Many of the difficulties in Guatemalan society stem back to a thirty-year-long civil war where US foreign policy and investments created climates of extreme poverty and distress that continues today. Parents of children living in poverty have to work to be able to provide for their families, but with their parents working, children can be left to care for younger siblings — and often at very young ages — leaving their younger siblings vulnerable to neglect while they miss out on the opportunity to go to school themselves. Extreme poverty also means that women do not have good options for where they live or with whom they leave their children making them vulnerable to domestic violence and neglect.
The Acorn Childcare Center provides a safe and caring environment for young children to interact, imagine, explore and learn while allowing older siblings to attend primary school and parents to earn a living wage. Since 2006, the Acorn Childcare Centre has proven that the services are helping children and their families succeed in school and in life. Alumni frequently return for celebrations and share their achievements in primary school and beyond. The results impact not only the child, but the whole family system.