Population: 15.4 million (2013)
Capital: Guatemala City
Official language: Spanish
Major religion: Christianity
IFES movement: Grupo Evangélico Universitario de Guatemala (GEU)
Guatemalan students (and Guatemalans in general) currently live in a context of rising violence, drug trafficking and crime. Studying at university in Guatemala is still the privilege of the few, despite numbers increasing dramatically in recent years.
Despite this, the evangelical church has experienced rapid growth in recent years and 85% of the population would call themselves Christian. This has led many to ask the question: ‘How is it possible that a country with such a high percentage of Christians still has so many deep problems?’
- 13 private and 1 state university
- 3 full-time and 2 part-time staff
- graduates ministry: meetings twice a year
- largest student group in Guatemala City (50 students)
- smallest in Xela (7 members)
Guatemalan students often see success in their studies as an escape route from the economic and social turbulence around them and have little interest in social issues. This apathy is coupled with growing amorality and Christian students often feel at a loss to know how to communicate the gospel to those around them.
However a new generation of GEU students is emerging, passing on their thinking through art. They are committed to engage with the university. This has led to a strengthening of groups in the three major cities and several student leaders are considering continuing in ministry after they graduate.
View from the inside
Vinicio Zuquino is the former General Secretary of GEU. He says, ‘I believe that the student ministry is key to impacting the country with the values of the kingdom of God. Our students will become professionals and serve in strategic roles, changing the reality of our country’.
In 2013, GEU celebrated their 50th year. They give thanks to God for enabling them to gather various generations and to know the student work from the past and in the current days.
- for financial sustainability;
- for GEU students to persevere and to share Jesus in their universities;
- for them to continue to give their resources to sustain the ministry after they graduate;
- for the process of election of a General Secretary; that the Lord may guide the right person to accept the calling to take on this role.