Latin America


Guatemala

Tragic social issues

While Guatemala may be known for incredible Mayan ruins and aromatic coffee, it is a country that struggles with deep poverty and tragic social issues. While not typically considered a “third-world nation”, Guatemala ranks third-worst in the world for child nutrition. More than 29 per cent of all children in Guatemala are involved in child labor before the age of fourteen, and Guatemalan girls are frequent victims of trafficking, sexual abuse and neglect. Read more here.

The Dominican Republic

Beauty and poverty

Home to more than 9.6 million people, the Dominican Republic is considered one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. While the service industry/tourism has long been considered the main commodity of the Dominican Republic, the global economic crisis has decreased this industry. Much of the Dominican Republic is beautiful to the eye, but outside the walls of the tourist resorts live a staggering number of adults and children struggling to survive. Over 62,000 Dominicans are living with HIV/AIDS, and a large number of Dominican girls are trafficked into prostitution and sexual exploitation in Western Europe, Australia, Central and South America, and Caribbean destinations. Read more here.

Peru

Mountains, lakes and slums

With its mountain ranges, lakes and ocean views, Peru is beautiful to behold—although you don’t have to look very far to see the slums, diseases and starvation right outside the bustling capital of Lima. For a country with so much wealth, the disparity between the rich and poor is startling. More than half of the population is living in abject poverty and almost 20% are living on less than $1 per day. Approximately 11% of Peru’s children will die before they reach the age of five. And more than 570,000 orphans roam the streets of Peru with nowhere to go and no one to help them. Read more here.

Haiti

The poorest country in the Western hemisphere

One of Kids Alive International’s most challenging sites is Haiti—the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. Haiti is home to more than 9.5 million people, and the poverty is horrific. Haiti has the highest infant, under-five and maternal mortality rates in the Western hemisphere. Respiratory infections, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS are the leading causes of death. Haiti is struggling to recover from the earthquake of January 2010, which killed and injured tens of thousands of people and left many others homeless. Read more here.

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