Housing poverty in Guatemala

  • 53,865 people served in FY18 53,865 people served in FY18
  • 23,920 volunteers hosted in FY18 23,920 volunteers hosted in FY18
  • Projects: construction, smokeless stoves, WaSH, market development Projects: construction, smokeless stoves, WaSH, market development

Founded in 1979, our local office has been tackling housing poverty in Guatemala by serving more than 61,000 families.

By providing housing solutions (sanitation, home repairs, new home builds & energy solutions) that improve their living conditions.

Inequalities

Guatemala is one of the most diverse countries in Central America, and it accounts for about 40% of the region’s population. It is also one of the poorest and most inequitable countries in Latin America.

Lack of homes

Guatemala suffered a 36-year civil war that ended in 1996. With more than 200,000 people missing or killed, the conflict — primarily over land rights — left the country deeply fragmented.

Land rights issues still exist, with a little over 1% of the population owning 60% of the land.

Land to own

The current housing deficit in Guatemala is over 1.8 million homes. Not enough homes are being built, and many people who have homes lack legal claim to the land or live in inadequate shelter threatened by severe weather, theft or eviction.

Land rights issues still exist, with a little over 1% of the population owning 60% of the land.

 

Smokeless Stoves

Guatemalan families that cook over open fires are constantly breathing in smoke and consuming great amounts of firewood. Most affected…

Guatemalan families that cook over open fires are constantly breathing in smoke and consuming great amounts of firewood.

Most affected are Guatemala’s most vulnerable populations. Only the poorest families use this cooking method, and it affects women and small children, who spend more time in the home and are the ones suffering most from chronic respiratory problems and burns.

Moreover, most of these stoves are actually kept within the home, causing layers of black soot to form on the ceiling and walls. Poor families usually don’t have homes of more than one room, thus the smoke contaminates not only the kitchen but the entire house.

Starting in 2011, Habitat Guatemala established the project Small Change, Giant Leap with the goal of installing 17,000 smokeless stoves in five years.

Guatemala smokeless stoves

Key facts & figures

  • Capital: Guatemala City
  • Independence: Sept. 15, 1821
  • Population:15.47 million
  • Urbanisation: 41.8 %
  • Life expectancy: 72 years
  • Unemployment rate: 4.1 %
  • Population living below poverty line: 54 %

How we address housing poverty in Guatemala

We help low-income families improve their living conditions by: Building new homes and housing communities Stabilising and improving existing houses…

We help low-income families improve their living conditions by:

  • Building new homes and housing communities
  • Stabilising and improving existing houses
  • Providing smokeless stoves
  • Providing water filters and basic sanitation services

Our mission is to work together with the help of people from around the world to support those in need by building, adding to or improving houses so that all Guatemalans have access to basic housing necessities and can live in a stable home.

Our vision is that all families in Guatemala can live in a safe and decent place they can call home. This will then act as a catalyst to break the cycle of poverty, help families send their kids to school, find jobs or create their own small business.

Our advocacy guatemala