CONACMI works in Guatemala, with a focus on the prevention of violence against children and young people; particularly sexual abuse.

How long have you worked at CONACMI?
I have worked at CONACMI, since 1997, and have been the Executive Director since 2010.

What are the main challenges faced by the children and young people you work with?
Primarily vulnerability, faced with an absent government that does not create the conditions for children to be protected and to develop to their full potential. We have the lowest investment in all of Central America, in terms of access to health, education and legal protection, and institutionalisation prevails as the only alternative form of care. These are just some of the challenges that children and adolescents have to face on a daily basis.

What is the best thing about being a member of Family For Every Child?
The best thing about being part of Family For Every Child is the friendly atmosphere of trust and solidarity between members. Everyone is an expert in what they do, yet people are still very humble, very supportive, very human. This relationship allows us, at a personal and organisational level, to learn from others and strengthen our technical capabilities, to contribute to the care and protection of children.

Tell us something interesting / funny about your family.
I come from a large family. I’m number 6 of 8 children. I am married and I have a son and a daughter. My children are used to accompanying me to different activities in my work. I remember one occasion, when my son was about 5 years old, he came to wake me up early in the morning. When I turned to see him he raised a hand, as if asking for permission to speak, but he didn’t say anything. It wasn’t until I gave him permission that he asked me to take him to the bathroom. Afterwards, he told me that he’d learnt in one of the workshops he’d come to with me, that before speaking he should always raise his hand and ask for permission!

Tell us an interesting fact about Guatemala.
Guatemala is a country where four large cultural groups coexist. The Mayas (the majority), the Xincas, the Garífunas and the Ladinos or Mestizos. Within the Mayan culture, there are 21 different ethnic groups, each one of them has a different language and a different worldview from the other. Guatemala, survived an armed conflict of 36 years from 1960 to 1996.

What is your vision for children and families in Guatemala?
That all children can fully enjoy their rights. To achieve this the government must implement a comprehensive protection policy, and prioritise work with families and communities, to prevent, protect and restore their rights.