Puentes Project

The Puentes Project seek to improve the quality of life of youth ages 15-29 in selected Guatemalan municipalities, as measured by indicators of employment, education, and hope, thus addressing the main drivers of irregular migration.

The project is implemented in the Western Highlands, Alta Verapaz and Guatemala City, in partnership with:  Asociación Grupo CEIBA, Asociación Kemow Eta´manik Bilingüe Intercultural (AKEBI), Fundación para el Desarrollo Integral (FUDI), Fundasistemas, Juárez & Associates Inc., Red Nacional de Grupos Gestores y Vitruvian Consulting.  The Project aims to improve skills and abilities for work and access to employment or entrepreneurship opportunities for young people between 15 and 29 years of age.


Puentes supports young male and females between 15 and 29 years of age. It is currently being implemented in 37 municipalities in the departments of Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, Quiché, Totonicapán, San Marcos, Alta Verapaz, and Guatemala.


Nationally, the youth unemployment rate is five times higher for youth ages 15 to 29 than those who are older (National Statistics Institute 2014).  Youth ages 15-29 living in the Western Highlands experience poverty, violence, land shortages. They face lack of education opportunities and limited options for income improvement. This has led to increased levels of internal and external migration. The challenges are even greater for females and indigenous youth, who have lower school attendance rates and limited economic opportunities locally.

The project aims to support young people between 15 and 29 years of age from the Western Highlands, Alta Verapaz and Guatemala City, to take control of their future by providing them with the information, knowledge and skills to access opportunities and improve their income. The project also helps them design and pursue a Life Plan that may be focused on education, employment, or entrepreneurship. Puentes involves the Guatemalan government, the private sector and civil society in improving the skills that youth need to respond to the needs of emerging markets, thus supporting vulnerable youth to find employment, entrepreneurship and improve their quality of life.


The project aims to achieve the following results:

1. Improve basic, work, and entrepreneurship skills. Puentes focuses on preparing youth to access economic opportunities by providing competencies and skills-building training.

2. Increase employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. Puentes facilitates the access to employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.

3. Foster an enabling environment for youth to access social support, services, and opportunities. Puentes aims to ensure that youth have access to the social services and support that are critical to their overall well-being, so that they may take full advantage of the opportunities available to them and improve their quality of life.

This project is expected to run from April, 2018 through September, 2025 with an estimated total USAID investment of $65,000,000.

USAID’s implementer for this project is World Vision International.