August 9th is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and this year the United Nations selected the theme, “Ensuring indigenous peoples’ health and well-being” to highlight the issue of indigenous peoples’ access to health care services, which remains a critical challenge for indigenous peoples around the world.

Common Hope’s goal is to break the cycle of poverty through education. We want our affiliated students to graduate from high school, but we know there are many critical issues that threaten a child’s ability to stay in school. A child’s ability to show up and do well in school depends greatly on his or her health. Access to medical care reduces school absences due to illness and helps prevent health conditions from becoming medical emergencies. Many of the families affiliated with Common Hope are indigenous and providing health care services to them is one of our major program areas.

Language map of Guatemala. Source: Wikipedia

Guatemala is a country rich in Mayan history and culture. Did you know there are more than 20 different Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala? For many indigenous Guatemalan’s, Spanish is their second language, usually something they learn once they start school. San Rafael el Arado, one of the communities where Common Hope works, is a Maya Kaqchikel community. The Maya Kaqchikel people are one of the four largest indigenous groups in Guatemala along with the K’iche’, Q’eqchi and Mam Maya communities. To read more about Common Hope’s work with the San Rafael click here.

Join us on this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples as we celebrate the diversity and hope of the Mayan communities in Guatemala.

Visit the UN website to learn more about the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

Want to help provide medical care for indigenous people like the Maya Kaqchikel? Click here to support Common Hope’s critical Health Care Program.