In Guatemala, the Population Council is conducting cohort and cross-sectional studies with government partners and Indigenous communities to address the urgent need for comprehensive evidence to inform gender- and age-specific COVID-19 mitigation strategies.    

As the pandemic unfolded, our long history of engagement with Indigenous communities enabled rapid identification of participants and secured buy-in from local health officials. Our longstanding partnerships with the government–particularly with the Office of the Vice President, the Office for the Defense of Indigenous Women, and the Office for Indigenous and Intercultural Health–positioned us to quickly generate the evidence needed to inform and implement response protocols adapted to the context of Indigenous municipalities. 


COVID-19 Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices in Indigenous Municipalities

Leveraging our longstanding partnership with Indigenous communities in rural Guatemala through Abriendo Oportunidades, a girl-centered, mentor-led program, Council researchers are gathering perspectives from key informants in Indigenous municipalities to better understand knowledge, attitudes and practices related to COVID-19 through multiple rounds of data collection via phone interviews.

An Emergency Response Line for Women and Girls Experiencing Violence During Lockdown

Partnering with the Office for the Defense of Indigenous Women (DEMI)Council researchers created and launched at Guatemala’s National Palace an emergency response line to improve essential services for women and girls experiencing violence during COVID-19 lockdown.


Read about the differentiated needs of girls and women during COVID-19 from Council Guatemala Representative Angel del Valle in the digital communication magazine of Rafael Landivar University. The article is in Spanish, but can be translated to English in Google Chrome browsers.

An innovative e-learning program offers an alternative to girl mentors unable to receive hands-on professional training in the critical life and leadership skills included in the Abriendo Oportunidades curriculum. Mentoral Digitale 2020 seeks to facilitate access to information, stimulate participation, and empower young Indigenous mentors to better impart materials to young girls in rural communities in Guatemala during the COVID-19 pandemic.