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Guatemala’s Economic: Poverty, Health Rate and Refugees

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Around 400,000 refugees fled from Guatemala during the long and hard 36-year civil war. The Guatemalan civil war was less of an on-field war but more of a war where almost half a million people were forced to leave their homes and were tortured and around 200,000 people died or disappeared. In these paragraphs, I will explain about the nation, the refugee crisis, the refugee experience, and lastly what refugees have been doing to move forward. Although Guatemala’s 36-year civil war has caused 400,000 refugees to flee Guatemala and many other health problems, still Guatemala is trying to move forward to rebuild and heal their nation. Starting off the name of my nation is Guatemala. Guatemala is located in Central America. The climate throughout the year in Guatemala is around 60 degrees to 80 degrees. About 15 million people make up Guatemala. Seven ethnic groups make up this nation. The percentages and ethnic groups are Mestizo 42%, White 18%, Mam 8%, Kaqchikel 8%, Q’eqchi’ 6%, K’iche’ 9%, and Other Indigenous People 9%. The official spoken language throughout Guatemala is Spanish. Mexico borders Guatemala in the north and west. In Guatemala, the seasons and climate are normally dry or rainy. Guatemala has many rainforests and mountains throughout it. Guatemala has lots of violence going on right now. This is because Guatemala is becoming overpopulated and Guatemala is going through extreme poverty.

 Guatemala’s economic turmoil is that they are going through extreme poverty. Overpopulation and the 36-year civil war has led Guatemala into poverty. Over 200,000 Guatemalans died or disappeared in the Guatemalan civil war. During the war, around 440 villages got destroyed. The poverty rates are very high in Guatemala right now. The world bank says that 59.3% of the population lives below the poverty line. In addition, 23% of people live in extreme poverty. There is lots of violence going on in Guatemala right now.

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Another turmoil in Guatemala is health and how healthy people are. Starting off 8 out of 10 indigenous kids have and suffer from chronic malnutrition. Chronic malnutrition is a condition where it weakens the immune system and stops kids from growing normally, and lots of people can easily get it which is really severe and bad. Since 1990 people in Guatemala would only live up to 60-65 years old. Now since 2017 people live up till 60-71 years old. That is still horrible and should not be like that, but it has gotten better since their health from 1990. Also, a large number of people have heart diseases and diabetes. Guatemala is the 4th highest rate of these conditions and has been for quite a while and the poverty rate won’t make it any better. The amount of refugees in Guatemala then is a huge difference from now. The amount of refugees from Guatemala has gotten a lot lower throughout the years. A lot of people from Guatemala who are refugees would travel on foot or on a bus. Most refugees are fleeing to the USA or Mexico. There are a lot of basic needs in Guatemala that are not getting met by the poverty they are experiencing. Some people are even without homes in Guatemala. Lots of people can’t get jobs to make enough money for their family and get food. Others can get really good jobs and provide more for their families. Most kids can go to school in Guatemala but still, 75% of Guatemala is illiterate.

Starting off there are lots of refugees in refugee camps in Guatemala. Refugee camps are located 250 miles away from Campeche. About 46,000 refugees are in these refugee camps. The Mexican government who handles and runs these camps are rethinking about moving these camps due to the critical reports and articles to the Mexican press. The government decided that they should send a message to the Catholic Church about moving the refugees. So they would need to provide medical supplies, food, and other basic needs. Also, refugee camp leaders would be able to use and access new refugee camps in Campeche and all threats or dangers to the refugees would end. This was a really good plan for those who wanted to stay close to the border. But still, around 6000 refugees are risking a lot to avoid moving to the new camps in Campeche. Guatemala is doing alright, but still not amazing at moving forward. There are a couple of good things such as the Civil War in Guatemala that has stopped so there are a lot fewer refugees than there used to be. 

Another good thing is that the violence in Guatemala has gone down and people are starting to say Guatemala is moving towards peace. There are downsides such as Guatemala is still going through poverty. Also, the health rate in Guatemala is horrible. There are good things like they have buses, taxis, and public transportation. But they don’t have any place for their garbage since there is no garbage disposal. So lots of people end up burning or fertilizing their trash.

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