Guatemala in Central America has a large population of indigenous Mayan people. In Guatemala 98% of wealth is held by 2% of the population. There is a strong rural to urban drift and widespread poverty. Many rural Mayans still live in the same subsistence conditions as their ancestors have for generations - after the great empires collapsed circa 1400 AD - and there is little infrastructure development. The staple diet is maize tortillas with beans that have been grown on family land. In areas with poor conditions, like the Ixil, subsistence is supported by poorly paid work on a finca, coffee estate.
SAFAD has been sending volunteers to Guatemala for community water projects since 1988.