Sociological Aspects of Children in Guatemala

Project Overview Country History Education Health Care Child Labor Street Children Street Survival Abuse on the Streets Children's Rights Government Policies Support


It is important to understand that Guatemala had been in war for many years because that helps us better understand the circumstances today. In 1954 Guatemala began a civil war that would last for many years (Disarm 2004). The war finally ended in 1996 after many years of fighting and suffering. This was a very violent war which had a huge toll on the population. In this war guerilla groups often terrorized the population. Government officers and the military also terrorized the population and were known to torture people for information or for other reasons. Because of the war many children's parents died, leaving them without a parent and contributing to the large number of street children. The civil war was also a very long and hard war for the general population to endure and brought about suffering for much of the population. The violent tactics used by the police during this time of war has carried over to the current day, which is part of the reason for such prevalent police abuse. The officers who operated for the government during the civil war used violent tactics then and still use those violent tactics when dealing with the street children of Guatemala. The civil war lasted for many years and drained many of the resources from the country, which it is struggling to reclaim. The country is so poor and left in so much turmoil that in 2001 only 16 out of 100 people had phones and 2 out of 100 people were internet users.

Disarm. 2004. "Guatemala's history." Disarm: Education Fund. Retrieved November 7, 2004. (

UNICEF. 2004. "At a Glance: Guatemala." UNICEF. Retrieved November 7, 2004. (
The purpose of this website is to inform viewers about the sociological aspects of children in Guatemala. Megan Coleman, Serrina Duly, Nicole Freeland, Jonah Kane-West, and Marc McCloskey created this site as part of a collaborative web project for their first year writing seminar "Children and Society" for our project "Children Around the World". Professor April Brayfield of Tulane University taught this class.
This is not a professional website. This site was compiled in less than a month as a final project for our course. The information in this website is a combination of the profesional research we have cited and our own ideas. Our research was limited to those documents printed in Western European format and the English language. The focus of these data were on Street Children. We do not intend to imply that all children in Guatemala are treated badly.
We would like to thank our consultant, Professor Jocelyn S. Viterna, whose correspondence allowed us to gain a greater understanding of children in Guatemala and Professor Brayfield for her help and patience in the creation of this site.

Last updated on December 07,2004