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Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America — and one of the poorest. More than half of the population lives in poverty, and its people lack access to the most basic health care services. Planned Parenthood Global partners with local organizations to meet this need. We use innovative tools to increase access to health information and services, including birth control, as well as improve maternal mortality and unsafe abortion rates. We promote community engagement to change the social, legal, and political climate to equate sexual and reproductive rights with human rights.

On Friday evenings, members of a youth association in the Péten region of Guatemala broadcast a weekly call-in radio show. Between sets of popular music, DJs answer questions about puberty, sex, relationships, and reproductive health. 

When not on the air, youth volunteers drive to high schools throughout the country, set up speakers and host sex ed fairs. They also staff the youth clinic at the local public hospital, which they lobbied to have built and help design, to ensure that young people seeking services are greeted by a young and friendly face. And they organize an annual retreat during which older members of the team train new recruits. Planned Parenthood Global’s support allows community organizations like this to implement programs that meet young people where they are — see them in action by watching this short video on their work for sexual health in Guatemala.