• Strategy

    U.S. Strategy for Addressing the Root Causes of Migration in Central America

    U.S. programs and engagement promote opportunities to create futures at home. Read the strategy

Our approach aligns with the U.S. Strategy for Addressing the Root Causes of Migration in Central America. We foster prosperity, security, and improved governance throughout Guatemala and prioritize connecting Indigenous Peoples, women, and youth to opportunities that will enable them to sustain dignified livelihoods in their home communities. in Guatemala.

USAID and its partners work with the Government of Guatemala, the private sector, and civil society to implement a wide range of projects designed to create new economic opportunities, improve citizen security and improve the accountability and transparency of public institutions. USAID/Guatemala supports programs that reduce poverty, promote overall economic growth and job creation, create opportunities for foreign direct investment, protect the rights of vulnerable and marginalized groups, improve health and education outcomes, guarantee food security and protect the environment. USAID also works to ensure that the Government of Guatemala can provide security and justice for all Guatemalans, by strengthening key justice sector institutions, combating international criminal networks and human trafficking, reducing gang violence and criminal impunity, and strengthening borders.

Country Development Cooperation Strategy

USAID’s goal for the 2020-2025 strategy is to advance Guatemala’s self-reliance by connecting indigenous peoples, women, and youth to opportunities that enable them to achieve prosperous, secure, and dignified lives at home in Guatemala.

Under this strategy, USAID/Guatemala will:

  • Redefine its relationship with the Government of Guatemala (GOG)
  • Refine USAID/Guatemala’s strategic, geographic and demographic focus
  • Evolve its development model to employ new strategic approaches. 

Root Causes Strategy

It is in the national security interest of the United States to promote a democratic, prosperous, and secure Central America, a region closely connected to the United States by culture, geography, and trade. COVID-19, extreme weather, and severe economic decline are compounding long-standing challenges in the region, forcing far too many Central Americans to conclude the future they desire for themselves and their children cannot be found at home.

Through the Root Causes Strategy, USAID seeks to support a Central America where people advance economically, live, work, and learn in safety and dignity, contribute to and benefit from the democratic process, have confidence in public institutions, and enjoy opportunities to create futures for themselves and their families at home.

  • Prosperity

    Economic growth, poverty reduction, workforce development, health, education, and greater regional integration. Learn more

  • Governance

    Strong institutions, government accountability, reduced impunity, improved fiscal management, and better public service delivery. Learn more

  • Security

    Anti-corruption, improved access to justice, community resilience to crime and violence, and prosecution of extortion. Learn more

Partners in Empowerment

USAID/Guatemala prioritizes engagement with Indigenous People, women, and youth to ensure that they have a voice in Guatemala’s development journey. These groups have historically been left out of this conversation and remain among the country’s most vulnerable communities.

Indigenous people have routinely been excluded from equal access to basic services such as education, health, and sanitation, making them among the most impoverished members of Guatemalan society. The prevailing machismo culture in Guatemala has also limited the opportunities for women and girls, particularly those from primarily indigenous regions of Guatemala. Similarly, Guatemalan youth, which account for roughly 60 percent of the population, face high levels of unemployment, social and economic marginalization, insecurity, and lack of basic services, such as education and health care.

For Guatemala to progress on its journey to self-reliance, these groups must be empowered and prepared to meaningfully advocate and contribute to political processes, the economy and society more broadly. USAID/Guatemala works connect them with opportunities that enable them to achieve prosperous, secure, and dignified lives at home in Guatemala.

  • Indigenous Peoples

    USAID promotes the social, political, economic, and cultural inclusion of Indigenous Peoples to foster and accelerate inclusive development across Guatemala. Learn more

  • Women

    USAID works to make Guatemala a more equal society by reducing gender gaps in access to resources, services, participation and time use. Learn more

  • Youth

    USAID promotes youth engagement to ensure that they have a role in decision-making and a voice in Guatemala’s future. Learn more

Our Work

USAID’s work emphasizes partnership as a means of building the self-reliance of partner countries so that they are better prepared to tackle their own ongoing challenges. Beyond increasing partnerships with private sector entities, the USAID/Guatemala seeks to use the private sector partnership model with government and non-governmental organizations across the country. Rather than arriving with solutions, USAID/Guatemala works to develop a shared understanding of the challenges, partner priorities and available resources in order to work as allies to address challenges.

USAID works across a wide array of sectors including Security & Justice, Governance, Economic Growth, Health & Nutrition, HIV/AIDS, Education, Food Security, and the Environment to improve living conditions and create new opportunities for Guatemalans at home. USAID’s strategy aligns with the Guatemalan Government's vision: private sector investment and job creation, decentralization of basic service delivery, and improved governance and security (including a focus on anti-extortion and reduction of human smuggling).

Our Programs

USAID/Guatemala works through local and international organizations to implement various programs and activities that support the people of Guatemala. While these programs are designed to align with the Government of Guatemala’s development priorities, no USAID financial resources are provided directly to Guatemalan Government institutions. Instead, any direct support to the Government of Guatemala is in the form of technical assistance, training and equipment, except in the cases of humanitarian crisis when direct emergency donations may be made available for distribution to the general public.

USAID and its partners, work hand-in-hand with the Guatemalan Government, local and international non-governmental organizations, local communities, other multilateral and bilateral donors, the private sector and a variety of U.S. Government Agencies, in order to achieve meaningful impact. Our programs seek to increase the capacity of Guatemalan citizens, organizations, and Government institutions to identify and respond to the most pressing development challenges facing the country.

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USAID seeks to support Guatemalans in building a society where local actors are empowered and possess the resources and capacity they need to design and lead efforts to improve their own communities and tackle priority development challenges.