Historical Information

The gap between rich and poor is growing wider:
In 1984, 76% of Guatemalans were poor, 40% were extremely poor (meaning they were not able to get sufficient protein and calorie intake)

In 1985, 86% of families were living below official poverty line; 55% were extremely poor.

22% of Guatemala is occupied by just 482 plantations.

In 1950, annual per capita income was $87. A Campesino's annual income depends on work from four month harvest season.

In 1985, 46% of the population, equivalent to 3.67 million people, were without any access to some form of health care.
80% of all health services are located in Guatemala City, although 61% of the population lives in rural areas.

54% of houses had some sort of drinking water supply in 1985.
More than a quarter - and 39% in communities of less than 2000 people- took their water from rivers, lakes, or springs.
Only one in five homes in smaller communities had running water.

In 1985, 49% of homes had access to toilets, outhouses, or latrines.

In 1985, there were 1,710,800 school age (7-14 years old) children.
There was one teacher for every 62 pupils and one school per 215.

In 1980-81, 42% of the working population had no education at all.

Painter, James. Guatemala: False Hope, False Freedom. Latin America: Latin America Bureau (Research and Action) Limited, 1987.

Bizarro Ujpan, Ignacio. Campesino: The Diary of a Guatemalan Indian. Trans. James D. Sexton. Arizona: The University of Arizona Press, 1985.

Schlesinger, Stephen, and Stephen Kinzer. Bitter Fruit: The Untold story of the American Coup in Guatemala. New York: Doubleday, 1982.

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