guatemala: fincas de café
Each November nearly a million Guatemalans of Mayan descent trek to the country’s southern coast, where they stay in camps and work for the coffee industry until April. Away from their homes and families, the workers may engage in risky behavior that could further exacerbate one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection in Central America.
Some fear that a widespread Guatemalan AIDS epidemic is being triggered by cultural factors such as early sexual activity in young people, social norms that encourage men to engage in risky sexual behavior and high levels of internal migration. Vulnerable populations such as sex workers and homosexual men exhibit very high infection rates: 3 to 4 percent and 10 percent respectively. The most affected region is also a key trade route through Central America.