Antigua’s NGOs capital of the world


Veggie Oil Bus, originally uploaded by rudygiron.

For being such a small city, Antigua has more non-governmental organizations (NGOs, thanks anonymous) based here than maybe any city in Central America. NGOs or private voluntary organization (PVO) are tough cookie to swallow and there seems to be two camps on the subject: the ones that say NGOs are necessary and the ones that think NGOs are useless and even harmful to poor countries.

My very short experience is that they are usually run by locals, Guatemalan in this case, who are paid in Guatemalan salaries, in quetzales (Guatemalan coin, about US$1 buys 8 quetzales), and live in the towns around Antigua, while the appointed directors or administrators are European or U.S. citizens and they are paid with first world salaries, in Dollars or Euros, and live in Antigua. So far, NGOs appear to replicate the unjust system they are trying to alleviate.

On the photo you see a bus powered by veggie oil driven all the way here from San Francisco, California, so they told me.

Sidenote:
I want to thank the 1.190 visitors who made 1.769 visits to the Antigua Daily Photo in its first 31 days of existence. Also, I enjoy very much all your comments; keep them coming.

Technorati tags: AntiguaDailyPhoto / Antigua / Guatemala / veggie oil powered bus

© 2006 – 2016, rudygiron. All rights reserved.

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  • Anonymous

    What is an NGO?

  • Chantal

    non-govermental organisation – charities etc.

    Great site, Rudy – lovely way to get my Guatemala fix while I’m away! – and to show off our lovely town to others! 🙂

  • Great job Rudy.

    I just happened to surf onto it while looking for pics of Guatemala.

    My daughter leaves tomorrow for a week in the hills of Guatemala. Small villages handing out medicine and building small homes.

    would love to see some of those pics!

    Thanks again for what you do.

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  • The most accurate and most well-known translation for NGO’s that most people can understand is “NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS”. There is no need to explain what they are, IMHO. They work in Guatemala almost exactly as they do in the USA and may have been modeled after US non-profits… down to the quarterly reporting requirements, exempt tax laws and mandatory audits.

    One difference, in use, not in form, is that Governmental branches (ministries) hand-off projects to NGO’s so for example, the Education Ministry will pay NGO’s to develop curriculum or manage operations of some schools. This is somewhat common in rural areas. There are many other examples.

    Pablo

  • The most accurate and most well-known translation for NGO’s that most people can understand is “NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS”. There is no need to explain what they are, IMHO. They work in Guatemala almost exactly as they do in the USA and may have been modeled after US non-profits… down to the quarterly reporting requirements, exempt tax laws and mandatory audits.

    One difference, in use, not in form, is that Governmental branches (ministries) hand-off projects to NGO’s so for example, the Education Ministry will pay NGO’s to develop curriculum or manage operations of some schools. This is somewhat common in rural areas. There are many other examples.

    Pablo (aka Paulo)