9 Best Charities Impacting Guatemala (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities Impacting Guatemala (Complete 2024 List)

By
Alycia O'Dell

Read Time:20 Minutes

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Despite its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, Guatemala faces numerous struggles including poverty, illiteracy, and food insecurity. For example, the country has the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in children in all of Latin America, with almost half of children under 5 suffering stunted growth. Moreover, the country’s geographical location makes it especially susceptible to natural disasters, often with devastating consequences. Fortunately, many organizations operate both ongoing and emergency response programs to help Guatemalans combat the detriments of poverty. So, we had to ask: What are the best charities impacting Guatemala?

The best charities impacting Guatemala are Convoy of Hope and Direct Relief. Charities like Americares and Doctors Without Borders focus on meeting the medical needs of vulnerable Guatemalans.

Whether you want to empower Guatemalan women with educational and economic opportunities, contribute to emergency response efforts following natural disasters, or ensure Guatemalan children have access to nutritious food, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities impacting Guatemala are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to contribute. 

Here’s What All the Best Charities Impacting Guatemala Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact, and transparency ratings, and achievements.

The majority of these charities are based in the US, but they all operate internationally in the world’s most vulnerable countries, including Guatemala.

Some of these charities focus on helping Guatemala prepare for and recover from natural disasters, while others provide year-round support.

Many of these charities seek to break the cycle of poverty by focusing on economic empowerment, while others invest in the health, education, and safety of women and children. Some focus on providing immediate relief in the form of medical supplies and food, while others work to create sustainable food sources and strengthen local healthcare systems.

Yet, they all share the same goal of improving the quality of life in Guatemala.

These Are the 9 Best Charities Impacting Guatemala in 2024

Below are our favorite charities impacting Guatemala (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

Convoy of Hope: Hope for Those in Despair

Logo for Convoy of Hope
30 Years, One Driving Passion #convoyofhope

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Convoy of Hope holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Changing lives through kindness.”

Convoy of Hope

⚒️

What they do:

Convoy of Hope has established ongoing programming in Guatemala since 2019, focusing on malnutrition and generational poverty. For example, they enhance food security through empowerment and agricultural training programs that focus on long-term sustainability and family health. They also combat pediatric malnutrition through their Children’s Feeding initiative, which ensures that impoverished children receive at least one nutritious meal per school day. Furthermore, their Women’s Empowerment program encourages women to advocate for themselves and also assists them in entering the workforce. And, they conduct disaster response in the region, including hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes, by providing life-sustaining supplies and leading clean-up efforts. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Convoy of Hope has created or restored hope for millions of people around the world, including Guatemala. For example, in 2022 alone, they responded to 75 disasters around the world, serving over 4.5 million people, including providing over 1 million meals to more than 33,000 people across Nicaragua and Guatemala following Hurricane Julia. The following year, they provided agricultural training to over 30,000 participants, fed more than 571,000 children every school day, and empowered almost 48,000 women and girls with access to education and jobs.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Convoy of Hope via their website, or donate directly to their Disaster Relief fund. You can also support the charity by volunteering or attending an event.

2

CARE: Economic Empowerment and Gender Equality

Logo for CARE
CARE: Power of a Box

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

CARE holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

We seek a world of hope, inclusion, and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and all people live with dignity and security.

CARE

⚒️

What they do:

CARE’s efforts in Guatemala focus on economic empowerment and equality for women, girls, and youth. For example, in 2023, they partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation to address equity gaps to essential healthcare services, including reproductive health and vaccinations, among marginalized and vulnerable populations in Guatemala and Honduras. As another example, their education programs provide community-specific solutions to students facing barriers to quality education, with a particular focus on adolescent girls. Furthermore, their ongoing work in climate-sensitive regions like Guatemala helps ensure countries remain resilient in the face of the global climate crisis.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, CARE has impacted the lives of millions of people living in poverty around the world, including vulnerable communities in Guatemala. In 2023 alone, they worked in 109 countries, reaching over 167 million people. For example, they increased access to health services, including sexual and reproductive health, for 135 million people, empowered 20 million people to advance gender equality, and served 20 million people through humanitarian response.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to CARE via their website. You can also support the charity by joining their advocacy efforts or attending an event.

