WASHINGTON (May 1, 2019) – Representatives Susan Brooks (R-IN-5), Carol Miller (R-WV-3) and Ann Wagner (R-MO-2) traveled to Guatemala with CARE to see how U.S. investments and partnerships are promoting women’s and girls’ empowerment and building long-term stability in the region. The delegation also included Congressional staffers from Indiana and Missouri, as well as a representative from the PepsiCo Foundation.
“This Learning Tour to Guatemala was a life-changing experience,” said Rep. Susan Brooks. “We met incredible women and girls who are working hard to better themselves and their communities through education, starting small businesses and lifting their peers up. We were able to see the devastating impacts of poverty, abuse, hunger and discrimination these women, and many more around the world, face every day. And yet, we also saw resilience and resourcefulness in these communities. Learning how American investments spark impressive change for these women and their communities was incredible. We must continue to invest in the development of women and girls around the world because, as we saw during our visit to Guatemala, they are critically important to ensuring communities are able to successfully develop, thrive and grow.”
CARE has operated in Guatemala since 1959 alongside other humanitarian, public and private sector organizations. With a population of 16.6 million, Guatemala’s growing economy is the largest in Central America, yet it currently has the highest malnutrition rate in the Western Hemisphere and an estimated 59 percent of people still live below the national poverty line. Today, women and girls face many challenges in Guatemala, including a lack of decision-making power and control over their financial resources, a high risk of gender-based violence and restricted opportunities in accessing education. While Guatemala has made great progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in recent years, the consistent social inequities, particularly for women and girls, continue to hinder the country’s ability to reach middle-income status.
“I feel proud to visit and see all of the important and critical work that the U.S. and partners like USAID, CARE and other NGOs are doing to empower and create opportunities for women and girls in Guatemala and around the world to thrive and feel safe in their homes and communities,” said Rep. Ann Wagner.
The highlight of the trip included field visits in Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango and the Sololá departments of Guatemala, where the delegation met with women and girls in their communities to see how U.S. investments are transforming their lives and leading to the prevention of gender-based violence, expanded economic opportunities and stronger educational outcomes. During the trip, the delegation also met with Luis Arreaga-Rodas, U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala, and Andrea Villagrán, Guatemalan Congressional Deputy.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to visit Guatemala with CARE, said Rep. Carol Miller. “It’s important that we in the U.S. provide leadership and partnership to ensure that Guatemalans have the opportunity to live, work and raise families in their home country. I look forward to sharing my experiences with my colleagues and members of my community.”
Through these program visits and meetings with change-makers and key development stakeholders, including representatives from the Guatemalan government, non-government organizations (NGOs), technical experts and the U.S. Mission, the delegation gained a greater understanding of the positive impact U.S. investments have on making sustainable change for women, their families and their communities for generations to come.
The full list of participants on the CARE Learning Tour to Guatemala included:
• Rep. Susan W. Brooks (R-IN-5)
• Rep. Carol D. Miller (R-WV-3)
• Rep. Ann L. Wagner (R-MO-2)
• Martha Brooks – Board Chair, CARE USA
• Rachael Leman – Associate Vice President of U.S. Advocacy, CARE USA
• Erin McMenamin – Legislative Assistant, Rep. Susan W. Brooks
• Matt Miller – Owner and Operator, Dutch Miller Auto Group
• Erin Thomas – Senior Director, PepsiCo Foundation
• Rachel Wagley – Legislative Director, Rep. Ann Wagner
Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. That’s why women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to confront hunger, ensure nutrition and food security for all, improve education and health, create economic opportunity and respond to emergencies. In 2018, CARE worked in 95 countries and reached more than 56 million people around the world.
Nicole Ellis, +1-202-560-1791, firstname.lastname@example.org