There are four major cultural groups: Mestizos, Mayan (with 21 different languages), Garifuna, and Xincas. Mayans represent 41% of the population. About 68% of them live in rural areas and 32% in urban areas. Out of the total population, 54% live in rural areas and 46% in urban areas.

The annual population growth during the period 1995-2000 was 2.64%. Out the total population, 56.7% are below poverty line and 26.8% in extreme poverty. From those considered poor, 38.63% live in urban areas and 61.37% in rural areas. The indigenous groups suffer more poverty, accounting for 63.2% of the poor.

The age structure is pyramidal with 41.2% of the population under the age of 15. The group between 15 and 29 years-old is 28.2%. The group between 30 and 59 years-old represents 24.2%, and the population over 65 years-old is 6.4%. The average life expectancy is 67.4 years, being higher for women (70) than for men (64.9).

The birth rate is 36.6 per 1,000 people. The overall mortality rate is 7.4 per 1,000 people. The infant mortality rate is the highest in the region with 30 per 1,000 live births. Likewise, the fertility rate is high (3.6 per woman). The percentage of women of childbearing age using a family planning method is 43.3%. This percentage is higher in urban areas (56.7%) than in rural areas (34.7%).

The illiteracy rate is 28.8% (23.9% in men and 33.4% in women) and one of the highest in Latin America. This deficiency hinders individual & family development impacting directly on social indicators.

Core Values

APROFAM works without discrimination serving the Guatemalan community and following these


  • Balanced, honest, optimal resource-administration handled with transparency to achieve institutional credibility
  •  Helping, responsible, dynamic, loyal team-work committed to Sexual & Reproductive Health needs of Guatemalan families
  •  Leadership in proving help with Sexual & Reproductive Health, learning and facing challenges with a systemic approach
  • Respect for socio-cultural issues of the population served
  • Commitment to ongoing search for excellence in delivering health services to Guatemalan families
  • Autonomous organization guided only by its philosophy, policies, governing body, and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) principles & values

User Rights

All APROFAM health services users have the following rights:

  •  Information: Be familiar with benefits and family planning availability
  •  Access: Obtain services regardless of sex, creed, color, marital status or location
  •  Choice: Freely decide on family planning and method to use
  •  Safety: Ability to decide safely and effectively on family planning
  •  Privacy: Receive in private guidance, counseling, or services
  •  Confidentiality: Assurance that any personal information will remain confidential
  •  Dignity: Courteous, considered, attentive treatment
  •  Comfort: Feeling comfortable while receiving any service
  •  Monitoring: Receive contraceptive services and supplies for as long as necessary
  •  Opinion: Express their comments about services offered and received.

Target Population

Our target population is composed of low to middle-income people living in urban and rural areas, relatively neglected by public & private health sectors. Usually, users of APROFAM services are day laborers. Some users are salaried.

Guiding Principles: Sustainability, Equity, and Quality

Sustainability, equity, and quality are the guiding principles of APROFAM. These concepts are defined in this manner:

Sustainability is the ability to generate sufficient institutional resources and optimize costs to finance our programs. It is the institutional capacity to maintain long-term health services provided to target population, even after reduction or removal of external financing.

Equity is defined as equal opportunities for people in obtaining health goods & services, which requires differentiated approach to correct inequalities historically accumulated. It is the ability of the Association to provide more services to the community and respond to their health needs, considering financial, social, and educational differences. It is our contribution to help the population as a whole have better health and quality of life.

Quality is defined as the systematic practice to meet fully the needs, desires, and expectations of users, leaving them satisfied with the services provided. Within the context of APROFAM, quality is achieved by developing the following three components:

Technical Quality (Medical): All services must be delivered according to strict standards and medical protocols, including supervision and medical auditing. The goal of technical quality is to maximize the positive impact on the health of the population.

Interpersonal Quality: Services must be provided with technical quality, candor, and satisfaction resulting in the users feeling they received a service beyond their expectations.

Quality Management: APROFAM pays especial attention to increasing efficiency in the delivery of its services to ensure that prices remain affordable for target population. Quality management stems from a positive organizational culture; working systems that produce trained personnel; proper infrastructure and equipment; supplies and essential medication; and information for decision-making.