Rates of pregnant girls are alarmingly high in Guatemala, so much so that even the age of girls at risk of pregnancy is becoming lower. This project focuses on teenage pregnancy, reproductive rights, and gender-based violence in indigenous communties in Guatemala, specifically in the Solola province. It focuses on the life of twelve teenage girls, and in each case the names have been changed to protect their identities, which was a request from the organization called ADEMKAN (Association for the Development of Women), the NGO I worked with.
For girls under fifteen, they are five times more likely to die during pregnancy than women over twenty years. If a mother is under eighteen years the chance that her baby will die during the first year of life is 60%; and even if the baby survives there is a higher chance of suffering from low birth weight, malnutrition or delayed physical and cognitive development. Motherhood in adolescence is a huge risk, as principally,teenage bodies are not ready to conceive and this will bring future health problems to their child and themselves. A baby of one teenage mother passed away because of a complex myriad of barriers: lack of access to health care and awareness of how to care for infants. Young mothers are subjected to psychological abuse and gender discrimination in many cases.Other consequences are the obstacles to study in school and job training, and being forced to abandon their studiesdue to pregnancy. Also, teenage mothers are more likely to be single mothers facing the absence and irresponsibility of their dads.