3

Americares: Health-Focused Relief in Guatemala

Logo for Americares
AmeriCares Response Team -- Saving Lives Around the World

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Americares holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Health is on the way.”

Americares

⚒️

What they do:

Americares works to reduce the burden of preventable and treatable diseases throughout Guatemala. For example, in partnership with the Guatemalan Order of Malta, they ensure ongoing access to medicine for a network of health and social services institutions, including about 1,500 sub-recipients. Furthermore, Americares Medical Outreach donates medicines, medical products, and educational resources to US volunteers who travel to impoverished countries, including Guatemala, to provide primary care, perform surgeries, and strengthen local healthcare capacity. And, they respond to natural disasters in the region by delivering medical supplies and relief items.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Americares has provided more than $15 billion in aid to 164 countries, including Guatemala. For example, in 2018 their response to the Fuego volcano eruption included 16 tons of medicine and supplies valued at over $1.8 million. And, in 2022 alone, they supported more than 4,000 health centers globally, reaching more than 3 million people with medicine alone. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Americares via their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering or donating products.

4

Doctors Without Borders: Impartial Medical Aid

Logo for Doctors Without Borders
What is Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)?

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Doctors Without Borders holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Medical care where it is needed most.

Doctors Without Borders

⚒️

What they do:

Doctors Without Borders impacts the health of the vulnerable Guatemalan population through direct medical services, health promotion, and education. For example, from 2021 to early 2024, they operated their Mesoamerican Nephropathy Project to eradicate chronic kidney disease, which disproportionately affects the country compared to the rest of the Americas. The organization also supports the health of the thousands of migrants who transit the country on their way to or from the US, by deploying mobile teams to provide medical and psychological care, health promotion, and social support. Furthermore, their advocacy efforts target US migration policies, calling for increased access to healthcare services and protection from violence for migrant families.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Doctors Without Borders has helped tens of millions of people in over 70 countries, including Guatemala, access high-quality health care regardless of race, religion, creed, or political affiliation. For example, from 2021 to 2023, they screened over 5,300 people between the ages of 13 and 60 for chronic kidney disease in Guatemala and helped offset the cost for those who couldn’t afford to travel to the main dialysis centers. And, globally, the organization provided more than 16.2 million medical consultations in 2022 alone.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Doctors Without Borders through their website. You can also support the charity by attending an event or organizing a fundraiser.

5

Direct Relief: Ensuring Preparedness, Facilitating Recovery

Logo for Direct Relief
How does World Vision work? | World Vision USA

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Direct Relief holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Healthy People. Better World.”

Direct Relief

⚒️

What they do:

Direct Relief helps vulnerable countries, like Guatemala, to prepare for and recover from natural disasters. For example, before disasters strike, they anticipate the needs of vulnerable communities by pre-positioning emergency supplies in secure locations, like medications and medical supplies at hospitals. Post-disaster, the organization coordinates with existing partners to assess the devastation and coordinate relief efforts. For example, they award cash grants to organizations working in the hardest-hit areas to support healthcare networks. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Direct Relief has remained committed to supporting vulnerable communities in times of crisis, including Guatemala. For example, despite the unexpectedness of the eruption of the Fuego Volcano in 2018, Direct Relief’s 30 years of medical supply delivery ensured local healthcare providers could quickly treat victims. Furthermore, the organization has provided over $92 million in medical aid, including almost 73.5 million doses of medicine and more than 1.1 million lbs of medical supplies to Guatemala since 2010.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Direct Relief via their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering or participating in a Direct Relief Gaming fundraiser.

6

Save the Children: Ensuring a Healthy Start

Logo for Save the Children
I Am The Future | Save the Children TV Advert

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Save the Children holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

All children deserve a healthy start in life.”

Save the Children

⚒️

What they do:

Save the Children’s programs in Guatemala focus on strengthening education, health and nutrition systems, protection systems, children’s rights, and humanitarian response. For example, their health and nutrition programs provide support and nutrition education to prevent malnourishment. At the same time, their Food Security and Livelihoods Program helps communities across Guatemala create and maintain sustainable food sources. Furthermore, their education programs emphasize the importance of early learning and reading and writing initiatives, especially among migrant children and families. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Save the Children has changed the lives of over 1 billion children, including in Guatemala. In 2022 alone, they helped 118 million children in 116 countries become safer, healthier, and better educated. For example, their school meals program in Guatemala worked with 59 local producers to provide free meals to children at risk of malnourishment in 109 schools across the country. In the same year, they also provided more than $165 million in cash and voucher assistance to strengthen social safety nets by providing income support, stimulating local economies, and mitigating risks to children globally. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Save the Children via their website. You can also support the charity by participating in a fundraiser, volunteering, or sponsoring a child.

