Approximately one million people are expected to fall into poverty this year in Guatemala, according to estimates revealed by the World Bank.
Indigenous women are the most vulnerable as only one in 10 indigenous do paid work and they normally get paid less than men and non-indigenous women.
According to the Population Council, 39% of all indigenous women in the country are illiterate.
Traditional practices inhibit girls from attending schools. They are expected to stay at home and help with childcare and household chores.
Guatemalan indigenous girls make up the majority of the two million school age children who do not attend school.
But several innovative aid and education programs are targeting women in indigenous areas, helping to bring them out of poverty with astounding results.
Harris Whitbeck reports on the efforts to provide them with better opportunities.