Norwegian Church Aid in Guatemala

  • Presence established: 1976
  • Funds used in 2018: 4.9 million NOK

Gender-Based Violence

In 2016 9376 women and children received medical and psychosocial treatment and care.

Economic Empowerment

8.277 indigenous male and female leaders have defended land, forest, and water resources in their communities. They have been supported by 179 religious leaders and spiritual guides in fulfilling their resource claims. 5 community owned and managed renewable energy systems have been installed; contributing to energy access for increased production and processing of agricultural products.

Climate Resilience

5.943 indigenous and non-indigenous men and women have been involved in the implementation of disaster risk reduction measures in their own communities.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Building on NCAs decades of experience in Guatemala, the Jotay programme creates new synergies across programmatic interventions and partnerships on the areas of Gender Justice, Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Rule of law. Our work has a particular focus on women, youth, indigenous peoples and the rural campesino population.​


Maria Rafaela Chacach Cotzojay used to think of her role as something given to her by her family, the church and the society. Through her civil society engagement, she has now chosen her own identity.

Read Maria Rafaela's story




How we are organized

NCA has been present in Guatemala since 1976. As of 2017 NCA does no longer have its own office or country director in the country. As of 2017 NCA does no longer have its own office or country director in the country. ​

We are now part of a joint office together with 5 sister agencies from the ACT Alliance: Christian Aid, ICCO, Church of Sweden, Bread for the World and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). LWF is the hosting agency, providing the joint program with their legal registration in the country, as well as the administrative structure and tools for the operation of the joint office. We have a local program team with representatives from each agency and a new joint country strategy is in the making.

JOTAY: ACTing Together, is the name of the new joint program. The word Jotay means "rebirth, sprout or regeneration of life" in the indigenous language Maya Kaqchikel. This metaphor represents the sense of unity and brotherhood that drives the creation of this joint program. It also reflects our commitment to contributing to a more just and inclusive Guatemala, promoting human rights and ecological sustainability. 

Our programmes

Climate resilience

The goal of the Climate Resilience program is that communities are capable to resist, absorb and recover from climate change, increasing their resilience as an expression of self-determination. Indigenous communities preserve their natural resources and environment, including water sources, secure critical infrastructure against natural disasters, develop early warning systems and adapt their food production to the changing climate. Indigenous peoples’ inclusive and accountable self government is key to achieve this.

Economic empowerment

The Economic Empowerment program aims to reduce the economic vulnerability of indigenous communities and secure sustainable income generation for increased self-determination. This is related to community based construction and management of micro hydro power plants, which provide remote indigenous communities with clean energy and serve as an income generating enterprise.

Prevention of gender-based violence (GBV)

​The goal of our GBV program is to create territories free of violence for all women, including their body, mind and spirit. This is achieved through organisation, awareness raising and training of both women and men, promoting new masculinities and providing integral (legal, psychological, socio-economic) assistance to women survivors of violence.  We also promote increased political participation of women, including indigenous women and young women.

Where we work

Through the Jotay Programme, NCA work in the provinces of San Marcos, Huehuetenango, Quiché, Guatemala and Baja Verapaz.​​

Who we work with

We have a diversified partner portfolio consisting of a mix of local community based organisations, faith-based and secular organisations, and other civil society networks. By facilitating untraditional alliances, e.g. between faith actors and women’s, indigenous or environmental organisations, we contribute to strengthening their response to unjust structures and policies. We support our local partners through capacity development, networking, and strategic accompaniment. 

Through the national ACT forum we join forces with the local ACT member organisations for timely emergency response and rooted advocacy, at national and global level, mobilizing our constituencies in the communities and countries that we represent.

Our Partners

Norwegian Church Aid believes it is only the people and the communities themselves that can bring about lasting change. We implement our programmes together with local partner organisations and in close contact and coordination with the local government.

Important documents


  • Colectivo MadreSelva
  • GGM
  • Utz Ché
  • Caja Lúdica
  • Ixmucané
  • Pastoral Social del Diocesis de Quiché
  • CEDEPCA. ​​