Norwegian Church Aid in Guatemala

  • Presence established: 1976
  • Funds used in 2015: 8.6 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.

Norwegian Church Aid has worked in Guatemala since the earthquake of 1976. Today, we cooperate with local organisations in order to strengthen women's and indigenous people’s rights.

Vegetables are grown in the mountains of Guatemala

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

Our programme in Guatemala focuses on climate resilience, economic empowerment, and prevention of gender-based violence.


Our programmes

Climate resilience

Guatemala is one of the most vulnerable and least prepared countries to face the impacts of climate change. Projected scenarios indicate that due to the increase in temperature in the tropics, Guatemala is at risk of periods of heavy rain alternating with periods of drought.

Norwegian Church Aid builds the resilience of local communities when facing climate change. By diversifying crops and protecting water sources, agricultural production will be more resistant to climate change. In addition, we train communities to advocate for community rights.

Economic empowerment

Many districts in Guatemala have high rates of rural poverty. A large part of the population is made up of subsistence farmers, who live off of what they produce. Indigenous women and youth do not have access to opportunities for entrepreneurship or the creation of small and micro enterprises. Their job access is limited to agricultural and housekeeping tasks, limiting their human development due to low salaries and poor working conditions.

Norwegian Church Aid trains and supports local communities to improve agricultural production and food security. With the creation and installation of local grain stocks and improved production planning, communities will be better prepared for volatility in production and market prices.

Light for Life Subtext

In Guatemala 11 % of the population lack access to electricity. Most of them are indigenous peoples who live in rural areas far away from the national power grid. Norwegian Church Aid supports communities in fulfilling their right to energy. Together with local partner organisations we construct micro scale hydro power plants built and administered by the local communities themselves.

Prevention of gender-based violence

Women in Guatemala are exposed to physical, sexual, economic and psychological violence which is subtly hidden by cultural violence. Norwegian Church Aid targets provinces and villages where this situation is clearly marked and recognisable by the high rates of malnutrition, illiteracy, low political participation, and economic dependency affecting women's life.

Through facilitating faith-based reflections on gender-based violence and gender norms, and the promotion of zero tolerance of gender-based violence, we raise awareness across different sectors of society. Norwegian Church Aid also supports the creation and establishment of assistance and quality services to female survivors of violence.

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. ​​