“To God, for love of your neighbour” is the call of Caritas Guatemala. Established in 1962, Caritas Guatemala is a charitable, apolitical and non-profit foundation. It consists of 14 dioceses across the country, including parishes, archdioceses and a prelature. Together with the other Central American Caritas, it is part of the CAMEXPA zone.
In accordance with its Strategic Plan, Caritas Guatemala has defined five thematic and three cross-cutting issues. The thematic issues include: justice, peace and reconciliation, migration and human trafficking, the environment, risk management and emergencies, integral human development and solidarity, and institutional capacity building. The cross-cutting issues are: gender, communication and civic participation, and political advocacy.
After many years of military regimes in which approximately 200,000 people lost their lives, Guatemala now has a civilian government, although crime and violence are still widespread. Poverty and extreme inequality are the main problems. Indigenous communities continue to be marginalised and their cultures and ethnic identities repressed. According to the Bishops’ Conference, social progress, as a national challenge, “should be reflected in improved living conditions for all the population, and not just benefit a small minority”.
Caritas Guatemala has worked in fraternal cooperation with members of the Caritas confederation, including among others, Caritas Spain, Caritas Norway and Caritas Korea.
“Faced with the suffering of refugees and forced migrants, we cannot remain indifferent,” said Latin American bishop and voice for social justice, Msgr. Álvaro Ramazzini. On the eve of presenting at the Human Rights Council 35th Session in Geneva on 15 June, the bishop has spoken out strongly about the refugee and forced migration crisis ...