Guatemala is the “land of the eternal spring” with its temperate weather, turquoise lakes, mountains and its volcanic black-sand beaches. In fact, the very first chocolate bar was created here. It may sound like paradise, but it sure doesn’t feel like it for some of Guatemala’s poorest inhabitants. Guatemala is one of the most unequal countries in terms of wealth distribution. Poverty persists no matter where you live.

The history of Guatemala greatly shaped the level of poverty for this country. Guatemala was home to the ancient civilization of the Maya. When Europeans arrived in the 14th century, Mayan culture was already declining. The Mayans were defeated 1524 by Pedro de Alvarado and became part of the spanish colony. In 1821 Guatemala gained independence from Spain and became part of the Mexican empire.  Because of natural disasters including earthquakes and floods, Guatemala has had three different capitals. Today, Guatemala, like its neighbors (Honduras and El Salvador) suffer with crime and extreme levels of poverty. Guatemala needs the healing and love of God to restore this country.