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Life in Guatemala

Guatemala’s government is a presidential representative democratic republic. The president of Guatemala is both the head of state and the head of parliament. The government and congress share legislative power within the country

Guatemala provides free, state education. Education is compulsory for all children in Guatemala for a total of six years. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that these compulsory mandates are respected. Enrollment rate is around 80 percent, but only 30 percent of children in primary school education in Guatemala manage to see this period of education through to the very end. Most children who don’t attend school in Guatemala live in rural areas. A large number of these children are from indigenous families.

Guatemala provides healthcare to its people in three specific ways. It offers a public healthcare system, a private non-profit system and a private for-profit system. However, Guatemala suffers from very poor organisation and access. Only 40 percent of the population has access to healthcare. Studies have revealed that there’s only one hospital bed available in Guatemala per 1000 people, the government only sets aside between four and five percent of its budget for healthcare provisions, and there’s a shortage of medical professionals living in the country. It is estimated that only 0.9 percent of the population are trained in medical care.



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