Guatemala: A life of poverty under a volcano

A life of poverty under the volcano in San Miguel Dueñas, Guatemala.  2013.  

San Miguel Dueñas sits beneath a volcano in Guatemala. It is a village of tiny corrugated tin homes amid macadamia nut and coffee bean fields.
CIA’s World Facts reports that 54% of Guatemala lives in poverty.  The elite 2% owns 72% of agricultural land and cattle ranches. Persistent problems exist with high rates of child and mother mortality and malnutrition, as well as low rates of literacy and contraceptive awareness. Approximately 50% of the population is under the age of 19.
The Coyan family represents these hard truths about Guatemala’s struggle with poverty. A large family, living in a small space, with not enough resources, they also have a child with cancer.
La Asociación Nuestros Ahijados (God’s Child Project) operates in the village to provide education, clothing, and better shelters. In 2012, La Asociacion built 100 homes in the area—the concrete floors decreasing stomach parasites by 60%. The organization also helped the Coyan family with medical costs to ensure 9-year-old Mabelin receives cancer treatments.
 Photographed March 20-22, 2013.
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