where CHOICE Humanitarian villages are located. Guatemala In-Country Director Jorge Chen Alfaro is securing a host of partners to complete the clinic and leverage the benefits to a wider population. Current partners include LDS Charities, Spectrum Healthcare, Mayanikel Mining Camp, Singular Humanitarian Experience, Senahu Mayor's office, The Ministry of Health at the State and National level and many others. This medical facility represents an enormous improvement and a landmark in the availability of healthcare in the area.

Advanced ABC's for Q'eqchi's

Chulac, Guatemala  –  For the first time ever, Q'eqchi teenagers can continue their education without traveling to the capital in the State of Coban or to Guatemala City, not even a possibility for most. The new Secondary School in the Chulac Region will give students a close-by option to continue their education. For almost all Q'eqchi (sometimes written Kekchi), one of the most poverty-ridden of Mayan Indian sub-groups, continuing education beyond 6th grade has simply not been an option until now.

Open for Business

Chulac, Guatemala  –  Economic development is underway in Chulac. Chulac is launching its FIRST Regional Market place for villagers from CHOICE Humanitarian villages to market their produce. This is an important step forward because it gives villagers an immediate outlet to sell their products without the expenses to transport their products to market. The Chulac market, provides a more consistent and reliable outlet. The market fosters cooperation in establishing fair market prices for products. Traditionally outside buyers have taken advantage of local farmers, pitting them against each other to sell their products at unreasonably low prices.