Instituto para la Superación
de la Miseria Urbana de

Communities developing local solutions for urban challenges

Instituto para la Superación de la Miseria Urbana de Guatemala/
Institute for Overcoming Urban Poverty in Guatemala (ISMUGUA)

Guatemala | Founded in 1994 | Thousand Currents Partner since 1996 | ISMUGUA's Facebook page


Instituto para la Superación de la Miseria Urbana de Guatemala (ISMUGUA) was founded in 1992 after a process where Guatemalan citizens recognized the importance of uniting forces with other community-based organizations and NGOs across Central America to improve livelihood conditions of local populations living in urban high-risk areas. This united effort of seven countries in Central America was called ISMUCA, which was short lived due to the challenges of communication and financing. ISMU-Guatemala remained as the only organization that remained, establishing itself as an association in 1994.

Since its beginnings, ISMUGUA works to strengthen the organizational capacity of community groups, promoting direct and autonomous participation of men and women. The work emphasizes on people creating and building solutions to challenges they face, as a starting point for initiatives and programs to improve livelihood conditions and community development.

Strategy: Strengthening Community Organizing

Strengthening community organizing is a strategy that works transversally across all the programs of ISMUGUA to build agency of people living in conditions of poverty and extreme poverty in order to lead their own process of overcoming these conditions. ISMUGUA considers this strategy essential to building the base of any work or programs it develops. Its objective transcends specific projects because it seeks to strengthen, motivate, and develop individual and collective human capacities. These capacities are building and strengthening through the continuous relationship between people, based on solidarity, respect, harmony and safety. And beyond people, continuously seeing our relationship with the Universe as part of our life.

Learn more about ISMUGUA’s work on our blog.