Media Coverage

Guatemala’s Western Highlands: Addressing Gendered Vulnerability to Climate Change

In New Security Beat, the blog of the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Wilson Center, Council researchers Jessie Pinchoff and Angel del Valle highlight the connection between climate change, gender, and migration in Guatemala.

They write:

“The Population Institute’s recent report, Invisible Threads: Addressing the root causes of migration from Guatemala by investing in women and girls, has brought attention to the numerous factors that drive migration in Guatemala. One of the key factors addressed in the report is climate change, which is linked closely to issues concerning land in that country. To this day, multiple generations of indigenous women endure the effects of land displacement and inequities in access to land—as well as related social and economic pressures. In concert with other political, social, and economic problems, this particular challenge has resulted in large outflows of migrants from the region.

Climate change also disproportionately affects rural farmers in Guatemala’s Western Highlands. This region of the country is rugged and picturesque, drawing visitors from around the world to enjoy its scenic landscapes. The Western Highlands also serve as an important agricultural center, producing coffee, maize, bananas, and myriad other crops. However, this landscape is beset by many challenges. Most prominent among them is the growing effects of climate change on agricultural livelihoods, which has resulted in food insecurity, persistently high levels of poverty, and reinforcement of harmful gender norms. The release of Invisible Threads offers a unique opportunity to examine this particular region in light of the issues raised in the report.”

Read the full article in New Security Beat