CARE´s Holistic Approach to Change

CARE’s Approach to Lasting Change

Publication info


A door opens to change the world, for girls, their mothers and fathers, for their communities.

School is perhaps the only place where girls and boys living in a remote area of Santa Maria Chiquimula in the Guatemalan western highlands, can be children, play and communicate with friends and teachers. The only place where girls living in the villages of Totonicapán province can learn that they can choose their own path instead of following what others do when they become teens:  quit school, get married, have many children and work.

School is one of the strategic places identified by CARE to break these generational cycles and have the girls open the doors to other options:  achieving goals, developing as persons, choosing and planning for the future.

Although CARE staff focuses on girls, the rest of the student body including boys, as well as teachers and principals participate in planting this seed of change. The goal can only be achieved through the community’s awareness, learning and commitment.

The seed for change is also planted by CARE’s Hope for Young Domestic Workers, which works to improve the standard of living for 500 girls and youth in rural communities of western Guatemala through access to education.

CARE works in Santa Maria Chiquimula because girls in this municipality are highly vulnerable, and, through Hope for Young Domestic workers and Qach’Umilal, CARE provides girls with educational opportunities, chances to broaden their livelihood options, and increase their knowledge of sexual and reproductive health.

The Qach’umilal project has demonstrated that investing in girls is important to a family’s welfare and ability to break the cycle of poverty. Girls and women play a fundamental role in society. They deserve the right to excel, thrive and lead by example for the next generation.