Keyli, Guatemala

Keyli

Keyli’s Home

Totonicapán is located in Western Guatemala with 97% of it’s population belonging to indigenous ethnic groups. Keyli lives here with her father and step-mother.

The indigenous people of Guatemala have been discriminated against and mistreated for years. As a result, they often live in secluded rural communities and lack access to health services and education

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Guatemala- a lush country with rolling green hills, tall misty mountains and breathtaking views, has the largest economy in Central America and home to a young and incredibly diverse population.

Being A Girl

Because she is an indigenous girl, Keyli faces challenges every day. Guatemala faces high rates of malnutrition, adolescent pregnancy, and maternal mortality rates which all rank within the top 10 highest among Latin American countries. Indigenous girls, in particular, attend school for an average of only three years and 80% of all adolescent pregnancies are due to sexual assaults.

Keyli is 14 years old and already knows many girls her own age who have dropped out of school to work and help provide for their families. She is determined to make a better life for herself.

Keyli and the United Nations

The United Nations recognizes indigenous girls like Keyli need support. That’s why, five UN agencies are working together with the local government in a joint program called Saqilaj B’e: A path to assert the Rights of Indigenous Adolescent Girls.

“I used to be afraid to speak in front of others, but not anymore. I feel confident, like a teacher.” -Keyli

Saqilaj B’e is a holistic program designed to promote indigenous adolescent girls empowerment in Guatemala. Through this program, Keyli participates in weekly workshops that inform her of her rights, give her the opportunity to express herself, and provide her with relevant information including— gender-based violence and health issues.

The Future Depends On Us!

Saqilaj B’e is ensuring that the basic needs of girls are being met and that girls are positioned to become the next generation of leaders in their community.

“I’ve learned that I can do whatever I want if I persist. I’ve learned that I have rights and that gives me new opportunities.” -Keyli

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