Stories written by Danilo Valladares

Most indigenous women in Guatemala use the services of midwives.  Credit:Danilo Valladares/IPS

Midwives Play Key Social Role in Guatemala

"Midwives in Guatemala attend to women during pregnancy, the birth and the post-partum period. They give the women warmth and support, because they speak the same language and belong to the same culture," said Silvia Xinico with the Network of Organisations of Indigenous Women for Reproductive Health.

Central America and the EU – An Asymmetric Agreement

The poverty-stricken countries of Central America will face major challenges when the Association Agreement to be signed in late June with the European Union, including commitments on trade, political dialogue and cooperation, comes into effect.

The Temple of the Masks at the Maya archeological site of Tikal, part of the Maya Biosphere Reserve.  Credit:Mike Vondran CC BY 2.0

Guatemala Halts Widely Praised Maya Biosphere Reserve Initiative

The ambitious Cuatro Balam project for the management and conservation of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in the northern department of Petén has been put on hold after the change of government in Guatemala, say environmental and other civil society organisations.

Guatemalan Communities Have No Say in Exploitation of Resources

"People haven’t been coming in for the past month or so because they are afraid again, like during war-time," complained Juan Gaspar, a shopkeeper in the northwestern Guatemalan town of Santa Cruz Barillas, where a fierce battle is raging between locals opposed to a hydropower dam and the security forces.

Picking coffee in Guatemala. Credit: Roots and Wings International/CC BY-ND 2.0

Guatemalan Coffee Growers Get Creative

Overwhelmed by climate change, worried about speculation in international prices and still hurting from the effects of the crisis in 2000, coffee growers in Guatemala are trying in various ways to recover the production levels they achieved 12 years ago.

Iron Fist Cracks Down on Guatemala

Rightwing President Otto Pérez Molina is keeping his promise to take a hard line on soaring crime in Guatemala, but his government is neglecting prevention measures. Analysts warn the strategy, along with upcoming legal reforms, may jeopardise human rights.

Central America Seeks to Buffer Effects of Crisis in Europe

The economic crisis plaguing many countries in the European Union has forced Central America to look at preventive measures to mitigate the effects in this region, which could include a decline in tourism, migrant remittances, exports and investment.

“The Two Guatemalas” Meet

"It’s very hard for them to put food on the table, but they are very noble people," Diego Orozco, one of the thousands of young urban Guatemalans who spent last weekend with a poor rural family, told IPS.

Seedbed of Technology Flourishes in Guatemala

"We're making a three-dimensional educational video game. The idea is to create virtual worlds where children can explore and interact with other people and objects," said Carlos Villagrán, seated at a computer in the Campus Tecnológico in the Guatemalan capital.

Latin American Countries Call for Alternatives to War on Drugs

The countries of Latin America will raise their voices at the Sixth Summit of the Americas to condemn the "failed" war on drugs and propose alternatives, such as the controversial depenalisation, in order to curb drug-related violence, especially in Mexico and Central America.

More and more girls in Guatemala are having babies. Credit: Fiat Luxe/CC BY-ND 2.0

Guatemala – Regional Leader in Teen Pregnancies

Teenage pregnancies are on the rise in Guatemala, along with the drop-out rate in schools, family breakdown and many other related social ills.

E-waste goes untreated in Guatemala. Credit: Alex E. Proimos/CC BY 2.0

More Cell-Phones than People, and No E-Waste Treatment in Guatemala

The lack of adequate management of electronic waste in Guatemala is posing a serious threat to the environment and health, as demand for electronic devices has soared to the point that there are more cell phones than people.

Indigenous people in Guatemala are being displaced from their land. Credit: Danilo Valladares/IPS

Displaced Guatemalan Peasants Demand Answers

"We want land where we can live and grow food to feed ourselves," said Pedro Ichich, one of several thousand indigenous farmers who marched to the Guatemalan capital to demand solutions to the ageold conflict over land.

Urban Gardening Benefits Pocketbooks and Health in Guatemala

"It benefits both our finances and our health, because the vegetables help prevent illness while they nourish our children," says Lesbia Huertas, standing in the middle of her yard filled with containers sprouting vegetables in Palencia, 28 km northeast of the Guatemalan capital.

Guatemalan indigenous leader Rosalina Tuyuc.  Credit: Danilo Valladares/IPS

Q&A: “We Are on the Road to Overcoming Impunity” in Guatemala

"To achieve peace, it is necessary for the truth to come out, and for the victims to receive reparations. And part of this is that cases of genocide and crimes against humanity against the Maya people must come to trial," says Guatemalan indigenous leader Rosalina Tuyuc.

Most of the victims of Guatemala's civil war were indigenous people.  Credit: Danilo Valladares/IPS

Victims of War, Victims of Oblivion

"In 1982 they killed my mama and 15 other people, and they burned down our house. Now we are trying to get support, because we have not received any aid," says Jacinto Escobar, an Ixil Indian who is seeking reparations for the damages sustained during Guatemala’s 1960-1996 civil war.

An association of small farmers in Guatemala sells natural, organic products like honey, jam and shampoo. Credit: Danilo Valladares/IPS

Central America Looks to Sustainable Development

Central America, a narrow tropical isthmus flanked by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, suffered 259 extreme weather-related events between 1930 and 2009, while the cumulative effects of innumerable smaller-scale events have not even been recorded.

Mesoamerican Coral Reef on the Way to Becoming a Marine Desert

Scientific studies show that global warming is causing irreversible damage to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the world’s second largest coral reef, yet efforts to protect this biologically and economically vital ecosystem remain insufficient.

Bleached coral in the Mesoamerican Reef. Credit: Courtesy of Christine Loew

Mesoamerican Coral Reef on the Way to Becoming a Marine Desert

Scientific studies show that global warming is causing irreversible damage to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the world’s second largest coral reef, yet efforts to protect this biologically and economically vital ecosystem remain insufficient.

GUATEMALA: Zero Hunger Plan Must Focus on Production, Experts Say

“We don’t want a repeat of welfare-oriented programmes, because they are unsustainable,” said Rony Palacios of the National Network for the Defence of Food Sovereignty in Guatemala, criticising President Otto Pérez Molina’s Zero Hunger plan.

GUATEMALA: “Only the Mayor Will Benefit from the Mine”

"No one will pay for the damages when work at the mine has finished," says María del Rosario Velásquez, who lives in a town near the Oasis mine 100 km southeast of the Guatemalan capital.

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