Facts About Our Work in Guatemala

In 1986, Food For The Poor (FFTP) began working in Guatemala. The charity later began providing destitute families in the Central American country secure homes with sanitation, clean water and self-sustaining projects as a source of income and nutrition. FFTP works with in-country partners Caritas Arquidiocesana and the Order of Malta

There are 71 active projects in Guatemala including seven feeding programs, three recovery centers, 20 community development programs, eight animal husbandry projects, six housing projects, one water, five medical, two agricultural, eight educational and two Angels Of Hope children’s homes projects. There also are two hospice and two scholarship programs.

In March 2020, COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, became a pandemic and FFTP responded quickly to the crisis. The Guatemalan government issued a call for the mandatory use of face masks in public. FFTP established a project to provide necessary tools to training centers for women to earn an income as they produced more than 11,500 face masks.

  • By the end of June, there were more than 16,900 coronavirus cases, according to worldometers.info.
  • More than a million people were in need of emergency food aid, an increase of 570,000 from the beginning of the year, a result of lost work related to the pandemic.
  • More than 15,000 cases of acute childhood malnutrition were reported at the end of May, exceeding the total number of cases reported for all of 2019.

Children suffering from life-threatening malnutrition are receiving nourishing food through an innovative initiative by FFTP, Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL), and Caritas Arquidiocesana. Since 2011, more than 21.4 million 3-ounce cans of Spammy™ have been provided to destitute families. Spammy™ is a shelf-stable turkey spread that has been fortified with zinc, iron, B vitamins, and other essential vitamins and minerals.

On June 3, 2018, the Volcan de Fuego or "Volcano of Fire" erupted and released a stream of lava and a cloud of hot rocks and ash over nearby Guatemala City, the country’s capital. According to published reports, the eruption of Volcan de Fuego killed nearly 200 people, and 260 have been declared missing. The volcanic eruption was the most severe in 45 years and is one of the most active in Central America. FFTP rushed emergency aid, which included medical supplies, food and clothing. Because of the charity's continued support in Guatemala, supplies were available to allow the organization to respond immediately with aid, which were distributed by the Order of Malta and Caritas Arquidiocesana.

  • In the first six months of 2020, FFTP shipped 221 tractor-trailer loads of supplies to Guatemala.
  • In the first six months of 2020, FFTP built 79 homes for a total of 2,843 homes since inception.
  • FFTP donors work through 24 Angels Of Hope children’s homes in Guatemala. Through this program, 1,587 orphaned and abandoned children have a safe home, food and people who give them loving care.
  • FFTP and its in-country partners support 300 communities that provide women with immediate help and training to create a better future.

The population is approximately 17.1 million residents. The language is Spanish and Catholicism is the largest religion. The currency is the quetzal and the GDP per capita is $8,200.