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AREAS OF WORK

Cuadro de texto: 1.Huehuetenango   2. Chiantla   3. Malacatancito   4. Cuilco  5. Nentón  6. San Pedro Necta   7. Jacaltenango   9. Ixtahuacán  10. Santa Bárbara  12. La Democracia   15. Todos Santos Cuchumatán   16. San Juan Atitán   17. Santa Eulalia  18 San Mateo Ixtatán  19. Colotenango   20. San Sebastián H.   24. San Marcos Huista  26. Barillas   27. Aguacatán  28. San Rafaél Petzal   29. San Gaspar Ixchil   30. Santiago Chimaltenango  * Otros departamentos son Retalhuleu,Quiché (Uxpantán, Cunén, Chajul)

The department of Huehuetenango is considered one of the poorest in the country. It is characterised by high levels of illiteracy.

The indigenous women represent the highest proportion of illiterate and monolingual people? since the access to education and the learning of Spanish is limited for them due to the lack of influence and freedom within the family. This means that women’s dependence on others is further increased, especially the dependence on men.

The situation of inequality where women find themselves in rural Guatemala can be seen in all aspects of life: economically, socially, politically and culturally.

Illiteracy in indigenous and non-indigenous communities, people from 15 years and above.


Type of community

Illiterate women

Illiterate men

Total illiterate

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

Indigenous

75,101

42.3%

45,508

33.1%

120,609

38.3%

Non-indigenous

28,132

28.2%

16,008

20.6%

44,140

24.8%

Total

103,233

37.2%

61,516

28.6%

164,749

33.4%

Department

112,683

36.3%

68,222

28.3%

180,905

32.8%

Source: Analfabetismo 2007 según CONALFA, población indígena según Censo de Población 2002; elaboración W. Krenmayr.
Illiteracy in indigenous and non-indigenous communities, people from 15 years and above.


Source: Analfabetismo 2007 según CONALFA, población indígena según Censo de Población 2002; elaboración W. Krenmayr.
The Guatemalan education system has serious deficiencies at all levels. In addition to the low education budget, there is a predominantly urban education system that ignores the context of the indigenous population and the linguistic diversity of the rural areas.

In the rural areas there is only primary school, sometimes with one teacher for all pupils. When the following phase begins, the lower secondary, in most cases the pupils have to go to other communities, increasing the difficulties and the costs. The families, sometimes with ten children, do not have the necessary economic resources for this.

We must also take adjustment problems into account as well as insecurity (in many cases the girls have to walk for hours through the mountains) and difficulty in communication (each ethnic group has its own language).

 

 

Students in primary school by sector


Population and education sector

Women

Men

Total

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

Indigenous, public sector

58,343

97.1%

65,808

96.9%

124,151

97.0%

Indigenous, private sector

1,743

2.9%

2,084

3.1%

3,827

3.0%

Indigenous

60,086

100.0%

67,892

100.0%

127,978

100.0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-indigenous, public sector

30,958

91.4%

34,404

92.2%

65,362

91.8%

Non-indigenous, private sector

2,906

8.6%

2,915

7.8%

5,821

8.2%

Non-indigenous

33,864

100.0%

37,319

100.0%

71,183

100.0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Population, public sector

89,301

95.1%

100,212

95.2%

189,513

95.2%

Population, private sector

4,649

4.9%

4,999

4.8%

9,648

4.8%

Population

93,950

100.0%

105,211

100.0%

199,161

100.0%

Source: Anuario Estadístico de Educación 2007, MINEDUC; elaboración Wolfgang Krenmayr

 

With the described situation in mind Ixmucané seeks to give girls the tools and capabilities to become involved in all areas of society.

 

BENEFICIARIES

 


After detecting the mentioned deficiencies and analyzing data on the social situation, Ixmucané decided to work with vulnerable women in rural areas, mainly in the department of Huehuetenango.

What is clear is that the benefit of a woman’s studies not only benefits her. Having an education gives her a greater chance of work and therefore increases her income, improving her quality of life and that of her family.

Since our work began in 2000 the number of girls benefitting from the programs have expanded and so has the geographic area of our work as well. The following table reflects most of the towns of Huehuetenango in which we work and the most common language in the community.

 

MUNICIPALITY

LANGUAGE

HUEHUETENANGO

MAM

CHIANTLA

CASTELLANO

MALACATANCITO

CASTELLANO

CUILCO

MAM

S. PEDRO NECTA

MAM

JACALTENANGO

POPTÍ

IXTAHUACÁN

MAM

SANTA BÁRBARA

MAM

LA DEMOCRACIA

CASTELLANO

TODOS SANTOS

MAM

SAN JUAN ATITÁN

MAM

SANTA EULALIA

KANJOBAL

COLOTENANGO

MAM

SAN SEBASTIAN H.

MAM

SAN MARCOS HUISTA

MAM-POPTÍ

BARILLAS

KANJOBAL

SAN RAFAEL PETZAL

MAM

SANTIAGO CHIMALTENANGO

MAM

QUICHE

IXIL