A Catholic priest smiles and greets Guatemalan children.
Father Raúl Monterroso greets children at a primary school in Los Chilitos, Guatemala.

Our 2022 Vision to Relieve Poverty in Guatemala

Cross Catholic Outreach believes a dramatic, positive transformation is possible in the lives of Guatemala’s most vulnerable children, families and communities. Achieving this goal will take a lot of prayer, support and collaboration with local Catholic leaders, but we are confident we can restore hope and deliver much-needed blessings through this mission.

Here is a quick sampling of the inspiring and life-changing projects we’ve committed to funding in Guatemala through your generous support.

A Guatemalan man stands in front of an elevated water storage tank and solar farm.
Community leader Catarino Solis stands in front of the new community water system in Nuevo Bracitos, Guatemala. Our goal is to build a similar system in Mangales.

Clean Water for an Entire Community in Rural Guatemala

Unsafe water poses a deadly risk for families in the Diocese of Suchitepéquez-Retalhuleu on Guatemala’s Pacific coast. There, families often rely on a nearby river or use backyard artesian wells that are often contaminated with pesticides, runoff from animal and human waste, and waterborne bacteria.

Cross Catholic Outreach is partnering with Bishop Pablo Vizcaino Prado and his Caritas Suchitepéquez-Retalhuleu ministry team to build a solar-powered community water system. A solar farm will generate electricity to pipe clean, safe water directly to the homes of 140 families in the Mangales community.

Clean water is one of the community transformation initiatives we have committed to funding in the diocese in 2022. We will also:

  • • Fill stomachs with 816,000 protein-rich Vitafood meals.
  • • Train 400 families to grow their own fruits, vegetables and herbs.
  • • Bless 55 children with life-changing academic scholarships.
  • • Lay the foundation for a new home-building program.

RELATED: Fighting Poverty in Developing Nations With Community Transformation

Scholarships for Teens at a New Catholic High School

For many children in rural Guatemala, Catholic schools are their only option to receive a quality education — their best chance to escape extreme poverty. Cross Catholic Outreach supporters stepped up in 2019 to fund the construction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Technological School, a beautiful 14-classroom school and multipurpose facility in Guatemala’s Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima.

This new school officially opened in January 2022. But tragically, the cost of attending school is more than many families can afford. In Santa Rosa’s mountainous villages, the destitute survive by subsistence farming, but their efforts rarely produce enough to feed their families. Parents must often prioritize putting food on the table over school tuition, books and uniforms.

Cross Catholic Outreach is ready to stand in the gap and help these children achieve their educational goals. We’ve teamed up with Father Raúl Monterroso and Caritas Santa Rosa so 82 of the poorest children will receive academic scholarships to attend local Catholic schools.

Other community transformation projects within the diocese include:

  • • Building 107 concrete homes to give approximately 749 people in three communities a safe place to live.
  • • Funding a clean water system at the new school to give 200 children access to safe water.
  • • Helping 249 farming families attain a new level of economic independence with training and supplies to improve crop yields.
  • • Filling stomachs with 816,480 protein-rich meals to fight Guatemala’s hunger crisis.
  • • Encouraging spiritual growth by helping 2,996 adult lay leaders and 2,025 catechists lead retreats and training activities.

RELATED: See Christ in the Poor, and See Where It Takes You

Donate to Make a Difference

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A young family in Guatemala is filled with joy after receiving Vitafood meal packs.

Food to Fight Guatemala’s Hunger Crisis

Guatemala is a land of contrasts. It has the largest economy in Central America, but more than half of its population lives in poverty, with one in four people earning less than $3.20 per day. It also has one of the worst rates of child malnutrition in the world, and economic conditions in some regions have trapped families in abject poverty.

Cross Catholic Outreach is working closely with Friends for Health and Life, a local Catholic ministry partner, to provide Vitafood meals to schoolchildren, the sick and other vulnerable Guatemalans. Vitafood is scientifically formulated with the optimal balance of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, fat and carbohydrates to meet the needs of malnourished children. Each Vitafood meal contains about 12 grams of protein, which is especially beneficial for families that can’t afford meat or fish.

Meals will be distributed and medical outreaches will be provided in 200 health clinics in 340 of Guatemala’s municipalities and multiple Catholic dioceses, including the Archdiocese of Santiago de Guatemala and the Apostolic Vicariate of Izabal.

RELATED: Stopping the Silent Killer of Guatemala’s Poor: Malnutrition

Help Answer Prayers in Guatemala in 2022 and Beyond

In these trying and tumultuous times, we are thankful the Lord is moving hearts to respond to the needs families face in Guatemala. Your generosity is a ray of hope revealing Christ’s mercy, and it shows the watching world that, no matter how difficult the circumstances, our Lord still reigns. We believe that together, by God’s grace, we truly can make a difference and give hope to those who have suffered so much. Thank you for joining us in this journey of compassion in 2022 and beyond!

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Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2022, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.