Guatemala’s native Mayan populations live mostly in remote villages in mountain jungles and forests, plagued with poverty and hardship for centuries. The lush green forests contain thousands of plant species found only in the region. Sadly, the abundant environment doesn’t extend to the indigenous people of Guatemala, with almost 92% of the population living in extreme poverty in the mountainous districts, where CHOICE Humanitarian works. 

Twenty-two different and distinct Mayan languages are spoken in the rural villages of Guatemala. Language though is almost never a barrier for CHOICE Humanitarian volunteers. “You don’t need to speak the language to help dig a foundation,” said one CHOICE volunteer, “Just pick up a shovel and use it!” Digging foundations is just a small part of the impactful amazing humanitarian work taking place in Guatemala.

CHOICE has partnered with a healthcare-oriented NGO (Non-government organization) on two successive expeditions to the Polochic Valley region of Guatemala. CHOICE Humanitarian partners and volunteers taught midwifery, basic medical techniques, small business planning and English skills for teachers. Other volunteers offered treatment for a variety of medical issues including severe malnutrition. One volunteer even taught the hokey pokey to a group of village women. That’s one way to initiate a ‘cultural exchange’! (Deseret News Article)

Struggling from over 25 years of civil war, infrastructure and resources do not exist in the remote, rural areas of Guatemala. CHOICE Guatemala is building long-term programs to provide clean water, latrines, improved living conditions, healthcare, health worker training, and basic education for all ages. CHOICE trains villagers in sound micro-enterprise practices and strategies that can bring economic relief to individual families and entire villages.

Message from Our CHOICE Guatemala Director, Olger Guillermo Pop

My name is Olger Guillermo Pop, I am married, we have four children. I love my job as the Director of CHOICE Guatemala.  I grew up in the north of the country in a city called Cobán, I was educated with values and principles, by a superhero named Mama, who gave her life and effort to make me a good man and useful to society. I have been involved in rural development for several years and I learned that life requires efforts and sacrifices but above all, the desire to fight to get ahead. My mother belongs to the Q'eqchi ethnic group, she has been a model of struggle and devotion in every situation of her life, she taught me to be aware and not turn back in dreams until they become reality. Read More 

History of CHOICE in Guatemala

Choice Humanitarian began its work in Guatemala July 9, 1992. The minutes of school records in the community of Xalibe (Municipality of Senahu and in the State of Verapaz, Guatemala) record that the “objective of the first expedition was peaceful coexistence, cultural interchange, and the construction of a school. This is to be done in a joint venture with CHOICE volunteers through community work and instruction of new construction techniques.” The minutes also record that the hope and desire of the joint effort would be for the “community to implement other similar and future projects without the direct leadership of CHOICE, but by what the community would learn as a result of this collaboration.” Read More

Meet our staff in Guatemala

# of villages worked in:


# of villagers impacted directly:


# of villagers impacted indirectly:


What We Do

Core Programs 

Economic Development

  • Agriculture Production Program
  • Animal and Livestock Production Program
  • Micro Credit Program
  • Essential Oil Production Program


Leadership and Training

  • Village Leadership Training Program
  • Women's Workshops and Training Program
  • Career Development Programs


Health Initiatives

  • Nutrition and Food Security Program
  • Family Garden Program
  • Latrine and Sanitation Program
  • Dental Program
  • Community Water Systems Construction Program 


Education Initiatives

  • Adult/Child Literacy Programs
  • Pre Kinder and Kinder Education Program
  • Schools and Classroom Construction Program 
  • Scholarship Program


Environment Initiatives

  • Family Clean Stove Program
  • Reforestation Program
  • Eco-Tourism Program


Cultural Preservation


Major Projects 


Where We Work

Click here to see Guatemala's area of focus

Check out some of our Core Partners

View Upcoming Expeditions

Connect with Us


Field Blog

Contact Us

CHOICE Center Guatemala –Phone / Contact Information

Olger Guillermo Pop- CHOICE Guatemala Director 


Sikaab’e Center – Phone / Contact Information

Evert Rodriguez
[email protected]