The poor living conditions of indigenous Guatemalans (13 of 13)

12 more in collection The poor living conditions of indigenous Guatemalans

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The family of 3-year-old Santos, second from right, live in a two-room house. The oldest child sleeps in a bed in his room and the four others share two wooden beds with no mattress.

Poverty plagues the indigenous in Guatemala surviving in poor living conditions. Many live in one-room homes made with cane, mud, and tin sheeting with mud floor and many lack access to clean water, sanitation facilities, kitchens or furniture.

The indigenous village of San Antonio Palopó in Guatemala sits on the steep banks of Lake Atitlan, the nation’s popular tourist destination located 40 miles east of Guatemala City. The United Nations reports that 80% of the indigenous population in Guatemala are living in poverty, compared to 40% of the non-indigenous population in the nation.

San Antonio Palopó was one of the villages hit hardest by tropical storm Agatha in 2010. The village suffered from a huge landslide that swept away 25 homes, killed 15 people and destroyed the water systems. Many who lost their homes returned to the same land, but remain insecure from potential storms and landslides; many families could not afford to relocate to a safer location.

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