7

Food for the Hungry: Strengthening Communities to End Poverty

Logo for Food for the Hungry
Food for the Hungry: Who We Are

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Food for the Hungry holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

Turning adversity into impact.”

Food for the Hungry

⚒️

What they do:

Food for the Hungry works with communities in Guatemala to create and implement sustainable solutions to poverty. The organization has been providing humanitarian relief in Guatemala since the 1976 earthquake. In addition to providing life-saving resources such as food, medical aid, clean water, and sanitation to children and families directly, they also set communities up to thrive long-term. For example, they provide vocational and agricultural training, promote financial literacy, and help establish savings groups so entrepreneurs can borrow money. They also help communities learn to respond to and withstand crises such as natural disasters and conflict through their Shared Resilience Approach.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Food for the Hungry has remained dedicated to ending poverty in some of the hardest-to-reach places on earth like Guatemala. In 2022 alone, they reached nearly 10 million people across more than 3,500 communities in 18 countries experiencing extreme poverty. For example, in Guatemala, they reached over 149,000 people through 6 projects, including increasing knowledge of early childhood development for 1,400 caregivers. Furthermore, in the same year, 356,751 people around the world benefited from their water, sanitation, and hygiene initiatives, while participants in their Savings and Farmers groups generated over $10 million in assets to provide for their families.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Food for the Hungry through their website. You can also support the charity by sponsoring a child or by purchasing items from their gift catalog, such as hygiene kits and livestock.

8

World Vision: Bringing Hope to Children Around the World

Logo for World Vision
How does World Vision work? | World Vision USA

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

World Vision holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Pulling up the roots of poverty and planting the seeds of change.”

World Vision

⚒️

What they do:

World Vision works to free families, including those in Guatemala, from poverty by supporting their immediate needs and promoting economic empowerment in underserved communities. For example, in 2023, they provided food assistance to families as political tensions and climate change sparked food shortages, impacting 25% of Guatemala’s population. They also improve the economic well-being of individual households by educating parents and community leaders on sustainable financial practices and by providing resources for economic development. For example, they provide microloans to entrepreneurs in impoverished communities to start or grow their businesses.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, World Vision has improved the lives of millions of families, including those in Guatemala. For example, in 2023, they disbursed nearly $800 million in microloans to over 1 million borrowers in 25 countries, improving the lives of 5.2 million children and 1.4 million employees. In the same year, they used $189.5 million in food grants, including 208,412 metric tons of food supplies, to help nourish impoverished families in 17 countries.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to World Vision via their website or fund a microloan. You can also support the charity by sponsoring a child.

9

Compassion International: Helping Communities Fight Poverty

Logo for Compassion International
How Compassion International Works Through Church Partnerships

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Compassion International holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Releasing children from poverty in the name of Jesus.”

Compassion International

⚒️

What they do:

Compassion International pairs impoverished children with a financial sponsor, allowing them to access life-changing services. They also partner with churches in impoverished communities to provide services to children such as medical checkups, educational assistance, and nutritious meals. In addition, they help children prepare for success in adulthood through vocational training, financial literacy training, and college preparation. Also, their Compassion Survival initiative focuses on maternal and infant health to reduce infant mortality and ensure children get a healthy start in life.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Today, Compassion International provides care to more than 2.3 million children globally, including almost 70,000 in Guatemala. For example, in 2022 they distributed 10.6 million family food packs and 7.6 million hygiene kits to those in need around the world. In the same year, they provided medical interventions, like emergency surgeries, injury treatments, and trauma counseling to 1.5 million vulnerable children. And, their Compassion Survival initiative has provided life-saving interventions to more than 38,000 babies and their mothers.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Compassion International via their website. You can also support the charity by sponsoring a child or volunteering.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities impacting Guatemala. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the websites of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. Charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to impacting Guatemala—based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Alycia

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

Sources

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