Country

Guatemala

Guatemala's Malnutrition Crisis

Although most of Guatemala's children have enough food to eat, many are not receiving the right kind of food. Samuel Loewenberg reports on the country's growing crisis of chronic malnutrition.

In the clean, toy-filled interior of a clinic in Chiquimula, a 9-year-old girl appears to be frowning. Her name is Domitila, and her muscles are too weak to form a smile (see webvideo). Her body is fragile: arms and legs wasted, patches of hair missing, the veins in her legs forming a black web-like pattern that shows through her delicate skin.

Guatemala: A Divided Country's Hidden Hunger

The little girl does not smile. She doesn't have the energy. Hopefully she will soon.

She is in a rehabilitation clinic in Jocotan, Chiquimula, a province in the far east of Guatemala, near to Honduras. Her name is Domitila, she is nine years old. Her body is emaciated, she is fragile. Patches of her hair are missing, the veins in her legs show through her skin. Her face has a perpetual look of sorrow – the muscles are too weak to change expression. Other children in her family were in similar shape, the nurse tells me.

Guatemala: Migration Tears

I am interviewing a couple about their experience working as immigrant laborers in the U.S., I'll call them Eduardo and Anita. Eduardo has told us that after working successfully for several years in New Orleans doing construction, he was arrested by U.S. immigration officials and put in jail. It was over the Christmas holidays, he says. He was separated from his family. He starts to cry.

Guatemala: Death in the Streets

Thirteen years after the peace accords were signed here, violence and fear continue to be a way of life. In a country as bloody as Guatemala, the last two weeks have stood out. In the past several years bus drivers have became targets for street gangs seeking extortion money; but the thugs are not breaking the drivers' kneecaps, they are blowing their heads off. The number of bus drivers killed so far this year is up to 33.

A Tale of Two Wildernesses

I knew things were bad when Paulino dipped his empty plastic water bottle into a shallow, muddy swamp puddle. After attempting to sweeten the sludge with a bright orange vitamin C tablet, the middle-aged Guatemalan archaeologist smiled at his Boy Scout ingenuity.

Click on the attachment below to read the article as it appeared in Earth Island.

Explore Guatemala's Ancient Maya Metropolis Before the Crowds Come

Buried beneath deep jungle growth in Guatemala's northern reaches, the ancient Maya metropolis of El Mirador is worth the walking. And walking, and walking some more.

Go now for the rare chance to experience lush tropical forest and have the ancient city — more and more of which is being uncovered by archeologists every year — largely to yourself. Soon, both the wilderness and the solitude may be harder to come by.

Communities and Concessions

Nadia Sussman, for the Pulitzer Center
San Francisco, California

One of the strangest things about Guatemala is how close it is to the US. And how easy to leave. In our plane, we effortlessly crossed the border where Mexico tries to keep the Guatemalans out, then cleared the wall the US is building to keep the Mexicans out. Just four and a half hours out of Guatemala City's gleaming new airport we landed in LA.

A Visit to Beef National Park

Michael Stoll, for the Pulitzer Center
Laguna Del Tigre National Park, Guatemala

The sign announcing the entrance to Laguna del Tigre National Park is large and impressive. The problem is, that's about the only visible sign that you're entering a "core protected area" of a massive national wilderness preserve.

Almost back to Oakland for the Mirador Four

It's the last leg of our journey back from Guatemala and I marvel at the difference in the landscape from above — houses neatly dotted against the foothill ridges and valleys of California's sloping red terrain inching all the way from Los Angeles in random sproutings of civilization. It's the same feeling I had while staring out at the Pacific from Laguna del Rey today — kids ran from the onrush of crashing waves and boogie borders chased their boards only to bounce on them within an inch of a quick slide beneath their feet.