Social Science Research Council Research AMP Mediawell

Broken Land: Confronting Climate Change and Migration in Guatemala

Marcy, Jessica; Tyson, Amelia

Guatemala ranks as one of the most vulnerable countries to the climate crisis in Latin America. Its acute susceptibility increases the impact of food insecurity and decreased water resources, especially due to its location in the Dry Corridor of Central America. Such conditions are driving communities to the breaking point. Internal displacement and mass migration to the U.S. disrupt the family structure and etch away at cultural roots, heritage and identity of communities.

As many young people leave en masse, Guatemalans who stay wrestle with envisioning their country’s future. Faith can play an important role in how communities respond to such factors. “Broken Land” focuses on the city of Quetzaltenango and the surrounding largely Indigenous towns in the Western Highlands. This film explores how a community organization is developing solutions that address the complexities around environmental justice and the human rights issue of migration.