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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

‘There is no work’: Guatemala political crisis spotlights calls for change

Guatemala City, Guatemala – Guatemala continues to be roiled by political turmoil following last month’s election run-off, with rallies picking up again in cities and towns around the Central American nation to protest efforts to undermine the vote.

But while many Guatemalans are caught up in the crisis, others have more pressing everyday concerns, such as making ends meet in a country where nearly 60 percent of the population lives in poverty.

The poverty rate is closer to 80 percent for Indigenous people while roughly 70 percent of workers in Guatemala labour in the informal economy.

Maribela Ixcoy is among them. An Indigenous Maya K’iche’ single mother originally from Santa Cruz del Quiche, she earns between $5 and $10 a day selling candy, gum and cigarettes from a shopping cart in the capital, Guatemala City.

“There is no money. There is no work,” Ixcoy told Al Jazeera while she arranged her cart.

She said she wants government action to rein in the rising cost of basic goods and to create jobs – but the country’s post-election turmoil has raised new questions. “The only thing is I don’t know if anything will change,” she said.

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