More than 50 per cent of Guatemalans live in poverty and one in 2 children under five years old is physically or mentally stunted due to chronic malnutrition. Maternal mortality rates are the highest in Latin America. The combination of poverty and lack of family planning services creates a vicious cycle in which families sink further into destitution, increasingly unable to meet their basic needs as the number of dependents increases.
WINGS helps to break this cycle by subsidizing contraception and ensuring that family planning services are accessible to even the most impoverished members of local communities. Utilizing mobile medical units and a network of 35 Volunteer Health Promoters, WINGS' staff travel to some of the country's most isolated and impoverished communities to provide family planning education and a range of heavily-subsidized contraceptive methods.
Family planning greatly improves maternal and child health and alleviates the strain on household resources, making it possible for families to to meet their basic needs and lift themselves out of poverty. Girls are more likely to attend school when families have fewer children, and the burden on natural and public resources is massively reduced as population increase slows.