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Irregular Migration

Speeches Shim

Circular graphic depicting three pillars of countering migration, and their supporting activities
Security, prosperity, and governance efforts to achieve prosperous, secure, and dignified lives in Guatemala
  • Video Series

    ¡Quédate aquí!

    It is a fundamental goal of USAID to support young Guatemalans to take control of their future and lead prosperous lives in Guatemala. ¡Quedate Aqui!, is a video series featuring a young Guatemalan who through USAID’s Puentes Project, hard work, and determination is now a successful member of their community. Watch the videos

USAID advances Guatemala’s self-reliance by focusing on indigenous peoples, women, and youth to address a lack of economic opportunity, insecurity, and inadequate access to basic services, enabling them to achieve prosperous, secure, and dignified lives at home in Guatemala.

Circular graphic depicting three pillars of countering migration, and their supporting activities

Security

USAID partners with the Government to improve justice and security by strengthening community resilience, address corruption, and improve transparency and accountability.

  • Justice Services
  • Fight Human Smuggling
  • Transparency & Accountability
  • Protect the Environment
  • Community Resilience

Prosperity

USAID partners with the Government and the private sector to increase economic prosperity, inclusion, and stability.

  • Develop Value Chains
  • Infrastructure Investments
  • Sustainable Land Use
  • SME Development
  • Business Environment

Governance

USAID partners with the Government, Civil Society, and the private sector to strengthen governance, improve service delivery of public services, and increase civic participation in government.

  • Citizen Participation
  • Tax Collection & Accountability
  • Service Delivery

To Achieve Prosperous, Secure, and Dignified Lives in Guatemala

Guatemala Snapshot

Guatemala has high levels of violence, insecurity, and inequality which contribute to high levels of poverty, crime, and some of the lowest social development indicators in Latin America. Guatemala also has the youngest population in Latin America, a group that in its vast majority has insufficient training and job opportunities.

Map indicating that the majority of relevant activities are in Guatemala's Western Highlands
Population Rural Urban
17,915,568 54% 46%
  Female Male
Gender 52% 48%
  Under 30 Over 30
Age 62% 38%
  Mayan Spanish
Languages 30% 70%

Profile of a Returnee

  • Are vulnerable to crime and violence
  • Stopped their formal education after elementary school
  • High percentage come from the Western Highlands
  • Have made multiple attempts to cross the border
  • Do not have a fixed or stable employment
  Male Female
Gender 83% 17%
  Over 17 <17
Age 85% 15%
  Used Coyote Other
Crossing 58% 42%

Top Drivers of Irregular Migration in Guatemala

  • Lack of Economic Opportunities:
    • 59% of Guatemalans live below the poverty line.
    • 77% who intend to migrate do so in search of economic opportunities.
  • Extortion:
    • 43% of reported extortions are in high migration areas.
    • 54% higher intention to migrate among victims of extortion.
  • Crime & Violence:
    • 45% of Guatemalans cite insecurity as the most serious problem in the country.
    • 48% higher rate of migration among victims of crime.
  • Corruption:
    • 61% of Guatemalans feel there is widespread corruption among public officials.
    • 83% higher intention to migrate among victims of corruption.

Our approach aligns with the U.S. Government priority of addressing the root causes of migration in Central America. We prioritize connecting indigenous people, women, and youth to opportunities that enable them to achieve prosperous, secure, and dignified lives at home in Guatemala.

Last updated: November 17, 2021

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